Pokémon Sword and Shield get expansions that bring back familiar faces

In the past, Pokémon games have typically been succeeded by an enhanced version that adds more monsters and extra features, such as Pokémon Crystal for the second generation and Emerald for the third. Game Freak will be moving away from this model for Pokémon Sword and Shield, however, and replacing it with an Expansion Pass that lets you get all-new content with losing your save data.

Available to purchase for $30, the Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass give players access to two new expansions: Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. They’ll be available in June and the fall of 2020, respectively, and each contains new adventures, monsters, people to meet, rivals, and areas to explore.

Isle of Armor will be set in a much warmer and more vibrant area than the rest of Galar, and it focuses on the theme of growth. You’ll explore beaches, forests, caves, and bogs, and your rival is either Klara or Avery, depending on which version of the game you own. You’ll also get access to a new legendary Pokémon named Kubfu, who is a fighting-type monster. It can eventually evolve into Urshifu, who has access to the single-strike and rapid-strike styles, as well as a Gigantimax form that changes depending on which style you’re using.

The Wild Area was only the beginning.

Forge a brand-new path to greatness with the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass!#PokemonSwordShieldEX pic.twitter.com/G6GCXp2ixW

— Pokémon (@Pokemon) January 9, 2020

In The Crown Tundra, you’ll be going into a much colder and snowier region with a focus on exploration. For the first time, you’ll be able to actually go inside Pokémon dens and can capture legendary monsters from past games like Mewtwo and Groudon. You can explore the dens cooperatively with your friends, as well.

Between the expansions, there will be more than 200 Pokémon from past games added to Sword and Shield, and even more legendary monsters we haven’t learned about yet. Those who don’t have the expansions can still link and trade with their friends to get them, and an update to the game will also let you run into your rivals from the expansions in the current version of the game and even catch Galarian Slowpoke.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are now available as Nintendo Switch exclusives.

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