What We Learned From Pokemon Sword & Shield's June Direct

Pokemon Sword Shield Direct Dynamax Wild Area

Pokemon Sword & Shield was the subject of the newest Pokemon Direct earlier today, June 5, and Nintendo and Game Freak worked together to unveil many exciting new features from the game, including giant versions of Pokemon and open world roaming in the form of the Wild Area. Pokemon Sword & Shield will be the first mainline Pokemon entry for a console in series history, and many fans are excited over what new elements can be added with the upgrade in technology and processing power available to the games now.

Pokemon Sword & Shield will be set in the Galar region, a world inspired by United Kingdom mythos and aesthetic. The games have already had their starters revealed, with the internet losing its collective mind over Sobble, the sad Water-type starter that struck a chord with many fans for its depressed outlook and penchant for crying. There have also been a number of rumors surrounding the games, including a tantalizing one about the possibility of Armored Evolutions, inspired by Mewtwo's armor from the original Pokemon movie.

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Today, Nintendo revealed a number of gigantic (no pun intended) features that will change the way Pokemon is played. Pokemon Sword & Shield's Direct was a 15-minute excursion into many new play designs that will shake up the traditional series offerings, and there's a lot to be excited about for fans. With Pokemon Sword & Shield releasing globally on November 15, 2019, there's not much time left before aspiring trainers get to dive into what the game offers—so here's everything we learned from the June 2019 Pokemon Direct:

Pokemon Sword & Shield Wild Areas

Pokemon Sword Shield Wild Area

One of the biggest changes to Pokemon Sword & Shield is the introduction of wild areas. Wild areas are like an open-world, free-roam section of the game that will allow players to control the game's usually-fixed camera settings to let them explore the entirety of the area. During the demonstration video, players could fish, explore hidden regions, and shake trees in an attempt to unearth new Pokemon for their collection.

Wild Areas feature weather and dynamic shifting regions, both of which influence the players' ability to encounter certain Pokemon. As the weather changes in a Wild Area while players are navigating them, new Pokemon will begin to emerge. During the video, it appeared as though wild Pokemon would also be visible on the game map while exploring Wild Areas, which may further change the way Pokemon Sword & Shield is played while also giving players the control over their encounters that they enjoyed in Pokemon Let's Go.


Pokemon Sword Shield Dynamax Gym

A new gameplay mechanic known as Dynamax will also be introduced in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Dynamax will allow players to turn their Pokemon into gigantic, powered-up versions of themselves. Dynamax appears to be useable on virtually every Pokemon in the game based on the demonstration, which didn't seem to place restrictions on Pokemon typing, level, or rarity.

Dynamax can only be used once per battle, and lasts three turns. During Dynamax, a Pokemon's moves all change to Max Moves, which are powered-up versions. Dynamax will only be available in certain regions, so it won't be an omni-present feature in Pokemon Sword & Shield, but it will factor heavily into gym battles, which are all designed to allow players to use the mechanic to strengthen their strategic planning.

Max Raid Battles

Max Raid Battles are another exciting element being added to Pokemon Sword & Shield. In Wild Areas, players will be able to connect with other trainers to take place in raids that are clearly inspired by Pokemon GO. In Max Raid Battles, four trainers can join together to fight a wild Dynamax Pokemon with special powers that only raid versions have.

Max Raid Battles sound like they'll be more strategic than the usual Pokemon fare, too, as only one player in a group will be able to use Dynamax in the battle, making planning important. If the four trainers manage to defeat the Max Raid Battle, they'll all get a chance to capture the Dynamax Pokemon. These Max Raid Battles will also vary based on location and weather, and some Pokemon will only be available through Max Raid Battles, which means Game Freak is obviously confident in the feature getting widespread usage.

Pokemon Sword & Shield Legendaries

Pokemon Sword Shield Zamazenta

The newest Pokemon Direct pulled back the curtain on the games' legendaries. They're both based on wolves, and their names are Zacian (Sword) and Zamazenta (Shield). The teaser video briefly introduced the two legendaries as enemies rather than allies, as they battled against each other quickly before unveiling that they clearly have powered-up (possibly Mega, or even Armored if we're lucky) versions of themselves to close out the video.

Based on just the video alone, the Pokemon Sword & Shield legendaries typing isn't obvious. We'll have to wait and see how things play out, although their powered up versions did at least have color-schemes that would lend themselves to Fire- and Water-type aesthetic, though we doubt that's their only type, if it's even one they have.

Those were the major reveals from the Pokemon Sword & Shield Direct. Of course, there will be plenty more information on the way prior to the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield on November 15, 2019. Nintendo also revealed that there will be a special double-pack release of both games in one bundle, with more details to come soon.

Next: Every Pokémon Game Generation, Ranked Worst To Best

Source: Pokemon Direct

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