During the Pokémon Direct live stream on 5 June, Nintendo revealed that Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on 15 November 2019, giving fans a fresh look at the new features they’ve included with a trailer.
From what’s been shown, it seems that random Pokémon encounters may become history almost entirely. Pokémon can be seen roaming freely in the Galar region’s open world space called the Wild Area – trainers can walk up to them and directly engage them in battle, a fresh and new take on the classic game mechanic.
Sword and Shield’s biggest feature is called Dynamax, which allows Trainers to change the size of their partners to Godzilla-like proportions. Transformations can be used at any point in the battle and significantly increase the strength of a Pokémon, but only in its last three turns – imagine sending a giant Magikarp into battle, how terrifying is that? Trainers can also cooperate in Max Raid battles where they take on a Dynamax Pokémon together to catch it, reminiscent of Pokémon Go raids.
The trailer reveals several new Pokémon, including the two new legendary doggos Zacian (Sword) and Zamazenta (Shield). I wouldn’t recommend playing fetch with the sword doggo, it’s all fun and games until someone loses their eye to a legendary weapon.