Nintendo and Game Freak just concluded this morning’s special Pokémon Direct broadcast, and it shed new light on the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield titles for the Nintendo Switch. Releasing globally on November 15, Sword and Shield promise a bigger, more dynamic world full of new faces, new Pokémon, and new mechanics.
Professor Magnolia and her granddaughter Sonia will help guide you through the European-flavored environments of the Galar region, where Pokémon battles are full-on spectator events conducted in sprawling, football-style stadiums. Current champ Leon is a fan favorite, but something tells me your player character may prove to be just the kind of stiff competition that he needs.
The big head-turner, though, was the introduction of the Dynamax system. Similar to the previous Mega Evolutions, Dynamax powers up your Pokémon, allowing them to grow to tremendous size and strength. Unfortunately, this once-per-battle transformation only lasts for three turns, so strategy will prove even more important.
Outside of Galar’s cities and towns exists the Wild Area, a free-roaming natural zone where you’ll encounter and capture Pokémon and can even participate in multiplayer Max Raid Battles against Dynamax ‘Mon. There’s plenty more to see—including new legendaries Zacian and Zamazenta (who look a bit like armored up Samurott and Pyroar)—and you can catch it all in the following video.