Pokémon Sword and Shield were announced during a Pokemon Direct on Wednesday morning as the next two games in the mainline Pokémon RPG series.


Both games will take place in a new region called Galar that seems to take inspiration from the United Kingdom. The Pokémon Company describes Galar as full of diverse environments, from pastoral countryside to bustling cities. It is also home to a new generation of Pokémon, including ​three new starters.

The trailer shown during the live stream indicates a substantial visual departure from the series' standard top-down, 2D approach. Instead, players will explore 3D environments with an over-the-shoulder camera.


That 3D aesthetic has also changed the now-iconic look of Pokémon battles. Pokémon will now perform detailed animations as they execute attacks against one another. The approach is reminiscent of 2004's Pokémon Colosseum, or the more recent Pokémon Let's Go games.

A disclaimer in the video described the gameplay footage as less than final, but it's unlikely a major art style pivot will take place between now and the game's release later this year.


Pokemon Sword and Shield are slated for the Nintendo Switch in late 2019. An exact release date is unknown at t time of writing. 


Photo courtesy of Nintendo