The Future of Pokemon Sword and Shield is DLC
Screenshot: Pokemon Direct by Nintendo, Gamefreak
Nintendo held a Pokemon Direct this past week showcasing whats next for Pokemon Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch. Historically the timeline of games was usually the start of a new generation and a year and half or so later either a remake or a sequel to the game (complete with a new adjective) would release. It seem’s that for Pokemon Sword and Shield that Nintendo and GameFreak are ditching that model and opting for something that is a bit more familiar to the rest of the gaming industry. Pokemon is getting it’s first true DLC.
The Pokemon Direct introduces the first Expansion Pass for the franchise. Pokemon Sword and Shield will be getting two downloadable content upsets in this Expansion Pass. The two DLC are titled the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra. Two new locations located off the main land mass on islands near the Galar Region.
The Expansion Pass
Anyone who buys the expansion pass which is currently available for pre-order on the Nintendo eShop for $29.99 will get access to both the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra when they release. The Isle of Armor is set to release before the end of June 2020 and the Crown Tundra is set for Autumn 2020.
Both expansions are going to bring in new Pokemon and up to 200 Pokemon from past games that weren’t originally included with the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield. In the Pokemon Direct it was also stated that these newly added Pokemon would be able to be traded to players who don’t currently have the expansion pass.
One of the draws of the expansion pass plans over a brand new game is that players won’t have to start over with a new character or Pokemon for the new story. You get to pick up right where you left off in Pokemon Sword and Shield and continue your adventurers with the team you’ve made. The Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra promise to bring all types of new experiences to players. The expansion pass will bring not just new Pokemon but new Galar Region variants, new clothes and cosmetics, new characters and more.
The Isle of Armor
Game Director of the expansion pass Hiroyuki Tani explained that each of the new DLCs had a theme and for the Isle of Armor that theme is Growth. This is an island filled with life, forests, jungles, bogs and other lively areas of nature. The story on the Isle of Armor will center around a fighting dojo dedicated to Pokemon battles. Players will become the apprentice of Mustard, who also trained the Galar Region Champion Leon and once held the seat of Champion himself.
Mustard entrusts a legendary Pokemon named Kubfu to the player and through your training it will eventually evolve into Urshifu. Urshifu has two distinctive fighting styles that determine his typing, DarkFighting or WaterFighting. As you train with your Pokemon you’ll also run into new characters and other students training at the dojo. Depending on which game you have Pokemon Sword or Shield, will determine who your rival is. Those with Pokemon Sword will face Klara, a poison type Pokemon trainer. Those with Pokemon Shield will face Avery, a physic type trainer. Both have hopes and dreams to one day own their own stadium.
The Crown Tundra
The theme for the Crown Tundra is one of exploration. The Crown Tundra is a cold place with vast amounts of snow and ice, but is also homes to ruins and Pokemon Dens. In this DLC you are made the leader of an exploration team and it’s up to you to team up with other players to explore the Crown Tundra. Like the Isle of Armor the Crown Tundra also has it’s own Legendary Pokemon for players to discover, the regal Calyrex.
This will feature a new co-op mode where players can actually go into Pokemon Dens and explore, meeting all types of new Pokemon and even stumbling across Legendary Pokemon from previous games. Some of which have been given Galar Form variants, like the original Legendary Bird Trio from Pokemon RedBlue and Yellow. Both the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra will be seamless maps like the Wild Area, but be much bigger and half more to explore.