By Joshua Caldwell
Nintendo and The Pokemon Company finally pulled back the curtain on Pokemon Sword and Shield, the series' eighth-generations titles for Switch, during February's anticipated Pokemon Direct presentation. On top of revealing details about the games' setting, we got our first look at the brand-new trio of starter Pokemon players will be able to choose from in the upcoming titles.
Just as in previous Pokemon games, players will be presented with a choice of three different Pokemon when they first begin their adventure in Sword and Shield. This time around, the options will be the Grass-type chimp Grookey, the Fire-type rabbit Scorbunny, and the Water-type lizard Sobble
No other new Pokemon have been revealed yet, but we did get a glimpse at a ton of returning Pokemon, including a handful from Sun and Moon--you can see all the Sword and Shield Pokemon in our gallery. Sword and Shield are set in the new Galar region, which appears to be based on Britain and spans idyllic countryside, rustic towns, and snowy mountains.
Pokemon Sword and Shield are being directed by Shigeru Ohmori, who also served as director of Sun and Moon. Based on the footage revealed thus far, Sword and Shield appear to be much more traditional takes on the series than the recent Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee; random encounters seem to be back, and players will once again be able to battle wild Pokemon before capturing them. It's also been confirmed that Gyms are returning after they were dropped from Sun and Moon. We also spotted some mysterious symbols, though it's unclear what significance they have, if any.
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