Game Freak have confirmed Pokémon Sword and Shield will receive two different Expansion Passes.
These seem to be replacing the updated versions of games that the Pokémon series has previously been renowned for, like Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon.
While that may seem disappointing, it appears many Pokémon missing from the games are being added at a later point. In fact, 200+ well known Pokémon will be added in the games two new areas, The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra.
During the Direct, Game Freak showed off a ton of concept art and some gameplay footage, revealing these two new areas both said to be much bigger in scope than the Wild Area currently in the game.
There was a lot to take in, but we noticed new Regi forms seem to be coming, as well as Garchomp, Zapdos, Moltres, Bulbasaur, Blastoise and many more.
The Isle of Armor is coming June 2020, while The Crown Tundra will release Fall 2020, and these will unlock new areas in the Galar Region. As you might expect, though, there will be two different types of Expansion Passes, one for Sword and one for Shield, and they will each contain different Pokémon.
The Isle of Armor is focused on Growth and is based on beautiful nature with dunes, caves, sea and more. You’ll be mentored by Mustard at a nearby Dojo, the old man who was the mentor for Leon in the base game.
As always, you need a rival, and in Sword it’s Klara who is a poison user and in Shield it’s Avery who is a psychic type. The Isle of Armor also has a gorgeous new Pokémon lurking called Kubfu, who is a fighting-type. Urshifu is its evolution and it comes with two distinct styles with different moves, single-strike style and a rapid-strike style. Urshifu also has a Gigantamax form
What’s more, the three starters will now be able to Gigantamax in The Isle of Armor, and there’s some other new features to look out for, like new fashion items, customisation for your bike, and the ability to turn Apricorns into Poke Balls!
Less is known about The Crown Tundra but we know it will be themed around Exploration in a snow swept realm. People live in small communities and rely on each other for their day to day life. There’s a strange temple at the centre, and trees growing in unexpected places.
A new psychic and grass type legendary can also be found in The Crown Tundra, Calyrex.
The big addition, though, is a new co-op mode which lets you and a friend explore Pokemon dens to find Legendary Pokemon which can then be caught. A quick flash of images showed off the likes of Groudon, Mewtwo, and Zapdos.
A future software update will also let you get newly available Pokemon through features like Link Trades, and you’ll be able to bring Pokemon across from Pokemon Home when in launches February 2020, providing those monsters are in the new expansions.
From today, you’ll also see the likes of Lapras and Appleton appear more frequently in Raid Battles. You can also meet Clara and Avery – depending which version of the game you’re playing – at Wedghurst Station, and can catch Galarian Slowpoke, which can, of course, be evolved when you have the right item.
The Expansion Pass is available for pre-purchase later today for $29.99 each. As a special purchase bonus, some new clothing bonuses will be provided to those who pre-order, including both Eevee and Pikachu tops, caps and bottoms.
Game Freak and Nintendo are going all in on DLC for Gen 8, then. Interesting move, what are your thoughts?