We’ve known for some time now, that Game Freak is being hugely ambitious for this year’s Pokémon Sword and Shield but only now is the scope of its plans becoming clear. Boasting the entirely brand new UK-inspired region of Galar, the Switch exclusive pair are poised to introduce a wealth of new features such as Dynamaxing and multiplayer raid battles, the latter of which will be available only in what Game Freak is calling the Wild Area.
Meant to mimic the quaint countryside of mainland Britain, the rolling hills and fields of the Wild represent a drastic departure from the standard Pokémon formula in several ways. First and foremost, only by venturing here will Trainers be able to encounter Roaming Pokémon. Similarly to last year’s Let’s Go! spinoffs, Pokémon will be present in the overworld rather than confined to instanced battles, breathing life into an otherwise sparse habitat.
Camping, cooking and multiplayer encounters are confirmed, too, but given today’s reveal, we imagine you’ll have to search long and hard to stumble across your colleagues. The Wild is, quite simply, massive.
Check out the full map below, courtesy of Japanese magazine CoroCoro:
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As if that wasn’t daunting enough, bear in mind that the Wild represents only a fraction of Sword and Shield‘s entire playspace. That being the case, Galar could truly prove to be the largest, most varied map present in the core RPG series to date.
The premature (but no less welcome) reveal represents yet more proof of Game Freak’s commitment to ensuring Sword and Shield are the most complete entries to date and while such expansions have necessitated sacrifices in other areas, this more than justifies the price of entry in our eyes and we can’t wait to go exploring next month.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are out November 15th.