The Pokémon Company claims this generation will be the first open-world games of the mainline series, and showcased not only the various professors and rivals players will meet (Professor Sada in Scarlett and Professor Turo in Violet) but also new regional forms of fan-favorite Pokémon like Wooper. They also showcased the three starters — the fire crocodile Fuecoco, the grass feline Sprigatito and the water duckling Quaxly — with new playful animations.
The announcement also hinted at the story having three playable routes, though it’s unclear how different they will be.
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The presentation also showcased a snippet of the game’s online multiplayer. By utilizing the Union Circle, a circular pad-like area found throughout the region, players can invite up to three players to search for new Pokémon together. It’s unclear whether this new multiplayer mode will follow the main storyline and gameplay or be a separate mode.
The region’s newest form change mechanic, the Terastal phenomenon, makes your Pokémon shine in a crystalline form, and supercharges them with stronger moves and, in some cases, a new Pokémon typing. Eevee in particular was shown to Terastal-ize into both grass and water types. All Pokémon in the Paldea region can Terastal-ize, a welcome departure from developer Game Freak’s pick-and-choose nature of the previous gen’s form change mechanics.
Wednesday’s footage also included raid battles, which resemble last generation’s Max Raid battle system but now include a new mechanic where players can heal and attack based on timed inputs.
The company revealed several updates for its mobile catalogue of games as well. In “Pokémon Go,” Ultrabeasts may now appear, and players can use daily incense to attract several new Pokémon, including legendaries. “Pokémon Unite,” which is celebrating its first anniversary, showed off a new Pokémon released today, Buzzwole, along with a celebratory mode where every player on the battlefield is Pikachu in a different costume. “Pokémon Masters EX,” which turns three years old, teased a new feature called trainer’s lodge, which appeared to show your trainer units interacting in one hub-like area. Finally, “Pokémon Café Remix” confirmed that, yes, Mewtwo actually eats, with a new mode where players have to satisfy Mewtwo’s palette with several different dishes.
The live stream started with the reveal of the location of the Pokémon World Championships for 2022, with the event returning in-person in London after a pandemic-related hiatus. The event will also introduce two new games into the rotation, a championship series for “Pokémon Go” and “Pokémon Unite.” The event will be streamed live on the official Pokémon YouTube channel.
The Pokémon Presents comes hot on the heels of alleged leaks that showed blurry pictures of all the new gym leaders, rivals and three new Pokémon. Many of the pictures appeared to match what was revealed Wednesday.