There’s a lot changing for Pokemon with Sword and Shield. While the crux of Pokemon-journey through towns, battle trainers, humiliate your rival-seems intact, some changes to the formula look to shake things up, including the new Wild Area, where you can reportedly run into extremely powerful Pokemon earlier than you probably should.
Amid today’s Pokemon coverage bonanza, Eurogamer’s preview impressions noted that in the free-roaming Wild Areas, you can stray a bit from the path and wind up fighting some extremely powerful Pokemon, possibly earlier than you’re prepared for.
“The significant difference with the Wild Area is, if you wander into the wrong part of it, you’ll discover that the wild Pokémon can now be drastically overlevelled,” writes Eurogamer’s Chris Tapsell. He then gives an example of fighting a third-stage level 50 Pokemon when you’ve only got a starter and a basic, low-level Pokemon on your team.
While you might have been able to game the system in the past to get to areas, for the most part, Pokemon games have had a fairly steady ramp-up in terms of levels. You’d want players to encounter Pokemon they could potentially catch.
But there is something appealing about encountering a raid boss of a Pokemon out in the Wild Area and fleeing for your life. It makes the Wild Areas seem a little bit more wild; stick to the path and be safe, or venture into the woods and try not to get dunked by a buff Clefairy.
Pokemon Sword and Shield is set to hit Nintendo Switch on November 15. If you’re having trouble picking which version you want to pick up, check out our guide on the version exclusives to help you make your pick.