It’s been teased for some time now but yesterday, on the self-proclaimed Pokémon Day, the next entries in the mainline series were announced via a Direct livestream with the names Sword and Shield.

Pokémon Sword and Shield will be based in the new Galar Region, which looks to be based on a steampunk London with its own version of Big Ben and huge gears everywhere.

There’s already a lot of jokes about the real world Britain here and Brexit (the two games should be called Pokémon Remain and Stay), but now’s not the time to get into all the memes that have already sprouted up in the last few hours.

As always there are three starters: Grooky (grass type), Scorbunny (fire type) and Sobble (water type). There is, of course, already all kinds of speculation about their evolution and possible secondary typings, but we’ll have to see what’s officially shown as we get closer to release.

Both of these games will release at the same time in “late 2019”, which many speculate to be November of this year as this is the month that most new Pokémon games are released.

Despite the stream and the trailer for the announcement being so short, we can scrape together a lot of information from them.

Firstly. it appears that the new catching mechanics from the Let’s Go games have been scrapped. It’s back to wondering around in grass and a random Pokémon appearing. The model for the Pokémon will no longer spawn in the overworld so you won’t be able to see exactly what you’re facing before deciding to engage.

While we’re happy to see these new games as lifelong fans of the franchise, we have a few reservations. This looks like another pair of games with very minimal changes to the formula to the point where it looks like assets from Sun and Moon are still in use.

Throughout the trailer the performance also doesn’t look up to par, which doesn’t fill us with confidence as most of the recent games have struggled with this at various points.

This is, however, just the initial showing of the game so we hope we’re proven wrong in coming months as more is revealed.

If you want to soak up us much of this announcement as possible, check out the trailer below, scan over the official site, and check out the #PokemonSwordShield hashtag on twitter. It’s already filled with fanart of the new starters, rumours, speculation and more.

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.