Valorant Console Release “Definitely” Being Considered, Says Riot

Valorant is out now on PC after a successful closed beta period that attracted record-breaking Twitch numbers. Its popularity has many fans and potential players wondering about a possible console release. Will Valorant ever come to PS4 and Xbox One, or even Nintendo Switch, as other competitive games like Overwatch have? In GameSpot’s Play For All interview with Riot Games, we asked Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of Valorant, to elaborate on the team’s plans to bring Valorant to more platforms.

“We are definitely prototyping that right now,” Donlon told GameSpot. “But there’s a way to play this game and there’s a way to experience this game that we’re not entirely sure translates completely to console play.”

Donlon explained that core to Valorant is its “strong level of competitive integrity,” and its designers worry about players feeling like anyone has an unfair advantage based on the platform they’re playing on. A potential console version of Valorant would need to capture the same Valorant “experience” for all players, according to Riot.

“If we feel like we can deliver this experience on those platforms, we absolutely will,” said Donlon. “But we really want Valorant to stand for a certain type of gameplay and a certain type of experience.” That means if Riot feels it needs to “compromise” on any part of the core Valorant experience to make it work on console, then it won’t happen.

“It’s not a no, for sure,” Donlon clarified, mentioning that some designers on the team are “very excited” to prove the potential of Valorant on consoles. “But it definitely wasn’t the focus out of the gate. If we were to do it, it’ll definitely be delayed.”

Valorant is out now, exclusively on PC. Read up on its update 1.0 patch notes for everything new in the full release version.

Welcome to GameSpot’s Play For All–a celebration of all things gaming. Join us as we bring you the summer’s hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.

Now Playing: Valorant’s Future Agent Plans And Console Prototypes

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Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle Expansion Launches Today

The Sims 4‘s ninth expansion pack, Eco Lifestyle, is out now. The new expansion takes place in Evergreen Harbor where players can partake in a variety of environmentally friendly activities, like producing their own water and electricity through renewable resources.

Players can also grow their own food in a new vertical garden, break down unwanted items in the Recycler and go dumpster diving for new furniture. The expansion costs $40 and is available on PC, Mac, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.

Developer Maxis announced that the Sims 4 has seen more than 2.5 million new players in the last two months and saw a monthly peak of 10 million players in the last quarter.

“Over the last few months, we’re humbled that The Sims 4 has served as an outlet for so many players,” said Lyndsay Pearson, General Manager and Executive Producer. “We’ve seen our players recreate friend and family parties, weddings and graduations in our game – so we’re looking forward to seeing what good they do with Eco Lifestyle.”

Maxis’ parent company EA, along with other game companies, recently donated money to Black Lives Matter and related causes.

GameSpot has officially kicked off Play For All–a celebration of all things gaming. Join us as we bring you the summer’s hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

GameSpot’s Play For All: Here’s How To Donate

GameSpot has kicked off Play For All, an event that combines our coverage of all of the summer’s hot gaming news with a series of charity streams. We encourage you to tune in for our daily livestreams with our friends from throughout the games industry and media as we raise money for two great causes: Direct Relief’s COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter. Here’s how you can help.

We’ve set up donation pages dedicated to each of the two causes. If you’re able, we would encourage you to pledge money to one or both–the process is quick and easy. You should also check with your employer, as many companies are matching employees’ charitable donations, allowing you to maximize what you’re able to give. If you’re not in a position to donate, that’s OK–we also appreciate anything you can do to share awareness of these causes.

On behalf of everyone at GameSpot, thank you.

FTL Composer Is Donating All Weekend Proceeds To NAACP

FTL and Into the Breach composer Ben Prunty is donating all soundtrack sales from this weekend to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and various community bail funds across the country. Fans can pay-what-they-want for music across his entire catalogue today through the end of the weekend, with proceeds being donated on Monday.

Prunty’s catalogue includes music for FTL, Into the Breach, Darkside Detective, Gravity Ghosts, as well as many other tracks and albums. His full catalogue can be found on his Bandcamp page.

Prunty, who also made music for Subnautica: Below Zero, joins a number of others like EA, The Pokemon Company, and others in donating to Black Lives Matter and similar causes in response to protests erupting across the United States over the killing of George Floyd.

Since tweeting about his fundraising effort Prunty has raised at least $700.

GameSpot has officially kicked off Play For All–a celebration of all things gaming. Join us as we bring you the summer’s hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.

Now Playing: FTL- Advanced Edition Trailer

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Here’s Who IGN Readers Voted the Best Star Wars Character of All Time

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been running Best Star Wars Character of All Time face-offs. And now we have the ultimate winner, as chosen by you, the IGN reader!

First we ran a face-off where 200 of the most recognizable canon Star Wars characters faced off. Everyone from Han Solo to The Mandalorian to Wicket W. Warrick went head to head and it wasn’t pretty! From there the top 25 winners then entered a second face-off, and when the dust had settled, our winners were chosen.

So who took the top spot? Drumroll please…

vaderPerhaps not surprisingly, everyone’s favorite Sith Lord dominated, winning 86.9% of the times he faced off with another character. Also of note, we gave Anakin Skywalker a separate card in these contests since fans generally have very different feelings about Vader as opposed to Anakin.

The top 10 is interestingly very Original Trilogy-heavy, including — in addition to Vader — Obi-Wan (though we featured the young version of the character), Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Yoda, Leia Organa, R2-D2, Emperor Palpatine, and Chewie. Indeed, Darth Maul was the only non-OT character to hit the top 10.

top-10-star-wars-charactersAre you wondering where your favorite characters landed? Like Baby Yoda, perhaps? (He’s took 16th place in the final round, just above Kylo Ren!) For all the rankings, click through to the full face-off results:

The Best Star Wars Character of All Time: Round 1 Results

The Best Star Wars Character of All Time: Round 2 Results

As for the bottom of the barrel, in our initial face-off of 200 characters, players like Yarna d’al’ Gargan from Jabba’s palace, Larma D’Acy from the Sequel Trilogy, and Baron Papanoida — George Lucas’ prequel trilogy cameo character — were in the bottom 10 alongside a bunch of characters from the animated series Star Wars: Resistance. Neeku Vozo, also from that show, was in absolute last place (and he seems like such a nice guy!). But Jar Jar Binks, the oft-derided Prequel Trilogy pariah, actually ranked at number 153. Not bad, Jar Jar!

worst-10-star-wars-charactersWhat do you think of how this Star Wars character face-off panned out? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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EA Sports Takes Stronger Stance Against Racist Usernames, Especially in NHL Games

EA Sports has announced that it will take a more active stance against racism in its various sports titles, particularly in the EA NHL series.

EA was one of many game companies to come out in support of the Black community this week but some viewed the company’s statement as being hypocritical. This is because of the rampant racism present in its sports games, particularly the NHL series.

The r/EA_NHL subreddit has been filled with users highlighting instances of racist usernames that appear to have only grown in numbers these past weeks. Especially concerning are the racist usernames that directly reference the death of George Floyd.

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NHL 20 might be one of the most racist communities I’ve ever been apart of,” wrote one Reddit user in a now-locked thread published almost a month ago. The user reported facing off against user-created teams with blatantly racist team names and bemoaned EA’s lack of a meaningful reporting tool.

“Nobody laughs at them, it’s just next to impossible to report this stuff,” responded one user. “EA doesn’t have the systems in place to properly do so.”

Now EA appears to be in the process of developing those tools. In a statement published on its official EA Sports Twitter account, the company wrote:

“We’re constantly taking action to maintain a culture of inclusion. Toxic behavior changes and evolves rapidly and we recognize that we need to do more to actively monitor and remove those individuals who perpetuate racist, xenophobic, homophobic or sexist behaviors in our games.”

The company promises to review its term list to ensure filters are “comprehensive and accounts for various languages, dialects and slang. This is something we will review and expand upon regularly.”

EA also says it’s “adding more tools in-game to increase the reporting functionality to make it easier and more seamless for players to report toxic behavior as it occurs and for our teams to remove the content and offenders,” as well as increase the “frequency of reviewing offenses with the goal of acting more quickly to remove it from our games.”

The company also made a special announcement to the EA NHL community, which appears to be the only EA Sports game to receive its own dedicated message.

“Chel shouldn’t be a place for any form of hatred, bigotry or racism. We have manually actioned on thousands of accounts to date, but it hasn’t been enough, and that’s on us.”

EA says it will deliver “harsher penalties to anyone with offensive content,” bolster “resources to monitor and action on more accounts,” strengthen its profanity filters and create “new in-game functionality for future titles that will allow players to report and send any abusive material directly to our team.”

“This is only the beginning. We want to be a force in promoting inclusive and equal hockey culture and we will continue to take the proper steps towards achieving that.”

The move follows Infinity Ward which announced that it too will strengthen its policies against racist and hateful usernames players create for online matches. These actions follow an industry-wide stance against racism following the death of George Floyd.

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Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.

Valorant Review In Progress

Editor’s note: This review is currently in progress to allow more time to experience more of Valorant in a post-launch environment. We’ll update and finalize the review as the author digs deeper and plays more of the game.

Think Counter-Strike with hero elements. That’s the elevator pitch for Valorant, Riot Games’ first foray into competitive first-person shooters. I say that not to disparage Valorant, though. In fact, that’s what I love most about it, especially since it executes on the formula extremely well. Valorant thrives because of tight, tactical gameplay and a mix of character-based abilities that provide a necessary strategic layer. Although it’s a slim package with limited features and barren presentation, Valorant has the potential to be great.

The core mode of Valorant revolves around five-on-five matches where one team (defenders) defends bomb sites while the other (attackers) tries to plant at bomb sites, switching sides about halfway through a best-of-25. The stakes are high as everyone gets only one life per round, and the focus on precise gunplay with low time-to-kill leaves little margin for error. You also have to consider the team’s economy–depending on performance, money gets distributed to players each round which is used to buy gear before the round commences. This factors into a team’s decision to buy better equipment or save for future rounds. In turn, each round ratchets up the intensity as the tide of advantage can shift at any moment or between rounds.

Valorant’s dynamics are enough to sustain it as a competitive shooter worth investing time into because winning itself is an intrinsic reward built on the merits of strong gameplay.

Valorant isn’t your typical shooter where spraying and wild jump shots will get you to top fragging. Every gun has specific recoil patterns, and understanding how to handle what you’re equipped with is step one. Learning how to effectively peek around corners as you move into firefights or hold specific sightlines to anticipate enemy activity comes next. There’s a distinct, tempered pace to how it’s played, further emphasized by the importance of sound. Footsteps will tip you off to the direction and distance of enemies, where they’re trying to push on the map, and sometimes hint at their general strategies. This is all to say that Valorant maintains a certain calculated design that ushers in the fun mental aspect you’d expect from a good tactical shooter.

Flawless round win. Coordinating, positioning, and communication are just as important as sharp aim.
Flawless round win. Coordinating, positioning, and communication are just as important as sharp aim.

Agents themselves (11 in total) introduce an essential X-factor to the mix. While the easy comparison is Overwatch, Valorant’s Agent abilities function more like gear in a loadout. Most are subject to limited uses per round and charges have to be bought (but thankfully carry over even if you’re killed). Knowing how and when to execute these abilities is absolutely essential to grasp, especially when teams fire on all cylinders.

Reviving a teammate with Sage’s revive ultimate can be a game-changer, while her ice barrier can cut off dangerous sightlines at key moments. And her healing spell could just be the difference in whether or not a teammate comes out alive in a firefight. Phoenix on the other hand can lead offensive pushes with his curveball flashbangs, AOE fireballs, and damaging firewalls. And another personal favorite, Jett, has the gift of mobility that let you either throw off opponents, get better vision of the action, or simply charge the enemy aggressively.

It’d be tough to break down all 11 Agents’ abilities, but know that most of them come down to catching enemies off guard or debilitating them as you approach firefights, and some offer support to teammates. Agents are also designed for one of four role designations to help facilitate proper composition. While there may be a little overlap in terms of what certain abilities do, each Agent has the capacity to be effective without feeling like a chore to play. Understanding their use cases will put your team in a better position to win, but you’ll also know how to react when you see your opponent using same tactics–it all seems well-balanced so far.

Phoenix is one of the offensive Agents with flashbangs and fire spells.
Phoenix is one of the offensive Agents with flashbangs and fire spells.

This time-tested demolition mode remains an enticing context for thrilling FPS moments because of how much it stresses player skill and executing strategy, just like Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six Siege. But it cuts both ways as the experience can sometimes devolve into frustration. It’s not necessarily Valorant’s fault; rather, it’s inherent to this style of game.

Being stuck with a poorly coordinated team will make these long-winded matches feel like a drag. You’ll be understandably punished for leaving, and the team will proceed with one less player who won’t be backfilled, compounding the disadvantage. It’s one area we can expect the Valorant experience to improve when ranked matchmaking comes around; however, we won’t exactly know how it’ll manage player skill levels until it’s implemented. Squadding up with friends mitigates the problem, of course, and at least in my experience, random teammates have been willing to work together and coordinate more often than not.

Full matches are a considerable time investment–Valorant itself indicates that they can last 30 to 40 minutes, which is expected with these kinds of games. There is also a bite-sized mode called Spike Rush, where the buy phase is dropped in favor of randomized loadouts, all attackers carry spikes (the bomb), and all Agent abilities (except for Ults) get fully charged at the start of the round. You’ll find power-ups like hyper speed, damage boost, or Ult charges on the map to play it up as an arcade-style mode. It’s a best-of-seven match that runs about 10 minutes, so you can get your fill without the long-term commitment. It’d be nice to have other variations on this mode since Spike Rush negates some core strategic elements and feels a bit too short for the time it takes to get started, but it offers a welcome change of pace when you want it.

Some neat gun skins to flaunt when you're racking up kills.

Currently, Valorant features four maps to play at random. Haven is the only one to feature three separate bomb sites, but other than that one, each map feels quite similar. Some have key map features like Ascent’s A-site shuttered door and Bind’s cross-map teleporters that accelerate site rotations. That said, the maps are designed with balance and symmetry in mind, so they make for proper competitive battlegrounds.

A lot of this sentiment can be attributed to Valorant’s bland art style. I understand it’s meant to be a low-spec game that can run on old hardware, and the visuals make it easy to distinguish what’s happening on screen. Given Riot’s emphasis on esports, the direction of prioritizing function over flash makes sense. But it doesn’t negate the fact that Valorant isn’t particularly exciting to look at whether spectator or player.

To its credit, Valorant’s character designs bring in a touch of charisma to the game (although some Agents seem quite similar to heroes we’ve seen before). It’s a somewhat diverse roster with slick-looking Agents, but the game loses out on their potential by mostly relying on generic personalities and tired character tropes. There isn’t much of a world around Valorant, and in the age of games like Apex Legends, Overwatch, and even Riot’s own League of Legends, an element of fanfare goes missing for the time being.

Planning your moves before the round commences is important for victory.

Aside from its tight core gameplay loop, Valorant adopts modern progression mechanics to motivate you to keep playing. You’ll earn XP through completing matches and daily goals are set so you can earn some hefty extra XP. Then you have Contracts, which are essentially progression tracks that’ll receive the XP you earn. These then unlock cosmetics and Agents of your choice (you start with five in the base roster). Since I used a reviewer’s account, several gun skins and 10,000 VP (premium currency) were included to unlock all Agents. At the moment, it’s tough to gauge the integrity of the microtransactions and rewards system, but this will be an aspect to analyze as I march closer toward the finalized review.

Right now, Valorant has a strong foundation in its gameplay, and of course, that’s the most significant part for an FPS of this style to succeed. Although it doesn’t break new ground, the dynamic of sharp gunplay and Agent abilities would make Counter-Strike and Overwatch proud. Valorant easily captures the competitive highs of a good, intense match at the risk of pigeonholing you in a bad one. However, outside the two available modes of standard unranked and the modified Spike Rush, there isn’t much else to it. It’s important to keep in mind that these types of games are always evolving and I’ll be taking that into account as things change and put more time into it. Regardless, Valorant’s in a good state–it’s not great, but it certainly can be.

Now Playing: Valorant – A Few Good Skirmishes Gameplay

Netflix’s The Last Days of American Crime Review

The Last Days of American Crime is now streaming on Netflix.

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After almost a decade of development, The Last Days of American Crime, based on Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s graphic novel, is finally a feature film – though, ultimately, a hollow and unwelcome one.

A huge argument could be made that this was the absolute wrong time for this film given its thematic adjacency to The Purge (though with a fraction of that franchise’s actual messaging) but The Last Days of American Crime is also overlong, grimly vacant, and an outright chore to watch. Michael Pitt’s crazed crook is enjoyable at times, as Pitt is often able to turn in eccentric-yet-nuanced performances, but the other characters are bitter, terse, and uninteresting.

Directed by Taken 2 and 3’s Olivier Megaton, the film looks slick. The money’s on the screen. The action is satisfactory, but if you’re in the mood for a shoot’ em up with thin characters then Netflix’s Extraction will provide a bigger and better bang. The Last Days of American Crime has a better (dystopian) hook, but it completely fails to capitalize on any of the themes and issues it introduces. The “police state/thought control” elements only exist as a backdrop for Édgar Ramírez’s brooding bank robber, Graham Bricke, and nothing more.

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In the near future, America has devolved into a police state on the precipice of unleashing a country-wide signal against its captive citizens that will prevent them from being able to break the law. The police are exempt from this, and a week before the sound waves are released, the nation is a crazed wasteland of lawlessness. Most everyone, it seems, is attempting to exercise their free will before it’s coldly taken away from them by the government. Bricke, one of the best thieves in the business, is all broken up not just because he and his kind are done for but also because of the death of his brother, who he’s told took his own life in prison. Bricke is basically given the bare bones of generic action (anti)hero. He’s the “responsible” one. He sulks. He loves his brother (who we barely spend time with). And that’s pretty much it.

Naturally, action leads don’t have to be the most dynamic part of their movie, but this film doesn’t compensate for Bricke’s blandness anywhere else. Michael Pitt’s Kevin, the moody son of a crime lord, is the only interesting thing to watch here as Kevin, and his main squeeze Shelby (Anna Brewster), convince Bricke to help them steal a billion bucks right as the clock turns 1984 and no one’s able to jaywalk much less steal – making it the final great heist in American history.

The premise is interesting enough that you can see why people have been trying to adapt it into a movie since 2009, but this is nothing more than a flavorless heist flick that grossly wastes its grander, darker ideas.

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And then there’s Sharlto Copley’s character, which goes absolutely nowhere. As seemingly the only cop left in the world who still cares about helping people, Copley’s Sawyer feels like he might be an important piece of the puzzle. We watch him in a separate story for most of the movie, as he’s looked down on by his fellow officers and possibly seeks redemption for a past misdeed. But when Sawyer finally intersects with the rest of the narrative in the third act, we get nothing. It might as well have been a random character who enters the mix.

At two and a half hours, The Last Days of American Crime is bloated and boring. Yes, of course an argument could be made that it’s not exactly an auspicious moment for a movie about America collapsing into a (slightly sci-fi) fascist state but it’s an even worse time for a film that has absolutely nothing to say beyond that and instead focuses on a vendetta and love triangle among the ruins.

Pokemon Sword / Shield: All We Know About Isle Of Armor & The Crown Tundra Expansions

Nintendo and Game Freak are releasing two big DLC expansions for Pokemon Sword and Shield this year: The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. The former will release on June 17 while the latter is slated to follow this fall, and each will introduce a wealth of additional content to the titles, including new gameplay features, locations, characters, storylines, and even Pokemon.

Since the expansions were announced earlier this year, The Pokemon Company has been gradually revealing more details about Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra in the lead up to their launch. To help get you up to speed on the upcoming DLC, we’ve rounded up everything we know so far about Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra below.

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Expansion Pass Price

Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra are bundled together as part of the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass, which is available through the Switch Eshop for $30 USD / £27. The expansions cannot be purchased individually. Each game also requires its own Expansion Pass, so if you own both Sword and Shield, you’ll need to purchase the pass for each version if you’re hoping to access the new content in both titles.

Early Purchase Bonuses

You’ll receive a few free bonus items for pre-purchasing the Expansion Pass. First, you’ll get an exclusive Pikachu uniform and Eevee uniform for your trainer. If you purchase the Expansion Pass before August 31, you’ll also receive clothing items based on Leon’s cap and tights.

Leon's cap and tights
Leon’s cap and tights

Confirmed Returning Pokemon

As previously mentioned, Game Freak is bringing back an assortment of old Pokemon alongside each expansion. These monsters are being added as free updates, so you don’t need to purchase the Expansion Pass to get them; you’ll be able to receive the Pokemon through trades or import them via Pokemon Home even if you don’t pick up the expansions. However, the returning Pokemon can only be encountered in the wild if you own the Expansion Pass.

In total, more than 200 old Pokemon will be added to Sword and Shield, including practically every Legendary from previous games. You can see all the returning Pokemon that have been confirmed so far below:

Isle of Armor

  • Psyduck
  • Golduck
  • Poliwag*
  • Poliwhirl*
  • Poliwrath*
  • Politoed*
  • Magnemite
  • Magneton
  • Magnezone
  • Exeggcute*
  • Exeggutor*
  • Happiny
  • Chansey
  • Blissey
  • Tangela*
  • Tangrowth*
  • Kangaskhan*
  • Horsea
  • Seadra
  • Kingdra
  • Staryu*
  • Starmie*
  • Scyther*
  • Scizor*
  • Tauros*
  • Azurill
  • Marill
  • Azumarill
  • Whismur*
  • Loudred*
  • Exploud*
  • Shinx*
  • Luxio*
  • Luxray*
  • Sandile*
  • Krokorok*
  • Krookodile*
  • Zorua
  • Zoroark
  • Emolga*
  • Mienfoo*
  • Mienshao*
  • Druddigon*
  • Bouffalant*
  • Larvesta
  • Volcarona
  • Fletchling
  • Fletchinder
  • Talonflame
  • Skrelp*
  • Dragalge*
  • Dedenne
  • Rockruff
  • Lycanroc

The Crown Tundra

  • Nidoran (F)
  • Nidorina
  • Nidoqueen
  • Nidoran (M)
  • Nidorino
  • Nidoking
  • Zubat
  • Golbat
  • Crobat
  • Elekid
  • Electabuzz
  • Electivire
  • Magby*
  • Magmar*
  • Magmortar*
  • Aron*
  • Lairon*
  • Aggron*
  • Swablu*
  • Altaria*
  • Absol*
  • Spheal
  • Sealeo
  • Walrein
  • Relicanth*
  • Beldum
  • Metang
  • Metagross
  • Gible
  • Gabite
  • Garchomp
  • Cryogonal
  • Amaura
  • Aurorus

Legendaries

  • Entei
  • Raikou
  • Suicune
  • Ho-Oh
  • Lugia
  • Regirock
  • Regice
  • Registeel
  • Latios
  • Latias
  • Groudon
  • Kyogre
  • Rayquaza
  • Azelf
  • Mesprit
  • Uxie
  • Heatran
  • Cresselia
  • Dialga
  • Palkia
  • Giratina
  • Tornadus
  • Thundurus
  • Landorus
  • Reshiram
  • Zekrom
  • Kyurem
  • Xerneas
  • Yveltal
  • Zygarde
  • Tapu Koko
  • Tapu Lele
  • Tapu Bulu
  • Tapu Fini

* Confirmed in the latest trailer

New Pokemon

On top of all the returning Pokemon, each expansion introduces a handful of new Pokemon to the games. Chief among these are two new Legendaries: Kubfu, the mascot of Isle of Armor; and Calyrex, the mascot of The Crown Tundra.

Galarian Slowpoke
Galarian Slowpoke

The expansions introduce new forms of some older Pokemon as well, including Galarian variants of Slowpoke, Slowbro, and Slowking, as well as Gigantamax versions of Venusaur and Blastoise. The Pokemon Company has also shown off Galarian forms of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, as well as two new Regis: the Electric-type Regieleki and the Dragon-type Regidrago.

Isle Of Armor Characters And Storyline

The Isle of Armor expansion takes place on the titular island, which lies off the coast of Galar proper. The isle is home to a Pokemon dojo, where aspiring trainers learn under the tutelage of an old man named Mustard, who is the longest-reigning champion in Galar history and Leon’s former mentor.

Early in your adventure on the Isle of Armor, Mustard will gift you the Legendary Pokemon Kubfu, which you’ll be able to raise into Urshifu after conquering one of two towers on the island: the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters. Which tower you challenge will determine how Kubfu evolves. If you complete the Tower of Darkness, Kubfu will evolve into Single Strike Style Urshifu, a Fighting/Dark type; if you complete the Tower of Waters, Kubfu will instead become Rapid Strike Style Urshifu, a Fighting/Water type.

During your adventure on the Isle of Armor, you’ll also meet a new rival. This character will differ depending on which version of the game you own. Sword players will meet Klara, a deceptively cunning Poison-type trainer, while Shield players will encounter Avery, a gentlemanly Psychic-type trainer.

The Crown Tundra Characters And Storyline

The second expansion for Sword and Shield takes place in the eponymous Crown Tundra, a mountainous region blanketed in snow. According to The Pokemon Company, the theme of this expansion is “exploration.” Players will be appointed leader of an exploration team by “a certain person” and will be tasked with investigating the area.

Calyrex

Beyond that, not much else is currently known about The Crown Tundra expansion, but players will encounter the Legendary Calyrex during their adventure. Calyrex is a Grass/Psychic type that ruled over the Galar region in ancient times. Little has been revealed about the Legendary, but it is said to be omniscient and can “see every past, present, and future event.”

Gigantamax Starters

During your journey on the Isle of Armor, your starter Pokemon from Sword and Shield–Rillaboom, Cinderace, or Inteleon–will gain the ability to Gigantamax. Like other Gigantamax Pokemon, each will have a unique appearance and G-Max move. Rillaboom’s is called G-Max Drum Solo; Cinderace’s is G-Max Fireball; and Inteleon’s is G-Max Hydro Snipe. Each of these attacks deals more damage than a typical Dynamax move and ignores the opposing Pokemon’s Ability.

Gigantamax Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon

The Kanto starters Venusaur and Blastoise will also receive Gigantamax forms in Isle of Armor. Each likewise has its own unique G-Max move. Gigantamax Venusaur’s attack is called G-Max Vine Lash, and it damages non-Grass-type foes for four turns. Gigantamax Blastoise, meanwhile, is able to use G-Max Cannonade, which similarly damages non-Water-type opponents for four turns.

New Features And Items

In addition to the new Pokemon and locations, each expansion will introduce some new gameplay mechanics to Sword and Shield. The Pokemon Company hasn’t revealed too many details about these as of yet, but we know that The Crown Tundra will let you explore Pokemon Dens with other players.

Each expansion will also add new clothes, League Card customization options, and different looks for your bike. There will be other new items in each expansion as well. The Isle of Armor will bring back Apricorns, which can be crafted into different kinds of Poke Balls, and it introduces a new item called the Exp. Charm that will earn more experience points for your team.

Release Date

The Isle of Armor expansion will release on June 17, while The Crown Tundra will follow in Fall 2020. You can read more in our Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra pre-order guide.

Now Playing: Pokemon Sword And Shield – Expansion Pass Announcement Trailer

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