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Pokemon • Mar 14, 2019

Are the Pokemon Sword and Shield graphics underwhelming?

Are the Pokemon Sword and Shield graphics underwhelming?

The snippets of Pokemon Sword and Shield gameplay footage available has been analyzed intensely. Some critics aren't impressed with the graphics we've seen so far...

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Pokemon Day reveal trailer

The Pokemon Sword and Shield reveal trailer provided lots of short moments of gameplay. These were mostly used to highlight the different areas of the Galar region, as opposed to showing off gameplay features.

There was at least enough footage to gain an idea of what sort of graphics the Nintendo Switch will produce for the latest entry into the Pokemon game series.

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To the untrained eye the graphics looked rudamental and perhaps looked nothing more than an upscaled version of the 3DS Pokemon games. It should be noted however, that the gameplay footage did state, "Game footage not final."

Pokemon Sword and Shield graphics analysis

GameXplain has provided an in-depth analysis of the released Pokemon Sword and Shield footage. Specifically, they discuss lighting, reflections, and environmental details.

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The takeaway from the footage seems to be that it is underwhelming. GameXplain state the poor textures could be a result of ensuring the game is able to run at the desired frame rate.

Features such as shadowing, contrast, bloom and reflective textures miss the mark somewhat. Consequently, we can expect vast improvements between now and the release of the full game.

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Will the graphics improve?

While the graphics are expected to improve, the overall style of them is unlikely to change. The cartoon-like feel of the graphics along with the outline effect of the Pokemon (Pokemon Let's Go didn't use an outline) is unlikely to change, though.

Pokemon fans were expecting something more in-line with Let's Go but perhaps with a more immersive world. There were also rumors the camera would no longer be fixed, which would result in a more explorable world.

More Pokemon Sword and Shield graphics...

As yet, whether this will be implemented remains unclear. The Pokemon Sword and Shield game footage appeared to show a fixed camera but there wasn't enough footage to make this a definitive conclusion.

Hopefully the Pokemon Sword and Shield developers, Gamefreak, are able to utilize the power of the Nintendo Switch hardware.

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