Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield Reviews Summary

Summary: Despite some alleged controversy, Pokemon Sword and Shield is a highly appreciated entry for the series. Making its home console debut on Nintendo Switch, the series maybe could've taken a bigger step forward, but it's still the best entry in years according to most.

New Ways to Catch 'Em All

Wild Areas and Dynamax creatures are a fun new twist on the formula.

Complex Combat

Game Freak has modernized the battle system for the better.

Plays It Safe

Not without new features, some were expecting a bigger leap for the series' first home console entry.

Rating Summary

Based on 120 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

80

Top Critic Average

64%

Critics Recommend

Based on 120 critic reviews
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Nov 13, 2019

Pokémon Sword and Shield are not bad games. But fun character arcs and inventive, creative designs of new ‘mon are often offset by poor pacing and restrictive world design. The world of Galar is charming, and is a Pokémon interpretation of Britain I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, but between gating what Pokémon you can catch behind Gym Badges, some half-baked route/City designs and a modest amount of post-game content, Sword and Shield can only be called ‘good’ Pokémon games… not ‘great’ ones.

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8 / 10.0
Nov 16, 2019

It's a huge step forward for the Pokemon franchise and demonstrates GameFreak's will to change the classic formula. But, in the end, it's not as flawless as we might have hoped.

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3 / 5.0
Nov 21, 2019

Pokémon Sword and Shield have a lot of great ideas and fun creatures, but the stark lack of content, rough performance, and a concerningly large number of minor issues keep them from being the definitive home console Pokémon games that myself and many other fans hoped for.

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6.5 / 10.0
Nov 22, 2019

Pokémon Sword introduces some welcomed features, but the game feels as if it would be more at home on the 3DS, with the dated visuals, lacklustre animations, and a lack of polish that leaves you wishing they had taken more time on the game.

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3.5 / 5.0
Nov 23, 2019

While there’s a huge step forward in regards to player freedom and additional activities for the player to indulge in, it still feels like the more things change, the more they stay the same in places where the formula needs to be shaken up.

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7 / 10
Nov 25, 2019

GOOD - I’ve had a lot of fun with Pokémon Sword exploring the Wild Area and catching fully evolved Pokémon wandering around there. There are plenty of issues and it’s far from perfect. Despite that it’s still enjoyable to jump back into the wonderful world of Pokémon with Arcanine by my side.

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Nov 26, 2019

Pokémon Sword & Shield is a worthy inheritor to the franchise's best traits and a wonderful first step forward into the future with a few stumbles.

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9 / 10.0
Nov 27, 2019

The introduction of the Wild Area, while far from perfect, could be the genesis of something truly ambitious for the franchise. As it stands, even if it relies on old tropes, Sword and Shield improves in the areas that are the most important. There isn’t a better time to embark on an adventure and catch them all once more.

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9 / 10.0
Nov 27, 2019

Ultimately, I think Pokémon Sword and Shield are some of the best games in the franchise. With fun multiplayer features, the ease of setting up a competitive squad for me to play online with fantastic visuals, solid music, and an acceptable story, I think grabbing Sword or Shield is an excellent idea for most Pokémon fans.

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7 / 10
Dec 4, 2019

A mediocre yet strangely compelling game that proves two things: that the Pokémon formula is incredibly strong and that Game Freak needs to rethink how they present their games.

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