We really don’t associate DLC with the Pokémon franchise and there is a good reason for that. There hasn’t been any, up until now. The Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass is the first DLC available in the entire Pokémon series history. The expansion pass includes two bundled DLC additions, the first being The Isle of Armor.
Although The Isle of Armor’s campaign can be finished in three to four hours, there is a fair bit of additional content included. Considering this is the first DLC for any Pokémon game, it’s a step in the right direction.
Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Isle of Armor Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Game Freak
Genre: Role-playing game
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
A brief yet charming story full of colourful characters
The Isle of Armor is a separate story from the main game and takes place on an island just east of Galar. In Pokémon Shield you are greeted by Avery, an up and coming Pokémon Trainer. Sent out by the dojo to meet and greet new students, Avery quickly becomes insecure as she learns how powerful you really are.
In fact, she goes as far as to try and send you back home. It’s clear, she is jealous of your strength and doesn’t want to be the star of the show. Eventually you make your way to the Master Dojo and meet the other students and Mustard, the master of the dojo. It’s here where you learn of the series of challenges that await you on The Isle of Armor in preparation for the ultimate battle.
If you bought the Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass and were hoping for a substantial story in The Isle of Armor, you’re probably going to be dissapointed. As I mentioned earlier, the campaign in this fist DLC is fairly short. It can be easily completed in just a few hours. Although, there are some side missions that you can complete that will add a little bit more time to your overall adventure.
Chock full of content
What The Isle of Armor lacks in a story, it makes up for in content. In this first of two DLC expansions, a little more than 100 Pokémon have been added. While they aren’t necessarily new, there are a good amount of Legendary Pokémon from previous games that make their return.
And, for those that do not purchase the expansion pass, a free update will be made available that includes these Pokémon. Gamers can obtain these Pokémon via trades or through Pokémon Home. However, only those that purchase the expansion pass will encounter these returning Pokemon in the wild. The clothing options for your character have been expanded as well. And, you can even change the look of your bike outfit. Thank goodness!
You can also obtain Alolan versions of some Pokémon by finding all 150 Digletts on the island. Moreover, once you have caught all of the newly added Pokémon, you can upgrade and expand the facilities at the Master Dojo. And, there is a craftic mechanic in The Isle of Armor known as the Cram-o-matic. If you’ve got the right recipe, you can transform items such as acorns into Pokeballs and more.
New environments not seen in the Galar region
If you’ve played Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield, you pretty know what to expect with The Isle of Armor. Graphically, there isn’t anything new added to or enhanced in the DLC. However, I did notice that new animations have been added to some Pokémon and the new characters. It’s a nice like addition, that fans will instantly notice.
The Isle of Armor offers more diverse areas to explore than the base game. You’ll travel through forests, wetlands, beaches, deserts, dark caves, caverns and tunnels. Moreover, each of the areas are quite large in size.
What The Isle of Armor lacks in story, it makes up for in content
For being the first piece of DLC for a Pokémon game and the Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass, The Isle of Armor is fairly decent. I have to admit, I was really hoping for a longer narrative. Although, that might be something we get later this year when the second piece of DLC, The Crown of Tundra releases.
Narrative aside, there is quite a bit of other content included that will make fans smile. There are plenty of new Pokémon to catch, a whole slew of new clothing options, new items, and a crafting mechanic. I never got tired of exploring The Isle of Armor, there was always something to see and do no matter where I went.
Now that I have completed The Isle of Armor, I have even higher hopes for The Crown of Tundra in November. It’s great to see the Pokémon franchise adapting and evolving not only in gameplay but in content as well.
+ Over 100 additional Pokémon to catch
+ New Pokemon and character animations added
+ Interesting new characters to meet
+ Charming story
+ New clothing options and a new crafting mechanic
– Relativity short campaign mode
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF POKEMON SWORD & SHIELD THE ISLE OF ARMOR
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3/5
Overall Rating 3.75/5 (75%)
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