The Isle of Armor, the first-ever DLC for Pokemon is now out bringing a ton of content to Pokemon Sword and Shield. Everything that Isle of Armor brings to the table is optional content. But is it worth your money?
After all, every Pokemon that has been reintroduced through The Isle of Armor can be imported from Pokemon Bank. Players will also be able to trade these Pokemon regardless if they have the DLC or not. Game Freak did this to make sure no one felt like they had to buy the DLC to play the game. So why should you get the DLC if you can access these Pokemon? Let’s find out as I give you my review on The Isle of Armor.
First, I will mention the storyline which takes you through the Isle of Armor, while also introducing the new mechanics the isle has. Just make sure you have a team of trained Pokemon before starting, though. The trainers will have Pokemon that are level 60 or higher, and all the wild Pokemon are level 60 as well. A lot of players thought the levels would scale to your party, but this is not the case. So be prepared for some tough fights!
The story itself is nicely put together and introduces many new characters. I do not want to spoil anything about the story, so I will leave that for you to explore.
The Isle of Armor is surprisingly huge and all of it is an open wild area. Unlike the wild area in the main game, which is just one huge plain, this wild area has more diverse terrain. There are complex caves that have winding tunnels, and there are ramps inside them going up to the mountain area.
Other areas are a windy forest you can get lost in, an open desert, and expansive seas around the island. Plus there are miniature islands you can go to within the sea. These are just a few of the many places you can explore.
And in all these areas, you can see new Pokemon walking around, and some of them will chase you down. One of the best parts of the wild area is getting chased down by overly aggressive Sharpedos in the sea. It really shows you how accurate Sharpedo’s Pokedex entry is.
This island would not be complete without its berry trees, and there are a lot of them. The berry trees on the Isle of Armor are not like the ones you have seen so far. These trees have a chance to drop various colors of Apricorns. That’s right, Apricorns are back, which means players can finally make their own Apricorn Pokeballs. Before you could only get one of each Apricorn Pokeball from the Pokeball guy, or grind the Pokemon League and hope you would get one.
Now you can make your own Apricorn balls. The reason these are so popular is because of how these Pokeballs look, and the unique animations they have when sending out a Pokemon.
To create Apricorn Pokeballs, you combine Apricorns of the same color, or different colors, in the Cram-o-matic. You can find the Cram-o-matic in the Dojo. There is still an element of RNG though, as Apricorns can make more than one type of Pokeball. It is possible to end up with a Dusk Ball or Great Ball even if you do the correct Apricorn combination.
The Cram-o-matic is useful for more than just Apricorn Pokeballs. You can combine nearly anything in your bags together. Doing this can get you items you want – such as Rare Candy, Life Orbs, and much more – creating a fun mystery box by combining items to see what will pop out.
By far the best feature in Isle of Armor was kept a secret from everybody. We finally have something that Pokemon players have always wanted, and nobody saw it coming: the first Pokemon in your party will follow you in the wild area, outside of its Pokeball. This is something players have loved since the mechanic was introduced in Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold.
Not only does your Pokemon follow you, but if it is a shiny Pokemon you will have the shiny model following you, which shows us that it’s possible to make overworld Pokemon that are shiny.
Each Pokemon has unique walking and running animations. Depending on the Pokemon, some will have a much harder time keeping up with you than others.
But what about if you go in the water, will your Pokemon still follow you? Well, if a Pokemon cannot swim or fly it will not follow you into the water, but if they can they will. Yes, Game Freak did not forget about these Pokemon. Pokemon that swim will even sink into the water and swim, not just float above the water.
One of my favorite animations so far is Charizard. Charizard will fly after you, and land when he catches up so he can walk with you. Feel free to experiment with different Pokemon yourself and find your favorite travel buddy!
The Isle of Armor DLC for Pokemon brought a lot more into the game than I was expecting. This means the upcoming The Crown Tundra DLC has a lot of potential.
All the Pokemon brought back in The Isle of Armor are also going to shake up the competitive scene, along with the tutor moves, and new Gigantamax forms. Expect to see a lot of crazy teams on the online ladders soon, as a lot of old threats – such as Amoonguss – have returned.
Game Freak has done a good job to bring excitement back into the game and help players feel new experiences. Hopefully they can do the same with The Crown Tundra!