Expansion; the most ambitious DLC of the set, packed with content and new features. Pokémon is in a particularly special moment, one marked by experimentation in what is now its third generation in three dimensions.
The farewell of White 2 and Black 2 in Unova in style in 2012 gave way to 3D, that started in Kalos and continued in a tropical Alola. Nintendo Switch now places us in Galar in Pokémon Sword and Shield, a region that, for the first time in these twenty-four years of history, has been complemented with an injection of life, an expansion pass, instead of a vitaminized edition; It is time to tell you about the second part, Las Nieves de la Corona, after a digital meeting that MeriStation has been able to attend.
After a remarkable Isle of Armor – focused on combat and individual self-improvement – this new DLC included in the Expansion Pass shakes hands with cooperation, dons a raincoat and uses good fanservice to give us much more territory large, versatile in ecosystems and equipped with a gameplay with cooperative adventures that culminate in the confrontation of a legendary Pokémon. How many? Everybody. Nobody is missing here.
A territory that inherits the best of the Isle of Armor
First of all, it is necessary to answer this question, what is Las Nieves de la Corona and what does it add to the experience of Sword and Shield? Broadly speaking, a second area located south of Galar where everything is completely snowed. New mysteries, new areas to explore and a new story to complete; this time with greater emphasis on exploration and Legendary species, which hide surprises in the Dynamax phenomenon.
In this freezing area where winter mountains abound, the inhabitants live in small communities and help each other. One of them, Peony, will introduce us to what is happening in Las Nieves de la Corona, will give us that warm orange uniform and … the adventure will begin, which we will talk about in depth soon in our analysis. And yes, it is possible to access this area without completing Sword and Shield, just visit the three station of Pueblo Par; as with the Isle of Armor. Also, the level of the wild Pokémon will be adapted to ours so that the progression system is not broken, although we were not told the limit of that level.
In this test session, Nintendo presented a breakdown of what we are going to find. For those who might have doubts about whether this second part of the Expansion Pass will be more or less concise than the Isle of Armor, the answer was very clear: “It is a much larger territory”, with more biomes; not just snow, which is the common denominator in most areas of this unexplored place. In fact, it is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, from which we hope to identify reminiscences of its nature. One of them, the high mountains and the contrast in the same territory of ice, water and mountains. The verticality of the stage is total, inheriting the lines of stage design that we liked so much on the Isle of Armor; here the Wild Area is kept for the entire map and that is appreciated.
From all the material that we have been able to see, we want to highlight the abundance of pine trees and how the use of snow has been combined with areas of frozen water. It is not just an environmental element, but the wild species we encounter will be in line with those guidelines. This is something that Game Freak already declared last June: the hundred new creatures on the Isle of Armor – the same for The Snows of the Crown – were going to be a selection made to measure to make sense of the environment. The result of these well-structured environments in the form of the Wilderness Area ceases to be promising to become a real element of the Japanese company’s set design policy. If in Galar we had a timid approach to that area in the open world, throughout this Expansion Pass we have found open routes, free camera, changes in inclination, verticality and, ultimately, a desire to explore. We hope this is the future of the series from now on, because it is a future that we would love to continue.