Pokemon Sword And Shield Don’t Reuse Models From Earlier Games, Say Developers At Game Freak

Pokemon Sword And Shield Don’t Reuse Models From Earlier Games, Say Developers At Game Freak
Credit: The Pokemon Company

A rumor has been going around that Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will be reusing older graphic models from earlier games. The rumor began to pick up steam after a poorly rendered tree was seen in the background at a Nintendo gameplay reveal during E3. Fans compared the image of the tree to similar trees in other Nintendo Switch titles, like Breath of the Wild, which made the Sword and Shield trees look like something from the Nintendo 64.

Presumably, the rumors about recycled graphics started after Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s “tree-gate” incident. But Game Freak, the development studio behind the two new Pokemon games, has come out to set the record straight. In an interview from last month, Game Freak said Sword and Shield will have no recycled models.

In an interview with the Japanese gaming website, Famitsu, Game Freak developers announced no recycled graphics would be used in either title. The interview was published last month, on the 13th, but apparently didn’t make it into the mainstream news until this week, when the statement was brought into the light by reporters at Polygon.

It is strange that Game Freak never reiterated their remarks in another outlet, especially considering all the fan anger regarding the tree-gate debacle. But maybe that was on purpose.

Maybe tree-gate is worse now knowing the developers did not recycle older models. The level of details for some of the graphic models seen in-game was definitely sub-par; if the developers had used older models, then at least we could understand why they were so low quality. But since they made these from scratch, fans are left wondering—why aren’t they as good as the graphics from similar Switch titles?

With all of that said, maybe most of the fan obsession with tree-gate is a little too obsessive. The rest of the models—the pokemon, the characters, the items, and the buildings—all look great! So who cares if the trees aren’t hyper-realistic within the game. I don’t know anyone who buys games based on whether they have great tree graphics.

Either way, the two games have been anticipated for a long time now. Both games are only the latest installments of the Pokemon series, which stretches back the last twenty years. The two titles will take place in the Galar region, the Great Britain of the Pokemon universe. Last week, Pokemon fans were treated to a never-before-seen ability, Gigantamax, which makes Pokemon gigantic and unlocks unique abilities.

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will be released on November 15, 2019, for the Nintendo Switch.