• "Pokemon Unite" has been announced as a strategic, team-based battle game featuring Pokemon characters 
  • Similar in vein to "League of Legends" and "Dota 2," the game will have teams of five choosing a Pokemon attempting to score the most points by gaining control over a playable area
  • With two teams of five Pokemon each, the team battles in "Pokemon Unite" will feature the most Pokemon seen in a single battle to date

The Pokemon Company and Tencent are bringing Pikachu, Charizard, Squirtle, and company into a team battle setting with the newly announced “Pokemon Unite.”

Inverse reports that speculation was rampant that a completely new main “Pokemon” game was going to be announced or even a “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” character from the Pokedex was about to become available but instead, something that promises to be more interesting was revealed. Pokemon is going MOBA.

The gameplay shown at their June 24 presentation clearly indicates that “Pokemon Unite” will be a MOBA, a multiplayer online battle arena game, along the lines of “League of Legends.” That means this will be a real-time strategy game where teams of players compete against each other to capture or destroy specific places on a map while in direct combat alongside AI-controlled opponents.

Similar to how “League of Legends” and “DOTA 2” are run, “Pokemon Unite” will have teams of five choosing a Pokemon attempting to score the most points by gaining control over a playable area. Given that this is still a Pokemon game, players will have to catch wild Pokemon and battle other players scattered across the map to level up your team.

In battle, each Pokemon will have several recognizable moves and one powerful and special “Unite Move.” “Pokemon Unite” apparently won’t have type advantages like other typical Pokemon games so fights will be more about tactics and strategy instead of advantages due to a team’s composition.

Expect classic Pokemon to be present in “Pokemon Unite” as the trailer shows Pikachu, Charizard, Venusaur, Blastoise, Snorlax, and others are playable. Since the game has an evolution mechanic, expect the pre-evolved and post-evolved versions of the previously mentioned Pokemon to be on tap as well.

Although MOBAs generally thrive on the PC, the presentation doesn’t state that “Pokemon Unite” will be on that platform. Instead, Inverse notes that the game will be on the Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS-compatible devices. With a game interface that seems best experienced with a touch screen, this free-to-play game seems poised to thrive on those devices, particularly the handheld mode of the Switch.

A cross-play feature between the mobile versions of “Pokemon Unite” and the Switch could open up the battles even more though, allowing more players to join battles and campaigns with relative ease. Since there’s an “in-app purchases available” disclaimer in the trailer, microtransactions like upgrades and similar things will be available in “Pokemon Unite.”

'Pokémon Sword and Shield' won't feature all Pokemon from all generations. st_visualization / Pixabay