Pokemon Unite is a new, free-to-play, MOBA-style co-op action game for Switch and mobile platforms.
The game was announced at today's follow-up Pokemon reveal stream. Nintendo and The Pokemon Company have partnered with Tencent, specifically Call of Duty: Mobile developer Timi, to create Pokemon Unite. Pokemon Company CEO Tsunezaku Ishihara described it as a cooperative Pokemon game "that anyone can pick up and enjoy immediately" while also offering long-term depth.
You may think you know Pokémon...but you’ve never seen a battle like this!Experience exciting 5-on-5 matches in #PokemonUNITE, a new strategic team battle game for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices!Here’s your first look at some gameplay footage 👀 ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/mgJLjZYKC7June 24, 2020
On a fundamental level, Pokemon Unite looks like a pretty standard MOBA. Players fight in 5v5 battles on a map separated into lanes. You choose your Pokemon at the start, and you defeat minor enemies to level up and unlock new abilities. However, the game does put a few Pokemon-flavored twists on this formula.
For example, rather than destroying an enemy crystal to win, teams race to defeat and deposit the most Pokemon within a time limit. Each side of the map has five banks for depositing Pokemon, so you're basically farming mobs and then invading the enemy's side to score points. It looks like you earn more points for using banks that are deeper in enemy territory, but the rules aren't totally clear just yet.
As you level up, your Pokemon will not only learn new moves that you can tailor to suit your fighting style (for instance, long-range breath attacks or short-range claw attacks on Charizard), but also evolve. Each evolution brings a bump in stats, and at higher levels you'll unlock Unite Moves which have never been seen in traditional Pokemon games. These seem to function like the ultimate abilities in other MOBAs.
Pokemon Unite doesn't have a release date just yet. When it does eventually launch, it will support full cross-play between Switch, iOS, and Android devices.
In other new Pokemon news, we've got another Pokemon Snap on the way.