So, as we’d reported, someone’s gotten their Covet on and shared a build of Pokemon Unite to the wild. I won’t be sharing any direct footage here since they’re all heavily watermarked and potentially subject to change, but what I can do is share a rough experience of what you can expect when the full build arrives. I choose you, me!
The game hasn’t changed at all in the least since its initial reveal looks wise: you still have the three lane map, with the home base at either end, and along the top and bottom lanes are the goal areas in which you score. I’m pretty sure the models are taken from the mainline games, so nothing particularly groundbreaking there. The left side is purple, then the right is orange.
There’s slight customization available for your trainer, where you can choose from a preset of appearances. I really hope they will be changing the darker skin tones in the future because they look so ashen. The tutorial NPCs are done with the traditional 2D art sprites, which is fine. Your Pokemon can get “Holowear” which is basically the fancy term for skins. I gave my Talonflame a dumb beret and I love him.
The layout is pretty clean and for the most part, it’s easy to see the action until it gets more hectic of course. Your Pokemon’s attack range will be highlighted with a light blue colour, be it for your auto attacks, skills or Unite Move (ultimate, basically). Enemy attacks will be indicated with a red aura, showing their area of effect.
Due to it being a mobile title, I do think there are certain UI elements that are hard to see: the level of your Pokemon is pretty small, and the bar around that number indicating your next level up even smaller.
Now this is the meat of the impressions. As promised, you smack around wild Pokemon you find along the lanes and in the familiar “jungle” areas to get this thing called “Aeos Energy”. The numbers above their head represent how much energy they’ll give you. You can also sucker punch your opponents for energy with which to score. There are also the jungle Pokemon with auras, but these aren’t explained if you just dive right into the game.
You’ll be sped up as you get closer to your own base, and slowed down when you get to the enemy’s. Pokemon can evolve at certain levels, some like Charmander going up to Charizard, while Slowpoke just goes up to Slowbro. As you level, you can also pick an upgraded skill besides learning your Unite Move, which can change how you play as they do have different effects or ranges depending on what you chose.
When you successfully deposit the energy you’re carrying, you’ll be Invincible as the animation plays out. If you want to interrupt the enemy, you’ll have to do it before then. A goal area will have a total of 80 HP to start, increasing as you get further into the lane, so just dunk in the energy in there to destroy it and push the enemy back. As the match plays out, you can fight Zapdos (in the beta) to make it easier for your team to score. It’s just your Roshan equivalent, or whichever MOBA you play.
Controls are… not very good, movement wise. I guess this is just standard of MOBAs, or it’s a me thing as I don’t enjoy using a virtual joystick. Otherwise, there’s no issue with the whole tapping of skills.
The Pokemon have their own roles too, of course, like a Support, Speedster, or Defense as examples. You can get more of the Pokemon through the shop as you might expect, as a “battle license”. The monetization system is pretty obvious: purchase new Pokemon, or their skins.
Matches will run 10 minutes.
As for other aspects of the game, yes, there is a log in bonus, and there’s level up bonuses as you raise your Trainer level. There should be a “proper” battle pass in the future too.
While simple, I can see the potential in the game. There has to be certain tech when it comes to optimizing strategies and builds for those who want to play the game competitively. The kind of “easy to get into, hard to master” kind of game. I kind of wonder if there should be ways for you to recover the HP of your partially damaged goals, as if games are going to take 10 minutes max anyway, people could try to decide between defending or attacking. Food for thought.
After about 30 minutes, I felt my Poco F1 start burning up, so that’s also something to watch out for should you play the full release.
All in all, it’ll be good for some quick fun matches on the go. I’ll leave the competitive to someone else.