The Isle of Armor is a rocky start to the Sword and Shield Expansion Pass.
When an expansion pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield was announced, I was apprehensive, to say the least. The franchise hasn’t really dabbled with downloadable content compared to other triple-A games. Alas, I threw those skepticisms out of the window and bought it the day of the announcement. This meant that buying the series traditional ‘sequel game’ was unnecessary. The Isle of Armor is the first of two expansions for Sword and Shield, and unfortunately, it ended up being disappointing. Although there are some things that I inherently enjoyed about The Isle of Armor, it felt underwhelming for a paid DLC.
The Isle of Armor starts off with you meeting your rival. Depending on which version you chose, you’ll encounter Klara in Pokémon Sword or Avery in Pokémon Shield. In my experience, I was playing Sword so Klara was my rival for this adventure. At first, I found her character to be quite interesting. She is driven by competitiveness and goes to extreme lengths to try and win against you. Her character arc is quite minimal though and could have benefited from more screen time. After battling her a couple of times she just kinda fades to the background. It is a shame really, considering she had potential to be an interesting rival character.
The main premise of this first batch of content is training at a Dojo. Mustard, an old man is your mentor and sets you off on some trials. Once you prove yourself, you are gifted the legendary Pokémon Kubfu, and you travel across the Isle to raise your friendship with your new companion. This is where a bunch of grinding takes place, Kubfu is level 10 and you are expected to raise it to level 70 before the main challenge begins. Two towers stand on the Isle, and this determines the form Kubfu takes upon evolution. Despite its easiness, only being able to use Kubfu for five battles is actually one of the best moments of this DLC.
Once you beat this challenge, you go hunting for something that’ll allow your newly evolved Kubfu to Gigantamax. All that’s left is one more battle against Mustard, where you can use your new ability to defeat him. And yep, that’s where it ends. There isn’t a whole lot of content within the Isle of Armor. There is a small post-game battle mode where you can only use Pokémon of a specific typing. I find this to be the best feature of this DLC, it’s like you’re actually a gym leader!
Lasting a little under 3-4 hours, the Isle of Armor didn’t really provide anything special. It feels like cut post-game content which is a shame really. The returning Pokémon are great, but they shouldn’t have been cut from the base game in the first place. From playing this first expansion, it is clear that they’re saving the bigger content for the second installment. This small adventure wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. If you’re a fan of the game and want more content it’s fine enough but with little excitement.
What do you think of The Isle of Armor? Tell us below!
Pokémon: Sword and Shield - The Isle of Armor [Switch]