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I didn’t care about Palworld until the launch trailer changed my mind Dot Esports

Palworld’s early access is finally here, and developer Pocketpair has dropped a launch trailer to mark the occasion. While many were already won over by its premise of Pokémon with guns, this trailer may be what convinces me to check it out for myself.

Aside from looking visually impressive, with the cartoony Pals and semi-realistic environments making for a fun juxtaposition, the launch trailer perhaps best demonstrates what Palworld is really about. Rather than the Pokémon formula, it’s more akin to Monster Hunter with how you engage monsters in real-time action while fighting alongside the Pals you’ve caught. It makes for far more dynamic gameplay, and while I enjoy Pokémon‘s turn-based combat, seeing Palworld go in the opposite direction makes it more interesting than if it just did the same thing.

This is also the first time I’ve properly seen the wide variety of Pals you can collect, and there are some fun and striking designs, ranging from cute and cuddly to just plain cool-looking.

The Pokémon influences are obvious but feel wholly original to the world of Palworld rather than weird knock-offs. Plus, for all the talk of how Pals can die and be tasked with unpaid labor, the little touch of seeing the player character gently pet their Pals and build a community alongside them shows Palworld isn’t afraid to embrace its softer side. Like in Pokémon, you can view these creatures you capture as your pets/friends. If anything, that makes the threat of actual death even greater.

I also like the look of what I’m presuming to be a gang of rivals who’ll impede you in your journey, all of whom hopefully have personalities as strong as their designs. Ideally, they’ll be tied to an interesting story, too, beyond “catch all the Pals and be the very best.” Ultimately, as far as Pokémon lookalikes go, Palworld just may be one of the better ones. I don’t think it’s the Pokémon killer some no doubt hope it will be, but if it can get a diehard Pokémon fan like me interested, it’s clearly doing something right.

Michael Beckwith

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