Revealed at Summer Game Fest, Palworld is essentially Pokémon with guns, and the similarities with GameFreak’s creations are startling.
We get that the idea of collecting little monsters is fair game, and we’ve seen our fair share of titles that have copied liberally from the Pokémon playbook over the years, like Cassette Beasts, TemTem and Ooblets. But those games have all put an original spin on the idea, and come up with their own unique monster designs.
The monsters in Palworld, on the other hand, are barely distinguishable from the ones created by The Pokémon Company. The trailer was revealed last night at Summer Game Fest, and we found ourselves constantly doing double takes. Was that a Lapras with a missile launcher?
It was a bizarre 60 seconds indeed. How utterly bewildering to see Aldi knock-offs of familiar pocket monsters wielding machine guns. It feels like some sort of fan mod, yet somehow it’s a real game made by a real studio, and it’s entering Early Access in January 2024.
Let’s take a closer look at the monsters from the Palworld trailer and align them with their equivalents from the Pokémon bestiary.
First up – that’s definitely Eevee with blue fur, right? It’s not just our imaginations, is it?
And that’s got to be a Gyrados, right?
Is that Electabuzz with a machine gun?
Shaymin, is that you?
This Wooloo seems more violent than usual.
Lapras? Why are you holding that missile launcher?
SURELY that’s got to be a Latios. Surely.
There are loads more monsters in the trailer with striking similarities to familiar Pokémon, but you get the idea. It will be interesting to see what The Pokémon Company’s lawyers have to say about all this – or whether, like all those overly familiar Aldi products, they’re just different enough to get away with it.
Palworld is being developed by Japanese studio Pocket Pair, and will launch into Early Access on Steam in January 2024.