When Pokémon GO was announced last September, the amazing trailer promised a game more ambitious than what launched last week. Here's that trailer, which has been watched a whopping 28 million times:
The Pokémon GO that just launched delivers on the basic premise of going into the world and catching Pokémon . What's missing are key features that we've come to expect from Pokémon games, stuff the trailer promised, too.
We've asked the game's developer, Niantic, about these changes but have yet to hear back.
Where Is Trading?
There's no trading in Pokémon GO right now.
In traditional Pokémon games, you virtually travel to different parts of the world to collect new creatures. In Pokémon GO, that's complicated by the fact that you have to physically travel to accomplish the same task. Sure, hatching eggs is one way to more conveniently expand your Pokédex, but at that pace, you might need to become a marathon runner to pull it off.
Trading is eventually coming to Pokémon GO, thankfully.
"It's kind of a core element," said Niantic CEO John Hanke in an interview with Tech Insider.
As of right now, however, there's no timeline for trading being added.
How Come The Pokémon Don't Do Very Much?
Here's what the trailer promised:
Those Pokémon look cool as heck -- big, dynamic, fully animated.
Here's what Pokémon GO actually looks like:
Image Credit: MoreAliA
Cool, yes, but not quite as cool. Thankfully, the developer told Tech Insider that it's a "great first step" they intend to improve upon.
Where Are Player vs Player Fights?
Combat is limited in Pokémon GO right now; players can only fight it out using gyms tied to various landmarks. Though you are fighting Pokémon left behind by other players, it's not a real-time battle between players.
The trailer, however, suggests something like that. It's unlikely Pokémon GO will adopt the same mechanical depth as Pokémon Sun and Moon later this year, but there's room to grow.
"The multiplayer aspect is still something we're exploring, we're still trying to figure out what's the best way to do that" Niantic head of product marketing Archit Bhargava told GameSpot. "So far we've learned that multiplayer battles are a lot of fun. When two people from different teams show up at a rival gym, if they collaborate and both have their Pokémon deployed to battle at the same time, they can take down a stronger gym faster."
(I saw a group of kids doing exactly this at a park near me last night.)
Bhargava said the community would help shape where multiplayer goes. It's possible that player vs player combat simply wasn't ready in time for the game's release date, but it seems like we can expect more eventually.
But again, like trading, there's no release date for expanded multiplayer.
Where Are Group Battles?
The most exciting part of the Pokémon GO trailer, one that still gives me chills, is when thousands gathered in New York's Times Square to collectively pitch their most powerful Pokémon at the powerful Mewtwo.
There's nothing like that in the game that's playable right now. There is an item called the "lure", which temporarily summons Pokémon to where you're currently located. This impacts other players around you, too!
Unfortunately, it's only about catching Pokémon, not fighting them.
It's not clear when -- or if -- we'll see something like this implemented.