The recent Pokémon Direct gave us our first glimpse at the upcoming Pokémon Sword & Shield for the Nintendo Switch, but we didn't get to see much of the Galar region or its inhabitants.
It seems that at least one of the most beloved features of the Pokémon: Let's Go games has been left behind in Pokémon Sword & Shield, as it appears that you will no longer be followed around on the field map by your partner Pokémon.
The idea of having a Pokémon follow the protagonist around the field map was first used with Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow and was expanded upon with a limited number of Pokémon in Amity Square, which was found in the Sinnoh region. Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver allowed all of the Pokémon in the game to follow you around, including the likes of Arceus, but the feature was dropped from the series until it returned in the Let's Go games.
The Pokémon Let's Go games also showed wild Pokémon on the map and allowed you to avoid them if you wanted to, unlike the random battles used in other games in the series. It seems that Pokémon Sword & Shield will also be abandoning the visible wild Pokémon feature, although that might have something to do with the larger roster of Pokémon that appear in the mainline games over the more limited roster of the Let's Go titles.
All is not lost for fans of seeing Pokémon on the field, as it's still possible that the features were just omitted from the Pokémon Sword & Shield trailer. We only actually saw a handful of characters on the field map in the trailer, including the male & female player character, a female Pokémon trainer, and a Munchlax. The cities and routes also looked conspicuously bare in the trailer, which may mean that the developers purposely removed people and Pokémon from the locations in order to keep some secrets about the Galar region, or they just haven't implemented the features yet.
The Pokémon: Let's Go games received a mixed reception from older Pokémon fans, but they did include some aesthetic and quality of life improvements and the ability to see Pokémon on the field was lauded by most fans, so we're hoping that their absence in the trailer was just an oversight.
Pokémon Sword & Shield will be released for the Nintendo Switch in late 2019.