Pokemon Sword & Shield will offer up some new elements not found in any previous Pokemon games, but much of the core experience remains the same. In an interview with GameCentral, Sword and Shield director Shigeru Ohmori reveals that this is by choice, as the team likes to implement new features in Pokemon games more gradually.
When we try to make big changes in the series we want to do it a bit more gradually. Every time we make a new game we want to change up the formula and do new things but if you do too much all at once then it feels like it might not be a Pokémon game. So we try to implement new things fairly gradually, to try and satisfy some of the requests from fans to try out new things, and if it goes well we would incorporate that in the future. So yeah, I think you could say that the Wild Area is our answer to some of the requests for a more open area, and we’ll continue to do new things gradually, as we progress with the series.