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Pokémon-with-guns game Palworld delayed to 2024, here’s more of its violence

Gotta kill ’em all!

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Palworld, the game that dares to ask “What if Pokémon could carry guns, and you fought giant Pokémon like a game of Monster Hunter, and oh, do you want Link’s paraglider from Breath of the Wild, too?”, won’t be out this year as previously planned. Instead, expect Palworld to hit Steam Early Access in January 2024, developer Pocketpair announced Thursday.

The delay of Palworld came alongside a new trailer for the open-world creature-collecting game. That trailer showed off a variety of Pals — the game’s version of Pokémon — accompanying the player on their journey, generally being cute, manufacturing assault rifles, and battling each other in frenzied firefights. Players will ride on the backs of Pals over land, sea, and sky. They’ll raise them, put them to work, even slaughter them for food. Game Freak would never!

Palworld’s latest trailer also shows off some of the evil but attractive human opponents players will face, Pocketpair’s equivalent to Pokémon Trainers. Palworld even calls them trainers! Some of the bigger, more explosive battles appear to be against high-level Pals controlled by these folks. They’ll require guns or missile launchers, and a well-trained Pal, to take down.

Palworld will be playable solo or in multiplayer for up to eight players, according to Pocketpair. The developer promises online battles, so you can live out your Pokémon war fantasies.

When Palworld launches next year, it will attempt to grant the wishes of many longtime Pokémon fans, pairing fantasy creature raising and evolution with online multiplayer on PC. Whether Palworld’s kitchen-sink approach to targeting the older, PC-gaming Pokémon crowd will be successful remains to be seen, but we’ll find out in January.

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