The Isle of Armor, arriving this week as the first of two expansions to Pokémon Sword and Shield, sounds a lot like a new and improved Wild Area. It can be accessed as soon as you’ve reached the original Wild Area in the main games, meaning you won’t have to beat the game’s eight gyms or finish the story to get there.
That’s according to a clarification given by Nintendo’s product marketing specialist Demetrius Boggs to IGN, alongside a brief hands-off preview of the DLC.
Pokémon will also apparently “level scale”, although it’s unsure exactly what this means in practice. You can enter the Isle of Armor with a low level party after first reaching the Wild Area, and the Pokémon there would be at your current level, and likewise opposing trainers’ Pokémon were “around level 60” in the gameplay that was seen. The suggestion is that they’ll at least scale to your party’s level on first entering the area, but it’s not known if they’ll continue to scale as you go – say, if you first entered the DLC with a party of Level 30-somethings which soon levelled up beyond that.