It's not an upgrade at all, even graphically.
Sun and Moon looked better than this. ORAS looked better than this. Every DS/GBA instalment looked better than this. The Let's Go games looked better than this.
Scaling is fucked too, look how tiny Snorlax and Wailord are. Wailord's supposed to be 48'10", the second largest Pokemon there is. It's dwarfed by a 10 year-old.
Climbing ladders freezes all characters in the overworld. This is more than broken, it's advanced broken.
The scaling I'll guve you but that problem isn't exclusive to Sword and Shield. It was in Sun and Moon as well.
Graphically it is on par with Lets Go but has a different art style. However the battle areans do look bland, but again that is true of most games. The exception is Let Go.