Every generation of main-series Pokémon games brings something new to the table — a slew of regional Pokémon to add to your team, fresh faces in the gyms and Elite Four, and sometimes innovative elements and style changes like Pokémon Sword and Shield‘s Wild Areas and Dynamaxing. But from what we’ve seen so far, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set to deviate from the standard Pokémon game mold and give players an entirely unique Pokémon training experience.
Set for an early 2022 release, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is being pitched as a “new approach for the Pokémon video game series.” Players will be returning to the Sinnoh region from the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl games, but long before the events of those titles. Borrowing elements from Nintendo’s ultra-popular Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game appears to be an open-world adventure with more opportunities for exploration than past Pokémon titles.
While official details for the game are limited to an announcement trailer and a few additional notes from Nintendo, there’s a lot to unpack and plenty of interesting fan speculation on what this new Pokémon adventure will look like. Here’s everything we know about Pokémon Legends: Arceus so far.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released on January 28, 2022.
This will just a couple months after Nintendo releases Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl on November 19, making for a very exciting combination of releases for Pokémon trainers.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
The only info we have on Pokémon Legends: Arceus is from a two-minute announcement trailer for the game released on February 26, 2021.
The trailer kicks off with a narrator explaining that the events of Pokémon Legends: Arceus take place “a long, long time ago when the Sinnoh region was still only a vast wilderness.” Cut to a Breath of the Wild-style scenic view and wild Pokémon roaming the landscape uninhibited, much like they do in New Pokémon Snap.
It appears that catching wild Pokémon is going to look very different — players will be able to hunt packs of Pokémon down from a third-person perspective and throw Pokéballs at potential catches in real time as opposed to the turn-based battling sequences in other installments. It looks like battles with wild Pokémon will take place without jetting to a separate battle screen as well.
Instead of a new trio of starter Pokémon like the average game kickoff, it looks like the starters in Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be a mix of starters from previous generations — Rowlet, Cyndaquil, or Oshawott will be this game’s starters.
At the end of the trailer, the book the narrator is reading from is closed. Our view is filled with smoke for a moment before revealing the mythical Pokémon Arceus. End scene.
With previous Pokémon installments, we’ve been able to successfully assume what the plot will look like — you start off in a small town and build your Pokémon squad as you take on the gym leader challenge and eventually the Elite Four while fighting some sort of criminal organization, your rival, and plenty of trainers in between.
We know that the game will revolve around creating the region’s first Pokédex, a task likely given to you by a yet-to-be-named Pokémon professor. Will there be any sort of gym challenge? We’re not sure.
From previously established Pokémon lore, we know that Arceus is thought to have created the Sinnoh region and possibly the entire Pokémon world; the lake guardians Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit; and the creation trio Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. It is thought to be one of the oldest Pokémon around. Where we fit into Arceus’ timeline in this game is completely unclear, but we’re very excited to find out.
While the term “open world” hasn’t been used to describe the game in any official capacity, it sure looks like it will be, meaning more exploration and freedom than any previous Pokémon title.
There are no clear glimpses of multiplayer action in the announcement trailer, but every single main series Pokémon game so far has had the option for battling and trading with friends. We’re going to assume that Pokémon Legends: Arceus will include multiplayer action.
Usually, there are two versions of a game in every generation, and trading Pokémon with other players was essential to filling out your Pokédex.
While there wasn’t anything included in the trailer that looks like the Wild Area from Pokémon Sword and Shield where players could mix, mingle, trade, and battle with ease, we’re hoping that there are similar elements built into this new game.
There’s no word on DLC content yet since the game isn’t close to being released. Of course, Pokémon Sword and Shield saw two DLC expansions in The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. These introduced players to new areas within the region, gave them access to new wild Pokémon, and unlocked cool multiplayer options.
You can pre-order Pokémon Legends: Arceus from several retailers. There hasn’t been any sort of bonus content announced for pre-ordering the game, but that could change as the release date draws near.
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