It’s finally happening! After so many years of waiting, Game Freak is creating an open-world Pokémon video game. There has always been a push from fans for an open-world version of the franchise, but Game Freak seemed keen to stick with their winning formula. Nevertheless, Sword & Shield’s Wild Area was a showcase for a potential change to future games. Once Game Freak introduced the multiplayer world map, many hoped for the next evolution of the franchise. Well, it’s here with Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
Here’s the premise:
“As trainers explore the natural expanses in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, they’ll encounter Pokémon that call these grand vistas home. To catch wild Pokémon, players can study the Pokémon’s behaviors, sneak up to them, then throw poké balls. Players can also battle wild Pokémon with their ally Pokémon. By throwing the Poké Ball holding their ally Pokémon near a wild Pokémon, players will seamlessly enter battle. This new gameplay angle is intended to provide trainers with an immersive experience.”
Continue reading for some in-depth information about the game.
Pokémon Legends will innovate the series
Game Freak is breaking tradition. No more will hopeful trainers traverse a linear world to win a league. Instead, our journey will take us to a bygone era of the Sinnoh Region, the area that Pokémon Diamond and Pearl introduced. We will explore the Feudal Sinnoh Region’s vastness without the burden of ideas like becoming a Trainer. It’s all about exploration and research for the sake of compiling data for the Sinnoh Region’s first Pokédex!
Legends wouldn’t be a Pokémon game without catching and battling. Rest assured, these mechanics are intact but redone for the open-world format. Fans will see the first iteration of Sinnoh’s Poké Ball; It’s made of wood and steam puffs from the top when successfully catching Pokémon. As expected, players can throw their Poké Ball to summon their ally.
Battles in Pokémon resemble the battles of old, but initiating the fight is different. This time, we start combat by throwing the ball near free-roaming Pokémon, which causes us to enter the battle seamlessly. At that point, we’re able to choose the abilities that our ally knows in hopes of weakening a wild one.
Who are the characters?
The two protagonists that Game Freak showed off are unnamed. There is little information about them besides the fact they are the explorers we will control. Likely, players will choose one of them at the beginning of the game. It’s my sincere hope that as development gets further along, we will be able to customize the characters. Then again, Game Freak may not let us. The two feature characters may be pre-determined to fit in with the narrative.
Who are the Starter Pokémon?
Every iteration of Pokémon introduces new starters to choose. In Legends, a mysterious traveling professor captures Pokémon from other regions and brings them to Sinnoh. Our potential starting allies are Rowlet (Alola Region), Cyndaquil (Johto Region), and Oshawott (Unova Region).
What role will Arceus play?
Arceus is the Pokémon, known as “The Original One,” that is said to have created all there is within the ‘Mon Universe. Mainly, it’s believed Arceus created Sinnoh, which is why it will connect to our journey. However, Game Freak has not revealed the depth of Arceus’s role yet. The creation ‘deity’ is part of Pokémon Legend’s greater mystery.
Evil “Teams” are absent so far
Villainous teams such as Team Rocket, Team Magma, and others don’t seem to be in Legends. Of course, it’s too early to tell what’s truly going on in the story. Still, the story is building lore from an ancient era. An evil team may rise, but the game’s focal point seems to be before ‘teams,’ ‘trainers,’ and ‘battles’ became everyone’s reason for catching Pokémon.
Lately, Game Freak has broken the ‘Team’ trend for business conglomerates like Macro Cosmos. They will likely create a fitting antagonistic group within the lore of the game. If they’re going all-in on the Feudal Japan similarities, perhaps we’ll deal with a Warlord? There’s bound to be someone attempting to exploit the players and the Pokémon, especially Arceus.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus Rumors
The internet is full of ‘leaked’ images and information for the latest entry in the franchise. How true the rumors are remains to be seen, but I’d like to talk about a few of them. Don’t expect me to share the leaked imagery.
Rumor 1: Revamped Traversal System
Trainers have been able to use their Pokémon for travel purposes for a long time. We are used to utilizing Fly to quick travel, cut to slice down trees, and other moves. In Legends, Pokémon may allegedly glide us through the air (Like Breath of the Wild’s Paraglider), climb mountains, and players may even ride their Pokémon while traversing grassy plains.
Rumor 2: The Battle System might not be the same
Another supposed ‘leak’ shows that the turn-based battle system may not return as it has been in older games. Dexerto covered this leak and showed that the battle system might shift to an Active Time Battle (ATB) model.
For those unfamiliar with an ATB system, Final Fantasy games utilized it a lot. In JRPGs, ATB systems stick to a turn-based philosophy but take speed stats into account. The ATB bar fills up gradually as each character and enemy acts, and once it’s full, that character may execute a command. The official screenshot for the battle system does not display an ATB bar, so take this (as with any rumor) with a grain of salt.
Rumor 3: Ancient Sinnoh Evolutions and Forms?
The last rumor is one I don’t buy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t pan out – I’m not sure where it started, just so everyone is aware.
Allegedly, Pokémon could have ancient forms of well-known ‘mon. The series has introduced the concept of Mega Evolutions and regional forms. There is a chance that hundreds of years ago, evolutionary forms existed that eventually disappeared. It’s doubtful that recent trends from the established series will make it into Legends. So, Game Freak’s only option seems to be to create unique variations for Feudal Sinnoh.
Now, we wait!
So far, those are the only details and rumors I have come across. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is shaping up to be unlike any other Pokémon game in existence. Game Freak can’t hide that the game looks rough right now. The reveal trailer showed how laggy the early build for the game is, dropping frames left and right. I don’t doubt that Game Freak will polish and optimize the game accordingly. If they need to delay the game, they should.
Legends can pave the way for a wave of new Pokémon entries that could dive deep into the Universe’s lore. I wish Game Freak nothing but success!
Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases in early 2022 on the Nintendo Switch!