Pokemon Legends Arceus

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield took an interesting approach to the time-tested formula by giving us the Wild Area — a huge field where we could wander around, explore, catch Pokémon, and battle Gigantamax forms of Pokémon for hours and hours.

Of course, the rest of Sword/Shield played out like your classic Pokémon game, with narrow routes between hub villages where the little critters lurked. But the Wild Area gave us just a taste of what an open-world Pokemon game might feel like, and it was thrilling.

Pokémon Legends Arceus, announced at today’s 25th Anniversary Pokémon Direct, looks to expand the Wild Area concept into a full game. I’ve been seeing a whole lot of folks referring to this as an open-world Pokémon game, and I can totally see why. (I should point out that the term open-world was being used to describe Sword/Shield, but there was some caution in the way it was being applied. Many outlets were referring to the game’s “open-world area” rather than saying it was an “open-world game.”)

I think I’m generally a little hesitant to use the term open-world in games that are kind-of-open-world-but-maybe-not-entirely, so I’m not sure I’m ready to fully commit to the term here. Still, this does look like it might count.

Pokémon Legends Arceus takes place in the Sinnoh region, which is the same setting as Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl (which are getting remakes this year). Only this is an ancient version of the setting rather than a modern one, and it tasks you with creating the first ever Pokédex.

Pokemon Legends Arceus

Your available starters this time around are Cyndaquil (a Fire-type that was introduced in Pokémon Gold/Silver), Rowlet (a Grass-type that was introduced in Pokémon Sun/Moon), and Oshawott (a Water-type introduced in Pokémon Black/White).

I suppose it really doesn’t matter whether Pokémon Legends Arceus is a full-on open-world game or a kind-of-open-world game like Sword/Shield. Either way, it does look like a ton of fun.

The game is set to release at some point in 2022.

You can watch the full Pokémon Legends Arceus reveal trailer below.

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