It’s only a few more weeks before Switch players can get their hands on it Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The next big entry in the series is turning back the clock to the Hisui region before it happened be known as Sinnoh, and instructs players to explore the area to examine the bag samples in their natural habitat.
GameFreak and Nintendo’s gradual trickle of information in the months since Arceus’ announcement has focused primarily on gameplay mechanics, but a promo released in Japan focuses primarily on the player exploring Hisui. As easy as it was to joke that the game is basically the franchise’s answer to: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the promo certainly leans on it as the player uses their Pokémon to travel through water, gallop down hills, and even fly past a volcano. It’s hard not to be impressed with the visual direction and how big the world feels in a way that previous games couldn’t always convey.
There’s been an open wish among fans for quite some time that Pokémon would change things up in the main games, and what we know about Arceus so far seems to remedy at least some of those complaints. Rather than turn-based combat, it’s an open-world action RPG where players take village missions, camp and craft their own supplies. More interesting is that Pokemon just kill you instantly this time if you’re not careful. While it’s unlikely Nintendo will ever give their own version of custom fans Nuzlocke Challenges, the added thrill Arceus seemingly provides has some potential to push back players who may forget that these creatures they’re trying to grab have no qualms defending themselves.
Whether or not Arceus serves as an overhaul or evolution of the formula, what it brings to the table in terms of both gameplay and narrative will be interesting for fans to chew on. In any case, it won’t be a bad way to spend the winter, especially if you’re cooped up at home.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is coming to Nintendo Switch on January 28.
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