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Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the most ambitious new Pokémon games for years, and whether you’re already in the franchise or just watching from the sidelines, this is an upcoming title you should watch.
While Pokémon games have traditionally used a very simple formula, it seems Arceus will be the first game to break it in a massive way. With new additions like free roaming, an open world, a new combat system and exciting new types of Pokémon, this can be the freshest and most exciting Pokémon games yet.
Here is everything we know about Pokémon Legends: Arceus so far, including when you can grab a copy for yourself.
When is Pokémon Legends: Arceus set?
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a prequel story set in “a time long ago where it was rare for humans and Pokémon to live in close harmony”. It takes place in the unique Hisui region, which later became known as Sinnoh (where Diamond and Pearl Take place).
You start as a junior Pokémon trainer and researcher in Jubilife Village and work as part of the Galaxy Team, an operation that studies the nature of Pokémon and the beautiful surroundings of Hisui.
As you explore your surrounding cities, you will encounter new Pokémon, discover beautiful places, and work to complete your region’s first ever Pokédex.
According to the game’s official website, Arceus will connect directly with Diamond and Pearl (which also explains the look of these remasters), but where your journey will take you and how they connect is still a mystery.
Is Pokémon Legends: Arceus an open world game?
This one is a little weird. While fans initially assumed Pokémon Legends: Arceus was open world due to the game’s sweeping trailers and beautiful locations, a recently revealed map appears to suggest that parts of the map will be segmented.
It is becoming more and more clear that Pokémon Legends Arceus may not be a completely open world, but rather segmented open areas like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monster Hunter, etc. separated into different areas like Wild Area / Crown Tundra did.
I’m really fine with this. pic.twitter.com/llpCUUvQGx
Joe Merrick @JoeMerrick September 30, 2021
The game’s official description says players will have to rank up to unlock new areas, so it’s likely that these segments will actually split the game’s world into smaller, more manageable pieces. The more you level up, the more you will be able to explore.
Although we only have assumptions to assume from now on, it does not look like the game will really be open world. Instead, you will probably be able to explore smaller sites, one at a time.
Update 6/10: New details have emerged about how the map works in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This segment has been updated to reflect this information.
Who’s starting Pokémon in Legends: Arceus?
IN Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you have a choice of three multi-generational Pokémon starters: Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott.
Oshawott is a water Pokémon that looks like a seal and comes from Black / white / black 2 / white 2 generation (V).
Rowlet is a grass Pokémon that looks like an owl and comes from Sun / Moon / Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon generation (VII).
Finally, Cyndaquil is a fire Pokémon that looks like an anteater and comes from Gold / silver / crystal generation (II).
How do battles work in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
Pokémon battles work a little differently in Legends: Arceus than in traditional Pokémon game.
First you will start these battles by throwing Poké balls against Pokémon in the wild – then you will be thrown into a turn-based battle where movements are determined by power, rather than turns.
While previous games featured balanced twists, Legends: Arceus lets players now take more or less turns based on their Pokémon’s strength level, which can make strategies towards more powerful Pokémon more difficult.
In addition to regular battles, you will also encounter ‘Alpha’ Pokémon, which are larger and have red, glowing eyes. These will chase you down and attack you while you explore, but are more powerful than regular Pokémon companions if you can catch them.
To gain an advantage, you need to implement new ‘agile style’ moves to speed up your Pokémon or ‘strong style moves’ to increase your Pokémon’s power.
This will also be useful during the game’s new boss battles, which require trainers to go head-to-head with Pokémon in a whole new way (as seen in the new trailer below).
Is Pokémon Legends: Arceus multiplayer?
So far, not much is known about the multiplayer component of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It looks like you’ll be able to swap Pokémon with friends (via Nintendo Switch Online), but other than that no other multiplayer features are described.
This is a big change from Pokémon games from the past where combat was a key element. We may be hearing more closely about the release, but so far the game seems to have limited multiplayer functionality.
What new features are there in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
Pokémon Legends: Arceus seems to be crammed with new features that will change everything you know about the world of Pokémon.
The first major change is to the combat system, as described above. It will be more strategic as you walk around offering the debut appearance of the tougher ‘Alpha’ Pokémon. Then there are also new ‘boss’ battles where trainers will be asked to calm angry Pokémon in one-on-one battles (see the video above for how this unfolds).
Pokédex has also changed Arceus. While you want to capture Pokémon as usual, you also need to perform research missions to truly complete your Pokédex and gain all the knowledge you need to move forward.
Another new feature that should help you along the way is Celestia Flute, a special item that lets you ride Pokémon across the plains, through water and into the sky. This works in the same way as past HMs, with a nice little twist that should make exploration more fun.
This time, there’s also a new crafting system that lets you create your own items – and these items help you distract and confuse Pokémon as you track them around the world.
Everything here sounds much neat, and these features should provide good additions to Pokémon franchise. Fortunately, we do not have to wait too long to see all the good in action.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus Release date
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is currently set to publish it January 28, 2022, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.
The best prices for Pokémon Legends: Arceus in Australia
If you want to grab a copy for yourself, the current cheapest price is $ 68 at Amazon. Most other stores have it for around $ 69, so you will not be too out of pocket if you prefer to walk into a store on launch day.
Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for more news and updates on Pokémon Legends: Arceus as we approach release.