The Pokémon Company just stealth dropped a 13-minute gameplay preview for their upcoming game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus! Many fans have been clamoring for more information about the fresh spin on the Pokémon series and the gameplay preview answered a lot of questions.
Here are a couple observations from the trailer!
Not Fully Open World
When the very first trailer for Legends: Arceus released, it gave off the impression that Pokémon was having its Breath of the Wild moment. Namely, it seemed as if the Pokémon Company fully embraced an open-world design after experimenting with a more limited version in the Wild Areas in Pokémon Sword and Shield.
However, the game seems to have taken more inspiration from the likes of Monster Hunter than a Breath of the Wild. That is, the world is not open-world but split up into different explorable areas. These areas can be accessed to complete missions and requests. Once the mission or request is complete, players return to a central hub area (Jubilife Village) to get their rewards and start new quests.
Missions and requests are the main drivers for Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Missions move the main story while requests are like side quests. Both can be found in Jubilife Village.
Missions and requests include bringing certain Pokémon to villagers, catching Pokémon of specific sizes, finding items, or defeating a certain Pokémon.
Wild Pokémon and Battling
For starters, overworld wild Pokémon is fully back and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that there will be random encounters. Additionally, Pokémon in the overworld seem to act more naturally rather than simply moving around almost lifelessly like in previous interactions. Although it doesn’t appear that Pokémon interact with each other, Pokémon will interact as they see the player. Some species may run away while others become aggressive and try to attack. Others may simply ignore the player.
Capturing Pokémon works slightly differently because of this mechanic. Players can try to sneak up and catch the Pokémon while its unaware of the player’s presence. Players can also use items like berries to distract Pokémon. But if the Pokémon enters an alert state after noticing the player, Poké Balls thrown will be deflected. To capture the Pokémon at this point, players must enter a battle by throwing a Poké Ball with a partner Pokémon in it.
Pokémon battles are turn-based like in previous entries. The only major difference seems to the Strong or Agile style, the former powering up an attack and the latter allowing consecutive attacks at the cost of strength. It is unclear if Pokémon can be switched while in battle. Additionally, it’s cool that battles happen in the overworld rather than in a separate arena!
To note, there will also be special Pokémon roaming the wild! The first are Alpha Pokémon. They are distinguishable by the red eyes (as well as, it seems, a marker by the health bar). Alpha Pokémon are larger and stronger than Pokémon of the same species. Alpha Pokémon can be caught and appear to bring their special stats and strengths with them.
While Alpha Pokémon may leaders of an animal pack, Noble Pokémon seem to have some special significance to the land or area. Noble Pokémon in the game are in a frenzied state. To calm them down, the player must throw balms at them while avoiding their attacks. At certain points, the Noble Pokémon will let its guard down and a Pokémon battle will start.
One element the game seems to share with both Monster Hunter and BOTW is its resource gathering. Throughout the world there will be interactable objects through which players can gather resources like Tumblestone, Medicinal Leek, Ball of Mud, Apricorns, and more. Some items can also be gathered through defeating or capturing wild Pokémon.
These materials can be used to craft items for exploration, namely Poké Balls and potions.
Jubilife Village (The Hub Area)
Jubilife Village will be the main base for the player’s surveying missions. Here, the player can receive missions or requests, prepare for tasks, buy new items and recipes, accessorize, and trade Pokémon (presumably with other players).
Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases January 28th!