Pokémon

All New Gameplay Features Revealed for Pokemon Legends: Arceus

"This is a tale of a time long ago when the lives of humans and Pokemon were still separate."
"This is a tale of a time long ago when the lives of humans and Pokemon were still separate." / Game Freak, Nintendo, The Pokemon Company

"This is a tale of a time long ago when the lives of humans and Pokemon were still separate."

In development by the longtime Pokemon studio, Game Freak, Pokemon Legends: Arceus received its own time in the limelight during the Pokemon Presents presentation earlier this Wednesday, Aug. 18. We've broken down the biggest gameplay features players can expect when they first step foot in this latest iteration.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Revealed Gameplay Features: Full List

Legends: Arceus takes place in the "brand new" Hisui region—contemporarily known as the Sinnoh region—and features Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott as the starter trio. As deduced by previous footage, the region takes its aesthetics from feudal-era Japan, with fashion and architecture sporting reminiscent designs.

Trainers will once again be taking advantage of large, open-world habitats to encounter and study Pokemon in their natural surroundings. Gameplay footage revealed herds of Rapidash and rafts of Buizel, as well as a handful of different biomes from lush sunny forests to frigid mountain peaks. It appears that trainers will also have the ability to crouch and sneak up on Pokemon rather than running up to them.

In fact, Legends: Arceus appears to be entirely open world, with trainers able to throw Pokeballs long before the combat begins and/or watch battles play out in real time, right before their eyes. They'll also be able to use different regional-form Pokemon to traverse Hisui at breakneck speeds—running through the forests, cascading down waterfalls, and soaring high above the plains.

Speaking of regional forms: Hisui has at least four revealed by the trailer. Hisuian Growlithe is already a breakout favorite. As far as traveling goes, trainers can soar using Hisuian Braviary, ride on the back of Wyrdeer—a new evolved form of Stantler—through the woods, and explore rivers, lakes, and waterfalls with Basculegion—a furious and evolved form of Basculin.

The main story of the game, however, remains unknown. Trainers will become members of one of the "Cores" of human "Galaxy Team" studying and using Pokemon in their daily lives. They'll attend expeditions into the wild to capture and study the local creatures and work to complete the very first Pokedex. The game is centered around "survey work" quests to be completed in the wild.

However, as for an overarching plot, all we can say is that it appears something is wreaking havoc across the region and making the Pokemon aggressive—leading other humans to believe they're dangerous, terrifying creatures. Which, to be fair, in Legends: Arceus, it appears that they are. Overland Pokemon will attack the trainer, themselves, and do damage to their avatar rather than immediately prompting a Pokemon battle.

Battle has been given an overhaul, as well, with turns allocated based on speed stats and battle prompted by throwing out a Pokemon near their wild counterpart before being noticed, at all. Speed can be affected by "Strong" and "Agile" styles.

Unfortunately, with all the existing features, there doesn't appear to be much character customization for the game.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus will launch on Jan. 28, 2022. It is currently available for preorder online and in the Nintendo eShop.