Pokemon Legends Announced: A New Open World Pokemon Game

Pokemon will get its first open-world game in 2022. Game Freak is developing Pokemon Legends: Arceus, a new open-world game set in a past era of the Sinnoh region. A brief tease released today showed some of the game's new features - Pokemon freely roam the map, players will need to sneak up on and potentially chase Pokemon to catch them, and battles now take place in real-time with moves costing energy to perform. Players will also choose between Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott as their Starter Pokemon. Additionally, there is no transition between maps - battles and exploring all take place without a transition. No further details were given, but we can expect that Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be released near the end of 2022.

An open-world Pokemon game is a stunning break from Game Freak's tried-and-true formula for a Pokemon game. We saw glimpses of an open-world Pokemon game with the 2019 release of Pokemon Sword and Shield and its Wild Areas, but those were enclosed spaces that still used turn-based battle and random encounters in tall grass. The game's setting is also a remarkable break from previous Pokemon games. This is the first time that a Pokemon game has been set in the ancient past, which could help provide an in-game explanation for some of the gameplay differences. Additionally, this is only the second time that the Pokemon franchise has returned to a region for a brand new game, following Pokemon Gold and Silver, which sent players to the Kanto region after they mastered Johto.

In addition to Pokemon Legends: Arceus, The Pokemon Company is also releasing Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which are remakes of the original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl games. These games use a more chibi-style art for human characters, but still use the traditional Pokemon battling system we all know and love. Notably, these are the first main series games not being developed by Game Freak - Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were made by ILCA.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be released in 2022. Pre-orders are live at Best Buy now.

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