Pokémon has been unshackled. After 25 years of primarily sticking to the modern era, the series is turning back the clock to feudal times. Pokémon Legends: Arceus was announced in a February 26 Pokémon presentation, along with the Gen 4 remakes, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The franchise's first open-world title will bring numerous changes to the series' tried-and-true formula.
Here's everything we know about Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
When is the Pokémon Legends: Arceus release date?
The official Pokémon Twitter account revealed the Pokémon Legends: Arceus release date on May 26, 2021 along with cover art. The game will be released on January 28, 2022. Pre-orders went live with the announcement.
Before then, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company had merely said "Early 2022," so this final announcement definitely lines up with that promise. The series often debuts new titles in February, as they did with the presentation announcing this game and Pokémon Home last year. So the timing right before February makes a lot of sense.
Is there a Pokémon Legends: Arceus trailer?
Yes, you can watch the trailer below.
The trailer reveals quite a bit about the upcoming game's premise. It takes place in a feudal version of the Sinnoh region. This means that catching and battling Pokémon will be a similarly low-tech experience. (Despite that change, the old-timey renditions of the Diamond and Pearl protagonists have kept their dumb little hats.)
The video notes that all native Sinnoh Pokémon, including starter Pokémon like Piplup, can be found in the wild. Presumably, the creatures have yet to be domesticated by humans, causing their ecosystems to be a bit less neatly organized.
Snippets from the game's new features are peppered throughout the trailer. We can see that catching Pokémon is a bit less neat, as you need to move with the Poké ball to aim your shot. It seems that you can also capture Pokémon without entering battle, as seen by the shot where the protagonist is sneaking through the grass while aiming their Poké ball.
We can also see that battles have been given a sleek new UI. The game has seemingly leaned more into the open-world elements found in Sword and Shield, perhaps going full Breath of the Wild with the game.
The video ends with a shot of Arceus, the titular Pokémon who we can expect to chase throughout the game.
What does the Pokémon Legends: Arceus cover art look like?
The same tweet that revealed the game’s release date also showed off the new cover art. It features the male and female protagonist avatars looking out towards what appears to be a volcano. Around them are a handful of Pokémon: Rowlett, Cyndaquil, Lucario, Oshawott, Pikachu, Rhyhorn, and what appears to be a Bidoof obscured by the MSRB rating.
What Legendary Pokémon will be in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
Well, Arceus will be in the game. He's the title Pokémon and likely the first Legendary Pokémon that you'll catch.
Nintendo has yet to announce other legendary Pokémon, but it seems likely that other Legendary Pokémon native to Sinnoh like Heatran, Giratina, Azelf, Uxie, Mespirit, Darkrai, Shaymin, Cresselia, Dialga, and Palkia will appear. Or perhaps Pokémon Legends: Arceus will show how they came to populate the region.
What are the starter Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
The starter Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus are Cyndaquil, Rowlett, and Oshawott. You might notice they all originate from non-Sinnoh regions, presumably because Sinnoh has yet to establish a proper starter Pokémon system.
In the trailer, we see the classic Sinnoh starters Piplup and Chimchar roaming in the wild, implying that we should be able to capture all three by playing the game.
Are there any weird changes due to the time period in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?
Yes! There are a few changes! Firstly, the buildings are old-timey, forged from simpler materials like logs. The second noticeable change can be seen on the Pokéballs. They're now made from wood and close using zippers, a far more archaic mechanism than what's used in modern games.
It also seems other things like the Pokémon League and trainers are non-existent, according to the game's website. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will likely not have an Elite Four. It might even lack random trainers, as they have yet to be normalized.
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