Pokemon Legends: Arceus isn't the open-world game we expected

Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be one of the first Switch games out of the gate in 2022, and it looks to be quite a bit different from earlier Pokemon games in the series. While catching and battling Pokemon will still be part of the main gameplay loop, the initial trailers for Pokemon Legends: Arceus suggested that the game could be open-world. However, it seems that the comparisons to games like Breath of the Wild were a little premature, as now we're learning that a more appropriate comparison would be to Capcom's Monster Hunter series.

In a statement to Kotaku over the weekend, The Pokemon Company confirmed that Pokemon Legends: Arceus is not actually an open-world game like those early trailers may have suggested. Instead, it sounds like Pokemon Legends: Arceus will play more like Monster Hunter World or Monster Hunter Rise, with town acting as a central hub where players can prepare before setting off to explore different regions.

"In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Jubilife Village will serve as the base for surveying missions," The Pokemon Company said. "After receiving an assignment or a request and preparing for their next excursion, players will set out from the village to study one of the various open areas of the Hisui region. After they finish the survey work, players will need to return once more to prepare for their next task. We look forward to sharing more information about exploring the Hisui region soon."

So, while we'd expect those exploration areas to be fairly open just like they are in Monster Hunter games, it sounds like Pokemon Legends: Arceus won't be truly open-world like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Still, that isn't necessarily a bad thing, as we're sure there's no lack of Pokemon fans who are excited by the prospect of Pokemon putting its own spin on the Monster Hunter formula.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is launching for Nintendo Switch on January 28th, 2022, just a couple of months after Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, remakes of the original generation 4 titles that are out on November 19th, 2021. Of course, we'll have more news about Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as that news is announced, so stay tuned.