Turns out ‘Arceus’ is more ‘Monster Hunter’ than a true open-world experience.
When Pokémon Legends: Arceus was announced, it looked to be the open-world Pokémon game of our dreams, where players get to explore every corner of the map, searching for wild creatures in their native habitats rather than just seeing them appear out of random tall grass. However, it won’t be exactly like that the Pokémon Company confirmed to Kotaku. While there will still be open-world elements to the game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus will follow in the footsteps of Capcom’s Monster Hunter instead, offering sectioned-off zones to explore and complete missions in.
There had been some speculation that this was the case ever since more gameplay and screenshots of the game were shown with Monster Hunter-like camps and a map with clearly marked off areas. At the Pokémon Direct back in August, new gameplay footage advertised Jubilife Village as a home base for the Galaxy Expedition team. From there, you would set out to different areas on the map on survey missions. It all felt similar to how Monster Hunter utilizes a central hub village where you can set up missions to hunt or explore in one particular open area and then return upon completion to set up another mission.
Here’s the official statement from the Pokémon Company regarding the open-world status of the game:
In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Jubilife Village will serve as the base for surveying missions. 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.
Although it doesn’t seem like Pokémon Legends: Arceus will allow you to freely travel from area to area, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Each “open area” that you explore will essentially be a large version of the Wild Area or Crown Tundra from Pokémon Sword and Shield, still allowing for a lot of exploration within various sub-areas. Despite all the indications and speculation, neither Nintendo nor the Pokémon Company directly said the game was open-world either.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases on January 22, 2022, and there will surely be more updates on how the game’s world operates and just how much it emulates that Monster Hunter formula.
The cast also includes Zen McGrath, Vanessa Kirby, and Laura Dern.
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