The Pokémon Company’s upcoming open-world game, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, was featured during the company’s Pokémon Presents showcase on Wednesday. The game, set in the Hisui region, is a totally new take on the franchise — going back to the early days of Pokémon trainers when Poké Balls were made of wood.
In the new footage shown during the livestream, developer Game Freak showed off the gorgeous open-world environments filled with Pokémon roaming free — largely separate from the lives of humans. Some other neat features include Pokémon that can be ridden: on land, in the sky, or by sea.
Game Freak showed off how Pokémon battles will work in Arceus, too — a definite variation on the battles we’re all familiar with. When battles begin, players will have a few different “style” options for battling in a turn-based fashion — “strong” or “agile” styles, which change statistics on specific moves, depending on situations. Likewise, some Pokémon may be able to take a few turns in a row, based on their statistics. The turn-based mechanics definitely look familiar, but the new mechanics look intriguing.
There are other ways to interact with Pokémon in the world, too, and sometimes they’ll attack the player even if your Pokémon aren’t thrown out for battle. This all happens during player expeditions into different spaces in the Hisui region, which is a core part of the gameplay in understanding the creatures in the region.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus was originally announced during a Pokémon Presents stream in February, when The Pokémon Company called it a mix of action and role-playing elements.
Of course, Arceus, the most powerful Pokémon of all time — and, as the stories say, the creator of the Pokémon world — is probably going to be a key part of the game. We do know that Arceus will feature different starter Pokémon from a variety of regions: Rowlet from Alola, Cyndaquil from Johto, and Oshawott from Unova. There will also be Pokémon that are native to the Hisui region, including new forms for Growlithe and Stantler.
Arceus has the same setting as Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, albeit much further back in the location’s history. (Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will both be released on Nintendo Switch in November.)
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released on Nintendo Switch on Jan. 28, 2022.