Ever since the first trailer for Pokémon Legends: Arceus arrived back in February, fans expected to roam freely around an open world populated by pokémon. And there is a lot of content in the said trailer that supports this theory. We see the protagonist glide around, and they swim around thanks to their water-type pokémon. And in other shots they stealth around vast plains hoping to catch some pocket monsters by surprise.
Not once during the trailer did a thought cross my mind that this is anything but an open world. But sadly Kotaku received a statement from The Pokémon Company in regards to the matter. “In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Jubilife Village will serve as the base for surveying missions. After receiving an assignment or a request[…]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,” explained the official statement.
This has some ResetEra forum users even more bewildered about the visual side of the game. For those of you who missed it, Pokémon Legends: Arceus received some serious criticism when it was announced. Many noticed that the “open-world” looks very barren and lifeless. Combined with the very underwhelming graphics of the title, this turned some people away immediately. But many still praised Game Freak for finally evolving the Pokémon formula.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be more Monster Hunter-ish, instead of being an open-world game.
This reveal renewed the wave of backlash. Monster Hunter as a series puts extreme effort into its “zones”. Each creates a natural ecosystem for the many monsters of the franchise. But one look at Pokémon Legends: Arceus trailer and you can easily see that this is not the Game Freak way. The environments all look same-y, they just feature different kinds of Pokemon without much thought put into it.
It is too early to pass any judgment on the game. It’s still a billion-dollar idea. A Pokémon game that many dreamed of since their childhood. But the same cannot be said about Game Freak. By now their reputation is beyond infamous. The developer who doesn’t listen to feedback, who removes fan-favorite features from sequels for no reason. The newest entry into the IP, Pokémon Sword and Shield, was heavily criticized. Many called out Game Freak for being extremely lazy and being comfortable with their outdated game design philosophy.
This could either be the turning point for their reputation, or more hate will be piled on against Game Freak. Pokémon Legends: Arceus releases 28 January 2022. For more Nintendo Switch-related news, you can read about the new controller rumour, right here.