Are ‘Pokémon Scarlet’ and ‘Violet’ open-world games?

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Key Art, with starters, legendary Pokémon and trainers
Image via The Pokémon Company

The newest entry in the Pokémon franchise is nearly here, with Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet set to release on Nintendo Switch on November 18, 2022. The new games were featured in announcements that took place earlier this year, but we just received some new information about the games via “Pokémon Presents” on The Official Pokémon YouTube channel. 

The video talked about a few different Pokémon games and events, before moving on to Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. They presented many pieces of new information, including official word on whether or not this game would be the first mainline open-world game in the franchise, so let’s take a look at what was announced.

Are Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet open-world games?

Image via The Pokémon Company

After “Pokémon Presents” showcased the release trailer, the video went into a deep dive into the game. The first thing the voiceover said was, “These titles will be open-world RPGs, a first for the Pokémon series.” This confirms that the new games will be the first truly open-world mainline titles in the franchise. 

Pokémon Legends: Arceus was the last Pokémon game to be released on the Nintendo Switch, which was released on January 28, 2022. The game could definitely be considered open-world, but as it brought other changes to the mechanics of Pokémon games, it is seen as a spinoff or separate from the mainline Pokémon games. The last mainline Pokémon games were remakes with Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl and those were released in 2021. The last true new entry into the mainline franchise was back in 2019 with Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, which had an open-world area. 

In addition to the new species of Pokémon shown in the trailer, they showed us how you make your way around the new region of Paldea, by using your legendary Pokémon to glide, ride and swim your way around the map. The trailer showed off the open world and included many of the biomes we will see in the game, including open grass hill areas, snowy areas, and colorful cityscapes. They also showed off a new form of Pokémon called Terastal Pokémon, which alters the type of Pokémon you encounter, complete with a crystalized look. 

Since it has been a few years since the last true mainline Pokémon video game, it’s intriguing to see the new entries in the franchise push it in a new direction. Hopefully, the open world is fleshed out and balanced with many Pokémon to catch out in the wild. 

We won’t have to wait much longer to find out, as Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are scheduled to release on Nintendo Switch on November 18, 2022.