Watch: Pokémon Legends: Arceus Action-RPG Announced For Switch

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An all-new gameplay experience in the world of Pokémon is coming in the not-too-distant future.

Announced earlier today during a special Presents broadcast, Pokémon Legends: Arceus looks set to deliver the most important modernization for the franchise since it first debuted back in 1996. Undoubtedly inspired by Nintendo’s landmark The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Legends is being billed as a fully open-world action-RPG taking place hundreds of years in the past, long before the events of Red & Blue. Similar to upcoming remakes of Gen IV games Diamond & Pearl, this daring adventure is set in the mysterious Sinnoh and allows Trainers to engage in real-time capture of wild ‘Mons.

Indeed, early footage shows the player character stealthily approaching various critters from across multiple generations before lobbing a Poké Ball (which apparently still exist in ancient times) and watching as the device rocks back and forth in an attempt to subdue its newfound inhabitant.

pokemon legends arceus

While that signature gameplay mechanic is set to return with some noticeable changes, though, Game Freak isn’t doing away with every tradition for its boldest project yet. Battles, while only briefly seen, appear to still be instanced as well as turn-based, with UI elements clearly showing the usual list of four attacks to choose from. It’s worth noting, however, that encounters look to be considerably more dynamic, with opposing Pokémon now able to make physical contact with each other.

As far as story is concerned, the aforementioned Arceus is poised to be a central part of the narrative and, as always, your journey will begin upon choosing between one of three starter Pokémon. Your personal quest, besides unraveling Sinnoh’s origins, will be to create the region’s first-ever Pokédex for use by future generations.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is scheduled to release for Switch in early 2022. Stay tuned for more details.