Pokemon Legends Arceus fans furious as Nintendo confirms no open-world: “Google Maps looks better”

Game Freak / The Pokemon Company

Pokemon fans are outraged after Nintendo confirmed that Pokemon Legends Arceus isn’t going to be open-world after all. The 2022 title’s graphics came under fire after the announcement. 

When Pokemon Legends Arceus was unveiled in February, many couldn’t help but compare it to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Game Freak’s ambitious project seemed to be the open-world Pokemon title that fans had been begging for, for years.

In October, Nintendo dashed those dreams when they confirmed that the RPG is not actually open-world. The announcement immediately sparked backlash, with some fans criticizing the game’s graphical performance.

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Pokemon Legends Arceus Gyrados by a lake screenshotGame Freak / The Pokemon Company
Game Freak confirmed that Pokemon Legends Arceus is not open-world and will instead have mini areas.

Pokemon Legends Arceus confirmed not open-world & fans are angry

Although Nintendo never used the term “open-world” in the RPG’s marketing, many assumed the Sinnoh origin story would be after trailers put a heavy emphasis on exploration of the Hisui region’s vast wilderness. Due to confusion over what the game actually was, Nintendo addressed the situation to gaming outlet Kotaku on October 9.

“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,” The Pokemon Company’s statement read.

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The confirmation that the game would be similar to Monster Hunter with separate mini sections instead immediately drew criticism from fans of the Game Freak series. Over on the r/Pokemon forum, players aired out their frustrations over the latest update.

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“If the game isn’t open world then why are we still seeing terrible backdrop landscapes,” one user wrote. Another agreed and replied, “Google f**king maps looks better.” Others said that the update destroyed any hype they had for the 2022 title.

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“My hype for the game is pretty much dead at this point. Disappointing news for sure,” a commentator exclaimed. “There goes any potential this game might have had. Lol, how incompetent can Game Freak be to bring down the hype like this?”  Some even called the Pokemon Legends trailers “misleading.”

Pokemon fans angry Pokemon Legends Arceus is not open world Reddit comments

While disappointing for some, not every player felt let down. There were also fans who praised Game Freak’s decision to make Monster Hunter-style game. It should also be repeated that Nintendo never said that the RPG was open-world.

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If nothing else, the angry reactions show that there was possibly a miscommunication in the marketing. With the 2022 release only a few months away from launch, it will be interesting to see if Game Freak can win disappointed fans over with the more scaled back formula.