Pokemon Legends Arceus suffers huge blow as ‘open-world’ details surface

Pokemon Legends Arceus opening shotGame Freak / The Pokemon Company

Pokemon fans are “disappointed” after new details have called into question whether Pokemon Legends Arceus is actually even open-world. 

When Pokemon Legends Arceus was announced in February 2021, many couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the critically acclaimed title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The sprawling lands of the Hisui region looked to be Game Freak’s most ambitious project to date.

New details about the 2022 game, however, have made fans question whether the RPG is actually going to be open-world. The much-anticipated Nintendo Switch release may actually be linear, with fragmented sections similar to Sword & Shield’s Wild Area, which has left some players disappointed.

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Pokemon Legends Arceus Braviary flyingGame Freak / The Pokemon Company
Questions have been raised as to how open-world Legends Arceus actually is.

Is Pokemon Legends Arceus not open-world?

While murmurings about the game’s actual design have been boiling up since August, the discussion went viral after Serebii’s Joe Merrick tweeted about it. The popular Pokemon veteran explained why they believed Legends Arceus wouldn’t “fully” be open-world.

“It is coming increasingly clear that Pokémon Legends Arceus may not be full open world but rather segmented open areas like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monster Hunter etc. separated into different areas like the Wild Area/Crown Tundra did I’m fine with this really,” he said.

Merrick included screenshots from the game that showed the map sectioned off into a smaller area. The theory got further fuel after fans looked closer to information on Game Freak’s official website.

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In the Features section of the site, it states: “Completing tasks will also contribute to your work with the Galaxy Expedition Team and raise your rank as a team member, granting you access to new areas.” The “granting access to new areas” in particular left some fans to speculate that the game would indeed be broken up into sections rather than be fully open-world.

Pokemon Legends Arceus Pokedex website

Will Pokemon Legends Arceus be linear?

Pokemon YouTuber ‘aDrive’ addressed the theory in his October 1 upload and pointed out that the Wardens and Frenzied Noble Pokemon seem to be tied to progression as well, as each of them residing in their own section of the Hisui region.

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“It’s starting to become very clear to us that Legends Arceus is not going to be [like Breath of the Wild]. As it seems that these Wardens and various Noble Pokemon are going to block our progression. And it seems that we are going to have to do it in a specific order,” he said.

(Topic starts at 1:25)

If the theory is true, the game would technically still have large open-world segments, however, players would have to load into inter-locking sections and would be blocked off from exploring the full map. Fans already got a taste of this design with Sword & Shield DLC, The Crown Tundra.

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It should be pointed out the Serebii owner was only sharing his thoughts and wasn’t saying it was 100% going to be this way. Interestingly, Nintendo has never used “open-world” in any of the marketing or trailers for Pokemon Legends of Arceus. Only time will tell if this pans out, but we can imagine some fans will be disappointed if this ends up being the case.