It has been confirmed that Pokemon Legends: Arceus will not be an open-world game and its style of play will be closer to the Monster Hunter series than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
While many have got the impression that the new Pokemon game will allow players to seamlessly roam through the Hisui Region, that may not be the case. In a statement made to Kotaku, The Pokémon Company confirmed that Pokémon Legends: Arceus will not be an open-world game. Instead, the game will feature a structure based on missions or levels.
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. We look forward to sharing more information about exploring the Hisui region soon.
The gameplay in Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be closer to the Monster Hunter series than to open-world games. In Monster Hunter, players have a hub area, where they can create equipment and prepare food that adds to the buff effect during the hunt. Different hunts send players to specific locations, where the monsters they are looking for roam the area. It looks like the game will have a similar design, with Jubilife Village being the hub, and different areas in Hisui prefecture acting as game stages.
Keep in mind, these areas will still be fairly big in their own right, just not attached together
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. This kind of level structure has never detracted from the fun of the Monster Hunter series, so there’s no reason why it should for Pokemon Legends: Arceus.
Monster Hunter World and Rise have seen critical acclaim and sales even without being fully open world. Ultimately Pokemon Legends should be judged for what it is instead of what it’s not and if the game is well made, then it shouldn’t matter whether it’s a fully open-world or not.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be released for the Nintendo Switch on January 28nd 2022