Pokémon Legends Arceus — Release Date, Price, Preorder, Trailer

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The latest Pokémon game coming to the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, takes the series in a brand-new direction. The game blends the franchise’s classic role-playing elements with survival and exploration mechanics inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the Monster Hunter series.

Pokémon games are typically slow-paced adventures that lead players between cities as they collect Pokémon and participate in turn-based battles, but Pokémon Legends: Arceus introduces several open-world regions where hostile Pokémon can attack players directly and resources are much more scarce.

Below, we broke down some of the game’s key features, along with price, release, and preorder details.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus price and release date

Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be available on January 28 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. You can preorder the game now for $60 from various retailers, including Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy. Both physical cartridge and digital download versions of the game are available.

Preorder bonuses are available for the physical versions at specific retailers too; Amazon is giving players a digital download for a special outfit modeled after the Pokémon Garchomp, while GameStop is giving away a set of art cards based on the game’s design. The Pokémon Center was offering an Arceus plushie with preorders, but appears to have sold out.

The three starting Pokemon in Pokemon Legends Arceus. Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott.

Pokémon Legends Arceus / Nintendo

When and where does Pokémon Legends: Arceus take place?

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a prequel set hundreds of years before Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, two classic Pokémon games first released on DS in 2006.

The game takes place in the Hisui region, the name of the settlement area that eventually becomes the Sinnoh region of Diamond and Pearl. Like previous Pokémon games, players choose one of three starting Pokémon as a partner: Rowlet, Cyndaquil, or Oshawott. Players are then tasked with studying large natural areas in the Hisui region and the Pokémon who live there.

How does the battle system work in Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Fights in Pokémon Legends: Arceus are still turn-based, but the game will transition directly from exploration into the battle when you engage a Pokémon. Players still catch and train a team of Pokémon too, but the battle system has been modified to give players more strategic options with different attack styles and approaches.

For example, if you distract a Pokémon with bait before you try to catch it, you’ll get multiple chances to attack before the wild Pokémon can respond.

Is Pokémon Legends: Arceus an open-world game?

A trainer in Pokemon Legends Arceus attacked by a wild pokemon

Pokémon Legends Arceus / Nintendo

While Pokémon Legends: Arceus isn’t fully open-world like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Red Dead Redemption, the game will let players explore and interact with the world of Pokémon at a deeper level than what was possible in prior games.

This includes the ability to travel across several large wild regions where you can catch Pokémon. But, rather than one unbroken world, these areas are separated into different segments. The incorporation of survival and crafting mechanics should also help the game feel more engaging for players who want a change in the classic Pokémon formula.

It’s unclear if Pokémon Legends: Arceus will have any sort of multiplayer; Nintendo has promised that the game will have online trading but no other online features have been announced.

What other new Pokémon games are available?

If you’re looking to catch up on the world of Pokémon on Nintendo Switch, you can also check out Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, remakes of the classic DS games released in November 2021.

Last year also saw Nintendo release the photography game New Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Unite, a multiplayer online battle arena game. The last brand-new entries in the main Pokémon series were Pokémon Sword and Shield, which launched on Switch in November 2019.

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