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What Pokemon Legends: Arceus Could Really Mean For The Franchise's Future

"Pokémon Legends: Arceus" builds off of the already successful components of the core series, but it adds a number of new elements to the series, including action and RPG gameplay. However, despite the differences from more traditional Pokémon fare, "Arceus" still pushes the same goal of "gotta catch 'em all." 

"Pokémon Legends" tells the tale of a young researcher tasked with compiling information for the first Pokédex. Players will get to see the Pokémon world before staples of the modern games existed, including Poké Balls, Pokédexes, or even the concept of a Pokémon trainer. Overall, that means changing the series' traditional gameplay and world-building to fit a pre-Pokémon trainer world.

The Pokémon Company has experimented with a number of intriguing spinoffs in the past, including a historical action game that only really made sense in Japan, but this new installment shakes up the series in more ways than one. Here are some ways that "Pokémon Legends: Arceus" could affect the franchise's future.

First open-world Pokémon RPG

Game Freak hasn't specifically marketed "Pokémon Legends: Arceus" as an open-world game just yet. However, publications such as Polygon have noticed similarities to the "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" based on the snippets showcased in the trailer. The trailer features the protagonists in what appears to be an open-world Sinnoh adventure in a land that resembles feudal Japan.

The concept of free-roaming Pokémon, which "Pokémon Sword" and "Shield" already touched upon, also make a comeback in "Arceus." Players can choose which Pokémon to approach instead of pacing in the grass for hours, hoping for a rare encounter. This trend makes it easier to avoid random encounters and only approach Pokémon that the player needs to collect — both of which lead to less grinding. In addition, players can apparently battle Pokémon in the open without the usual transition into battle sequences.

If these features work out, there's a chance Game Freak might implement changes in future games, all in an effort to promote a more "realistic" Pokémon gameplay experience.

Expanding on Pokémon lore

Like the title might suggest, "Pokémon Legends: Arceus" highlights Pokémon mythology as a main component of the story. The game description mentions Arceus as the "key" to unraveling mysteries of the Pokémon world. If "Pokémon Legends: Arceus" takes off, it could be the first in a series that shapes Pokémon lore.

Arceus first appeared in "Pokémon Diamond" and "Pearl" as a god of Pokémon, often referred to as the "Original One." Pokémon lore states that it created Dialga and Palkia, who are essentially the Pokémon masters of time and space. Then, it bore the three bringers of Willpower, Emotion, and Knowledge — a.k.a the legendary Pokémon Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie.

The original games didn't offer Arceus upfront, but fans had the option to secure the legendary Pokémon through special events. Arceus also appeared in the movie, "Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life." Perhaps this game will finally offer players the chance to tame Arches in the wild.