Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Is The Open World Legends: Arceus Wasn't – Screen Rant

A new Pokémon Scarlet & Violet trailer has revealed that Pokémon’s Gen 9 will have a much more open-world map than Legends: Arceus’ Hisui region.
A second trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet revealed that the Generation 9 RPG has a groundbreaking feature that makes it a drastically more open-world game compared to Pokémon Legends: Arceus. In February, Game Freak announced that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet would be launching this year with a trailer introducing the Gen 9 Pokémon starters Fuecoco, Sprigatito, and Quaxly. After months without updates, the Nintendo developer dropped a second trailer in June that gave players their first look at the region, including a new open-world feature that makes Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ map design look tame in comparison.
In the second Pokémon Scarlet and Violet trailer, players were given their look at the Gen 9 Pokédex with the debut of new Pokémon Pawmi, Smoliv, and Lechonk. The three-minute video also unveiled a handful of the game’s features as well, such as version-exclusive Pokémon Professors, and an online co-op mode that allows up to four players to explore the map together. However, the trailer’s major reveal was the game’s box art which gave players their very first look at Scarlet and Violet’s Legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon.
Related: Scarlet & Violet’s Region Has One Pokémon Not Seen In Decades
While the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Legendaries were a big deal, Game Freak also announced a massive feature that makes Gen 9 the series’ first true open-world game. When Pokémon Scarlet and Violet were first announced in February, The Pokémon Company hinted at the feature by stating the upcoming game would have a “seamless” open map where players could walk from the wild area into the city without restrictions. The new trailer however revealed that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will also not have any story restrictions that limit how players explore the map. Here are the new design changes that make Gen 9 more open-world than Pokémon Legends: Arceus. 
After the second Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gameplay trailer made its debut, Game Freak revealed that players will actually be able to tackle the game’s story in any order that they choose. This means that trainers will be able to take on the region’s Gym Leaders in any order, and will be able to explore the map without story progression. The new feature was described by The Pokemon Company with a statement that read: “Players can experience a new style of adventure, with a world that you’re free to explore at your leisure and not in an order dictated by the story. Meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and adventure in the world of Pokémon the way you want to.”
This new game design is the biggest change the Pokemon series has ever seen, as it dismantles the linear story campaign that has been present since Gen 1’s Pokémon Red and Blue. With Pokémon Scarlet and Violet also having a four-player co-op mode, Game Freak seems to really be leaning into the new region’s massive open-world, as they are encouraging players to really explore the map with complete freedom. Although Pokémon Legends: Arceus gave players some freedom to be able to explore each of the game’s many locations, players actually had to hit multiple checkpoints before gaining full access to each map. In the game’s first level the Cobalt Fieldlands for instance, trainers are forced to meet Warden Mai and Noble Pokémon Wyrdeer before they are able to continue to traverse deeper into the terrain.
Although Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ Hisui region featured open-world levels, the game ended up being pretty linear as players had to unlock each new location by completing the story. In comparison to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s new open-world feature, the Hisui region now feels much more like a group of smaller sandbox areas that players could explore throughout the game’s linear plotline. The game’s heavy emphasis on repeatedly catching the same Pokémon made exploration feel less about players getting stronger, and more about just completing the game’s Hisui Pokédex instead. Because Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are focusing more on players building up a strong team for Pokémon battles, Gen 9’s map instantly feels more open-world as players will feel less tied down to a certain area as they are instead encouraged to travel more.
Related: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Will Feature Music From Undertale’s Toby Fox
With the new Gen 9 region being completely open and seamless, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet also appear to be more of an RPG next to Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Since trainers will be able to explore the entire map in any order they choose, this could give players the flexibility to travel to locations with stronger Pokémon to get more experience points. Unlike Pokémon Legends: Arceus’, the new portable Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Pokémon Centers spread throughout the map, will allow players to stay in the wild for much longer, without having to constantly retreat back to camp or Jubilife Village to heal up. The trailer can be viewed below:
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will officially release on Friday, November 18. Although fans got a second trailer for the upcoming games, there are a lot of things that players still don’t know about the Gen 9 games. For instance, Game Freak still hasn’t unveiled the name of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s region, and it also hasn’t released any information on Gen 9’s battle mechanics. Compared to the release cycle of past generations like Pokémon Sword and Shield in 2019, information about Gen 9 is being kept much more under lock.
Based on the early marketing for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet though, the Nintendo developer appears to be hammering home that Nintendo Switch RPGs will be a completely open-world experience. When Pokémon Legends: Arceus was originally announced in 2021, the term “open-world” was never actually used in the game’s promotional material leading up to its launch. With there being many hints that Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s region could be based on Spain, the possibilities seem endless for how Gen 9 will introduce its first open-world map in the franchise.
Want more Pokémon Scarlet & Violet articles? Check out our essential content below…
Next: Who Pokémon Scarlet & Violet’s New Professors Are
Source: The Pokemon Company
Brent R. Koepp is a games journalist based out of Los Angeles, CA. An avid Pokemon fan for over 25 years, he has spent his career reporting on the popular Nintendo franchise. Following his role as a Pokemon Content Lead at another company, Brent is now a Pokemon Senior Writer for Screen Rant. You can follow him on Twitter @brentrkoepp.


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