It's been clear for a while now that Pokemon Legends: Arceus is going to be a very different game from what we've seen in the main series to date. Today, The Pokemon Company has released an extended trailer that explores exactly what you'll be doing in the game. Pokemon Legends: Arceus is going to be more akin to a free-roaming, off-rails Pokemon Snap than a traditional 'Beat the Elite Four' adventure, and as a result, big changes to established conventions are coming. Here are eight key Pokemon Legends: Arceus features that we spotted in the gameplay breakdown trailer.
1. Jubilife Village is the only settlement, but it will change as you progress
Unlike the modern region of Sinnoh, where a maze of cities and towns spread out around Mt. Coronet, the Hisui region's sole settlement is Jubilife Village. This will act as your base of operations as you work with the Survey Corps to build the region's first Pokedex. There will be base camps to stop at as you explore, but it's only Jubilife that will act as your real home in the region. Interestingly though, what we've seen so far is just a very basic version of the village. The Pokemon Company tells us that Jubilife Village's infrastructure will develop as you complete missions and research, which will also allow you to travel to new areas of the Hisui region too. Jubilife Village will also have locations where you can buy new clothes, change your hairstyle, and trade Pokemon with other players.
2. Requests and Missions are the two types of assignment
As you head out from Jubilife Village you'll be undertaking one of two types of tasks – Missions and Requests. Missions are the tasks that will progress the game's main storyline, while Requests are smaller tasks given to you by inhabitants of the region. In the latest trailer, a trainer is asked by a resident of Jubilife Village to catch a Shinx so he can see the kind of ears it has, while another asks if there are really different sizes of Buizel in Hisui.
You'll also want to file your survey report by speaking to Professor Laventon, who will update the Pokedex with research and increase your rank within the Survey Corps. Doing so gets you credits that you can use to buy items and materials that you may need to use in future expeditions.
3. Pokemon will have unique behavioral styles
One of the things that you'll be able to observe and report back on is the behavior of each Pokemon species. According to The Pokemon Company, a lot of work has been done to make each Pokemon feel unique, with particular attention paid to their temperaments. As you discover new Pokemon in the Hisui region, you'll see they each react differently to you. The latest trailer shows how a Bidoof will ignore your presence, while a Starly is much more skittish, and will make a run for it if you get too close. You can use berries to distract Pokemon though, which may well come in handy for the more shy creatures out there.
However, because this is set at a point in time where Pokemon and humans aren't used to co-existing, you'll also encounter aggressive Pokemon in the wild – a trait which can affect how you go about catching them. If you manage to throw a Pokeball at an aggressive Pokemon without them realising it'll be easier to catch, but if you miss or otherwise alert them you're left with only one choice – a Pokemon battle. You'll also have to watch out for the red-eyed Alpha Pokemon, who are far more aggressive than any other Pokemon you'll discover in your travels.
4. You're just as vulnerable as a Pokemon
In the Pokemon series up to now, it's always been about protecting the HP of your Pokemon as you explore the world, but in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, you'll be worrying just as much about protecting yourself as you are your partners. Aggressive Pokemon in the Hisui region won't wait for a battle to commence before attacking you, instead coming after you the moment they spot you. Take too much damage and you yourself will faint, and you'll lose some of the items you're carrying, before being ferried back to base camp.
5. Different attack styles have perks and penalties
Battles are getting quite the revamp in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and one of the main changes is the option to use different attack styles. There are two new ways to unleash attacks – Strong Style or Agile Style – but each one has its own pros and cons that you'll have to work into your battle strategy, as they'll change the order your Pokemon will attack in. Strong Style is more powerful, but will mean your opponent can attack twice normally afterwards. Agile Style isn't as powerful, but will mean you can attack twice in a row. However, using either will consume more PP per move, so it really is a balancing act.
6. Noble Pokemon are like multi-stage boss battles
Knowing when to use different move styles will be key to figuring out how to defeat the Noble Pokemon, which are like boss battle encounters. They can't just be battled like normal Pokemon, with trainers instead having to "quell their frenzy" first by throwing bombs at them that you've specially crafted using their favourite foods. Timing and accuracy is key here, and once they let their guard down you'll be able to throw in your partner's Pokeball to trigger a more traditional battle. But, by the looks of this trailer, defeating a Noble Pokemon is going to take several rounds of quelling and battling before you can make them a powerful ally.
7. Crafting items can be found all over Hisui
Like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, crafting plays an important role in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Our latest look at the game in action goes into a little more detail on how exactly you'll find different materials, which you can then use at base camps to craft items like Pokeballs and potions. You can pick flowers, for example, or find them when defeating or capturing wild Pokemon, but you can also use your own Pokemon to break rocks and shake trees. It doesn't look like you'll even need to use a special HM move as per the original games either, but we'll no doubt find out more when we start exploring Hisui for ourselves.
8. Special mount Pokemon can be switched between on the fly
It looks like the UI of Pokemon Legends: Arceus will make exploring the wilds of the Hisui region super easy, particularly when you've got access to the special Pokemon that you can ride on. The stag Pokemon Wyrdeer is your go-to for land travel, while Hisuian Braviary is for the skies, and the gigantic fish Pokemon Basculegion is your water ride. You can switch between any of them as you travel with a touch of the D-Pad, with the trailer showing a trainer seamlessly moving from riding on a Wyrdeer to flying with Hisuian Braviary without so much as a menu in sight.