'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' Coming to Nintendo Switch: Release Date, Features and Pricing

The release date for Pokémon Legends: Arceus is just around the corner and fans have plenty of reasons to be excited for this Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Serving as the final major release for January 2022, the game taps into the established Pokémon formula while also innovating in a few surprising ways. Although the basic premise will be familiar to those with even the vaguest knowledge of this franchise (as per usual you are tasked with catching creatures, leading them in battles, and slowly filling your Pokedex encyclopedia), precisely how your adventure unfolds will be totally different here.

It is essentially a prequel to the mainline series, set in the untamed Hisui region (which will later be known as "Sinnoh") at a time before Pokémon and humans were cohabitating peacefully. As one of the pioneering trainers, your customizable avatar is sent out on an exhibition to catalogue the flora and fauna of this newly-discovered country.

Pitched as a bold new direction for the series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus feels more like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild than anything else. As with that blockbuster, this is a title that promotes a sense of curiosity and discovery, while encouraging you to experiment with its core mechanics.

New Features in 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus'

From a gameplay perspective, you will need to traverse the wildland of Hisui and build up your Pokedex.

Unlike in previous franchise installments, you will not be solely reliant on battling to expand your roster (that pastime hadn't been established yet) and will instead have to be more resourceful in how you go about acquiring new Pokémon.

For instance, you can sneak through tall grass and capture them by surprise, or you could lure them into a trap using their favorite foods. Although this element of stealth might not be what you expect from a Pokémon game, alerting your targets will trigger the usual turn-based combat encounters that fans know and love.

Other new features here include the ability to ride certain Pokémon so that you can get around the massive open-world more quickly. Basculegion can be used to traverse large bodies of water, you can mount the speedy Wyrdeer to dash across the plains, and the Hisuian Braviary will serve as a kind of glider.

Elsewhere, there is also a new crafting mechanic that incentivizes you to scour the wilderness for resources. As showcased by an extensive gameplay preview video that was uploaded on the official Pokémon YouTube channel, you will be able to use these materials to make things like healing items, lures and smoke bombs.

'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' Release Time

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is coming out for the Nintendo Switch on January 28, the exact same day as the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.

For those who have pre-ordered a digital copy of the game, it will unlock at midnight local time (as is often the case with titles purchased from the Nintendo eShop).

Speaking of which, if you have pre-ordered Pokémon Legends: Arceus electronically, then you can start pre-loading it right now so that it's ready to play as soon as the clock strikes 12 a.m. on Friday.

The file size for the base game is just 6GB, so you don't even need to set aside too much memory space.

How Much Does 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus' Cost?

The recommended retail price for Pokémon Legends: Arceus is $59.99. It will cost the same whether you decide to get a digital copy from the eShop or physical media from a gaming retailer like Antonline or GameStop.

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