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Nintendo Switch players have had no shortage of Pokémon games over the past few years, but few have generated as much excitement as Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The concept of an open-world addition to the franchise was more than enough to sell most players on this installment. What’s the release date for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and what do we know about it so far?

What is the release date for ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’?

Key art for 'Pokémon Legends: Arceus,' which shows two trainers surrounded by Pokémon and looking at a mountain in the distance
Key art for ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ | Nintendo

Game Freak and Nintendo are kicking off 2022 with the release date for Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which comes out on Jan. 28. The game arrives on the heels of the recent Diamond and Pearl remakes — but it promises to spark more conversations than Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl ever did.

That’s because this installment is the first Pokémon game to embrace an open-world setup. And although it won’t be fully open-world like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the structure has been compared to Monster Hunter. Either way, it’s a far cry from what players are used to.

Read The Pokémon Company’s full statement to Kotaku for a better idea of its model:

“In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Jubilife Village will serve as the base for surveying missions. After receiving an assignment or a request and preparing for their next excursion, players will set out from the village to study one of the various open areas of the Hisui region. After they finish the survey work, players will need to return once more to prepare for their next task. We look forward to sharing more information about exploring the Hisui region soon.”

The trailer also gives an idea of what fans can expect from the gameplay, as well as the storytelling portion of Arceus.

The trailer teases the game’s format and the Hisui region

“Get ready to experience Pokémon like never before.” That’s how Nintendo’s trailer for Pokémon Legends: Arceus opens, and it proves its point after just a few moments. From the “open landscapes” to the collecting and crafting, this game takes a unique approach to finding and catching Pokémon.

As for what the game’s about, it will take players into the Hisui region. That’s what the Sinnoh region was once called. And players will get the chance to travel back to an earlier time and see what the environment was like. They’ll be tasked with filling in the first Pokédex for the area, making them a prominent part of Hisui’s history.

Since the goal is to learn more about Hisui’s Pokémon, it sounds like players will be doing more than simply catching them. Of course, they won’t want to miss out on collecting them, too — especially with all the new Hisuian forms and evolutions making their debut.

Leaks revealed the Hisui Pokémon players can look forward to

Speaking of the Hisuian Pokémon joining the franchise in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, recent leaks have revealed what some of these forms will look like. Kotaku’s coverage of the leaks from CentroLeaks shows off some of the alleged newcomers. And it appears we’re getting three Hisuian starter evolutions: Decidueye, Typhlosion, and Samurott.

Like the Galarian and Alolan Pokémon before them, these evolutions take on a slightly different appearance than usual. Since Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott are the three starters, trainers will probably only get the one they choose.

Of course, there are numerous other Hisuian forms to look forward to as well. The trailer and promotional materials for the game already teased Hisuian Voltorb and Growlithe. Sneasel, Qwilfish, Lilligant, Sliggoo, and Goodra are among the other Pokémon receiving a makeover. And Sneasel and Qwilfish are getting new evolutions to boot.

Palkia and Dialga also seem to be getting new forms, so Arceus won’t be the only Legendary players need to look out for. It’ll be interesting to see if Arceus explains how these variants became the ones we know and love in Sinnoh. And fans won’t have to wait long to answer those questions.

‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ is currently available to pre-order


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So, can players order Pokémon Legends: Arceus ahead of its release date? The game is currently available for pre-order. Depending on where you purchase it, you can also find bonuses to accompany your item.

Per Distractify, these are some of the features you can expect with any pre-order of Pokémon Legends: Arceus:

  • A code for a Hisuian Growlithe Kimono
  • A code for a Baneful Fox Mask
  • 30 Heavy Balls for digital pre-orders only

Pre-ordering the game from the Pokémon Center also gives players the chance to snag an Arceus plush. Doing so through GameStop lands them three cards with official artwork, while ordering from Amazon comes with a Garchomp Kimono Set for their avatar.

Wherever fans order the latest addition to the franchise, they’re bound to enjoy all the new features it’s bringing to the table. Pokémon Legends: Arceus hits shelves on Jan. 28, 2022.