The 13-minute video, embedded below, provides an in-depth overview of Legends’ gameplay loop and new features. As a new recruit to the Galaxy Expedition Team, players will be undertaking missions to explore the Hisui region and catalog its first Pokedex.
Get the CNET Culture newsletter
Explore movies, games, superheroes and more with CNET Culture. Delivered Tuesdays and Fridays.
Unlike most traditional Pokemon games, wild Pokemon can be seen roaming about the environment in Pokemon Legends. Some monsters such as Bidoof will simply ignore the player, while others like Shinx will become aggressive and attack if they spot them, requiring a different approach to catch.
The battle system also has a few new wrinkles in Pokemon Legends. Players can initiate a battle by sending their own Pokemon out near a wild monster. These encounters are still turn-based, but now players can command Pokemon to use Agile Style or Strong Style versions of their attacks. Agile Style sacrifices some power but will allow your monster to move again more quickly, while Strong Style takes longer to unleash but is much more powerful.
The gameplay video also offers another look at alpha Pokemon and Noble Pokemon. The former are more powerful and aggressive versions of wild Pokemon, denoted by their glowing red eyes. The latter, meanwhile, are effectively bosses. Something has caused the Noble Pokemon around the region to become frenzied, and it’ll fall to you to quell their rage by battling them and pelting them with balms.
In addition to catching Pokemon, you can also gather materials like stones and plants while exploring Hisui. These resources can then be crafted into an assortment of helpful items such as new Poke Balls. The overview video also offers a look at some of the facilities you’ll find around the game’s main hub area, Jubilife Village, including a clothier where you can purchase new outfits and a hairdresser where you can customize your hairstyle.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus launches on Jan. 28. Everyone who purchases the game before May 9 will receive a bonus Hisuian Growlithe kimono set and Baneful Fox mask for their character. You’ll also get a few special bonuses if you’ve played other Pokemon games on Switch.