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Pokemon Legends Arceus gameplay trailer showcases a Breath of the Wild inspired world

Pokemon Legends Arceus screenshot
(Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokemon Company)

Nintendo and developer Game Freak have given us an extended look at Pokemon Legends Arceus via a lengthy new gameplay trailer. The Nintendo Switch exclusive is set to launch in just two weeks' time, and this 13-minute video gives players an idea of what awaits them in the Hisui region. 

Pokemon Legends Arceus’ strongest inspiration is fairly obvious, the similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild really stand out in this trailer. For starters, both games place an emphasis on exploration as well as crafting to improve your stats. 

Legends Arceus is set in the Hisui region, and again like Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule, the location appears to be a very diverse setting with each region offering a different backdrop for your Pokemon collecting adventure.  

Being compared to what is widely considered one of the best Nintendo Switch games, and arguably one of the best games of all time, is certainly flattering but it does mean that Legends Arceus has a high bar to live up to. 

In this new trailer, we also get our first proper taste of how battles will work. There’s a greater focus on stealth, as your trainer has the ability to sneak up on a wild Pokemon in the hopes of catching them without the need for combat. If you are spotted, a turn-based battle will begin. 

These aren’t the traditional battles of previous Pokemon games though, the combat in Legends Arceus looks significantly more fluid with a careful balance between strength and style being essential to victory.  

Don’t worry, the punishment for failing in battle doesn’t seem to be too severe. If you take too much damage your trainer will blackout and you’ll lose some of the craftable items you’ve recently collected but significant progression won’t be wiped. Definitely don’t expect an open-world experience akin to Elden Ring here, Pokemon Legends Arceus is clearly aiming to remain accessible to young players. 

Pokemon Legends Arceus screenshot

(Image credit: Nintendo/The Pokemon Company)

The gameplay trailer ends with a boss battle against a “Noble Pokemon” that has become frenzied due to a "strange phenomenon." The gameplay trailer explains that in order to calm a rampaging Pokemon you can’t just defeat it in battle. Instead, you must feed it balms made of its favorite food while dodging its powerful attacks. These battles look pretty intense, but a great deal of fun nevertheless. 

While this gameplay deep dive into Pokemon Legends Arceus has been mostly well-received, it has received some criticism for its lackluster visuals. As you’d expect, the game offers a cartoonish graphical style, but it has been suggested the open world looks a little lifeless. Hopefully, this isn’t a potential problem that blights the overall experience. 

Thankfully, we won’t have long to wait to start exploring the Hisui region ourselves. Pokemon Legends Arceus is set to launch on the Nintendo Switch on January 28 and could be the perfect excuse to hunt down a Nintendo Switch OLED restock

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.