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Pikachu is getting some brand-new monster company, plus a pretty change of scenery to play in. Wowing fans with a preview trailer that shows off a new open-world setting for its next mainline Pokémon games, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have unveiled Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, with the tease that they’re both heading to the Switch sometime before the year is done.
Developer Game Freak borrowed a live-action page from Detective Pikachu for the announcement clip, mixing live action with color-soaked views of the games’ new setting. Pokémon already has made one recent foray into the open-world environment with this year’s Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and it looks like that’s only a taste of what’s to come when Pokémon Scarlet & Violet arrive “in late 2022,” according to Nintendo: “Welcome to the open world of Pokémon,” the trailer’s tagline teases.
Check it out:
Of course it’s wouldn’t be a proper new installment without introducing new monsters to the sprawling Pokémon menagerie, and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet showed off a trio of newcomers who’ll be part of the games’ starting lineup. There’s Sprigatito the Grass Cat Pokémon, a duck-billed water-type monster named Quaxly, and Fuecoco — a “laid-back Fire Croc Pokémon that does things at its own pace.” It looks like players will get to know these guys right from the game’s start: They’re the three Pokémon from which you’ll be able to choose your first partner,” according to Nintendo.
Also joining the Poké-verse is a whole new region — the lush expanse spanning beaches, woodlands, and villages that are seen (but not named) in the trailer. Fans have reportedly wasted no time in putting on their thinking caps to figure out what kind of open world Scarlet & Violet will drop players into, and, via VGC, the early speculative consensus seems to favor a region that borrows heavily from the Mediterranean vibes of Spain.
Whatever its designers are going for with the local flavor, they’re definitely doubling down on the whole open-world concept. “Various towns blend seamlessly into the wilderness with no borders,” Nintendo teases. “You’ll be able to see the Pokémon of this region in the skies, in the seas, in the forests, on the streets — all over! You’ll be able to experience the true joy of the Pokémon series — battling against wild Pokémon in order to catch them — now in an open-world game that players of any age can enjoy.”
In other words, it’s nothing less than Nintendo’s idea of the next major installment in one of gaming’s most hallowed franchises. No firm release date has been set yet, but Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are set to arrive late this year as Nintendo Switch exclusives.