The latest round of Pokémon Legends: Arceus screenshots have prompted fresh fan discussion on the game's structure.
In the past, Nintendo has described the game as offering "natural expanses" and "untamed landscapes". Meanwhile, trailers have suggested the game will offer some of the series' largest spaces to date.
Some fans hope Arceus will provide a Breath of the Wild-esque experience, with one enormous map available to traverse. But others now say this looks unlikely.
"It is coming increasingly clear that Pokémon Legends Arceus may not be full open world but rather segmented open areas like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monster Hunter etc.," Pokémon fan Joe Merrick wrote on Twitter, also likening it to the Wild Area and Crown Tundra areas in Sword and Shield.
It is coming increasingly clear that Pokémon Legends Arceus may not be full open world but rather segmented open areas like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Monster Hunter etc. separated into different areas like the Wild Area/Crown Tundra did— Joe Merrick (@JoeMerrick) September 30, 2021
I'm fine with this really. pic.twitter.com/llpCUUvQGx
Indeed, the gameplay loop of Pokémon Legends: Arceus does sound Monster Hunter-like. Players have a main base in Jubilife Village, where they can rest up, shop and customise their character. It's also where you can leave Pokémon that you have captured to run around.
Jubilife Village is also where players will pick up quests and head out to other regions. The game's latest trailer saw the main character fighting off an angry Kleavor, the game's new Scyther evolution, to calm it down.
A map for this area shows a variety of locations dotted around a wide open space surrounded by what look like hills. There's also a button prompt for a separate screen, showing main quest and sidequest-sounding "Missions & Requests".
"I mean, what the hell was everyone expecting?" one fan replied. "Did they really they could go to the final boss area within the first hour and fight Arceus with nothing but their level five starter Pokémon?"