After the great success of Pokémon Legends: Arceus and its experimental first steps for the Pokémon series into semi-open-world environments (discounting the limited Wild Areas from Pokémon Sword and Shield), the question of whether Pokémon Scarlet and Violet would continue this trend or return to the more discrete and linear locales of the older games has been on the minds of fans. Now that question has been answered quite plainly by The Pokémon Company following the reveal of the new trailer for the upcoming game.
In a tweet (below) from the official Pokémon news account @PokemonNewsUK, the game has been described thusly:
In Pokémon #ScarletViolet, the first open-world RPGs in the series, you’ll experience a world you’re free to explore at your leisure—not in an order dictated by the story.
The game's official website goes into even more detail:
Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet offer an open-world experience that only the Pokémon series can deliver—one welcoming even to newcomers to the series.,
You can experience a new style of adventure, with a world that you’re free to explore at your leisure and not in an order dictated by the story. You will, of course, journey to hone your skills as a Pokémon Trainer, but many more discoveries and stories await you. Meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and adventure in the world of Pokémon the way you want to.
This clears up any lingering doubts and very explicitly says that the next Pokémon adventure will offer a decidedly more modern and non-linear experience compared to the more traditional models of earlier entries.
While there will be many fans sorry to see the older formula not making a return, for our part it's exciting to see the franchise taking some bold swings and trying something new. We're sure there'll be plenty of the old-school elements elsewhere in the game's design, but the idea of exploring a truly open Pokémon world is a thrilling one.
Let us know below if you're excited to hear this particular detail about the upcoming mainline games.