pokemon scarlet violet sprigatito

5 Ways Pokemon Open-World Games Need to Evolve

What? Open world games are evolving!

The Pokemon series made its official open world game debut last year with the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. This was a big step for Game Freak after getting its feet wet with open-area concepts in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Although the developer did many things right with this first open world Pokemon game, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully, Game Freak will continue to build on the success of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet to create an even better open world game next time. Here are five ways that Pokemon open world games need to evolve in order to continue improving.

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Level Scaling

pokemon scarlet violet pokeball
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

One of the most disappointing aspects of the open world in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet was the lack of level scaling throughout the game. Pokemon in certain areas of the map would be at a lower or higher level depending on where they were regardless of the levels of the player’s team.

This made it very frustrating if you explored tougher areas early on in the game or came back to lower-level areas after your team was too powerful. It felt like there was a very intended route to follow, which kind of defeated the purpose of an open world.

The next Pokemon game can take its open world to the next level by scaling the levels of wild Pokemon and gym leaders so that they match the average level of your current party.

Start in the Center of the Map

pokemon scarlet violet map of paldea
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Another aspect of Scarlet and Violet that made it difficult to enjoy the open world was the fact that we started at the bottom of the map And had very few choices of where to start traveling first. Once you reach the first main city and started on your quest, you were given the choice to go either east or west.

The next game could take the open world to the next level by letting you start somewhere in the middle of the map and letting you choose any direction to go first, similar to leaving the Great Plateau in Breath of the Wild. This would open up more choices and a more personalized experience.

More Side Quests

pokemon scarlet violet trainers
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

There were three main quests to follow in Scarlet and Violet, which was a substantial amount to the normal one quest. However, it felt like there was very little to do outside of the main quests besides catching Pokemon.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus had simple side quests that you could do at any time if you wanted to take a break from the main quest. There really wasn’t much like this and Scarlet and Violet. I want to help townspeople or trainers, I find along the way of my journey. These kinds of side quests would break up any monotony from the main quest and help make the world feel more alive.

Interactive Environment

pokemon scarlet violet sprigatito
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

Although the region of Paldea was vast, there were times when it felt dull and unalive. This was a result of being unable to interact much with the environment. Everything felt rigid and stationary as we moved about.

It would have been nice to be able to do things like shake trees or push rocks to find hidden Pokemon. It would also help if towns were more interactive as most of the buildings could not be entered. It didn’t feel rewarding to discover a new town because there was never much to do in them.

Making the environment more interactive would go a long way to make the open world more interesting and believable.

More Secrets to Discover

pokemon scarlet violet ghosts
Image Source: The Pokemon Company

The novelty of Scarlet and Violet’s open world was off pretty quickly. Once you found one type of secret, the rest weren’t too surprising. Next time, there should be some more variety in the secrets and discoveries.

For example, it should feel rewarding to come across helpful items for the quest or a special area with rare Pokemon. Maybe you wouldn’t be able to enter a certain area without completing a puzzle first. It should be a breath of fresh air to discover something unexpected.

It’s important for open world games to include a healthy amount of secrets that keep the player searching every corner of the map. This makes the discoveries rewarding and keeps us interested for longer, and hopefully, the next open world Pokemon game will include more of them.


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Author
Rebecca Stone
Rebecca is a Staff Writer at Twinfinite. She has been with the site and in the games media industry for 4 years, and she has a college degree in psychology and writing. Rebecca typically covers Nintendo for the site, and she especially loves the Legend of Zelda series. Outside of gaming, Rebecca is an avid Swiftie and enjoys playing with her cat Frisk.