This fan concept shows off the potential of Pokémon open-world games

This Pokémon open-world concept artwork shows us just how our future adventures might look if Game Freak iterates on the Legends formula.

Pokemon open world: Red from Smash Bros pasted on top of some of the concept art from e117, specifically a graphic showing off a screenshot from their game on a Switch OLED

Thanks to the combination of widespread fan disappointment over generation nine and the recent release of ‘Pokémon with Guns’, Palworld, the creature-catching community is craving a new Pokémon open-world game. Luckily, one talented game artist created this beautiful concept art for us to drool over.

YouTube creator PhillyBeatzU shared the project via Twitter, asking, “Can you imagine seeing a Pokémon game like this!?” Despite this recent attention, Dutch art director George K, aka e117, originally posted the product concept to his Behance page in 2022. According to his description, the project is heavily inspired by one of the best Pokémon games, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which was the first title in the franchise to fully lean into open-world environments.

The minimalist UI and use of Pokémon mounts are clearly inspired by Legends: Arceus, whereas the sweeping fields and mountains remind us of a combination of Genshin Impact and Breath of the Wild – especially the stamina wheel and gliding, albeit with an added Pidgeot. George K. said, “I remember how we fantasized as kids about how cool it would be if in the future Pokémon video games let you do everything you see on a Pokémon TV show. It is a game that gives you unlimited possibilities in exploring the world of Pokémon.”

Thanks to the project’s resurgence on social media, critics have claimed that we don’t need a Pokémon game like this because of Palworld, the controversial new game from Pocket Pair that features similar creature-catching mechanics. While there are similarities, and Palworld’s new mods bring the two franchises even closer, it’s clear that George K.’s work is simply combining everything that worked in Legends: Arceus with other open-world mechanics to create the expansive Kanto journey that we’ve all been dreaming of. Maybe he should send his CV off to Game Freak…

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That’s our take on this beautiful Pokémon open-world game concept by e117. Make sure you send him some love via the project’s Behance page. Check out our list of the best gen 1 Pokémon for more Kanto nostalgia, or learn more about “Pokémon with Guns” with our Palworld Steam Deck and Palworld Switch guides.