After nearly five years in development, and two years since the release of its initial Japanese trailer, the long-awaited Detective Pikachu has finally got a release date. Set for worldwide release on Nintendo 3DS family systems on March 23rd, the game follows a special talking Pikachu and his human partner Tim Goodman as they not only work to solve puzzles and fight crime in Ryme City, but investigate the disappearance of Tim’s father, Harry, as well.

Detective Pikachu European Box Art
Image: The Pokémon Company / YouTube

Playing as Tim, you accompany Pikachu around the city as he attempts to solve these various mysteries. It is your job to locate evidence, interpret clues, interview suspects and witnesses, and – most importantly – keep Pikachu out of trouble. This Pikachu is no ordinary Pikachu, after all; he’s loud, he’s gruff, and according to The Pokémon Company’s official Detective Pikachu game page, ‘talks tough, loves strong coffee, and boasts about his brilliance as a wannabe great detective’.

In a new trailer released on January 12th (below), Pikachu and Tim are seen exploring the city, investigating some strange caves, enjoying some strong coffee, and even negotiating the nature of their partnership; it becomes very clear that this Pikachu isn’t one to be told what to do, telling Tim ‘hey, don’t boss me around!’. His attitude seems very reminiscent of Ash’s Pikachu in the early days of the anime, does it not? Various Pokémon from across the seven generations are seen, including Minccino, Pidove, Murkrow and Glalie, and even the legendary Pokémon Mewtwo makes a sly appearance at the end of the trailer – will they be involved somewhere in the game?

Some in-game footage is featured in this trailer, so you can see just how evidence collection and navigation of the city is supposed to work. The portrayal of the city seems to be a lot more realistic in Detective Pikachu than it is in regular Pokémon titles, so don’t be expecting to see as many Pokémon gyms or centres!

But – perhaps most interestingly of all – numerous important characters from the game are introduced in this trailer, some of whom don’t seem to be quite as friendly as you’d hope. The Pokémon Company explains:

You’re sure to encounter plenty of other interesting characters as you explore the big city, including Brad McMaster, a police lieutenant; and Mike Baker, a man who used to work with Harry. Plus there are countless Pokémon to meet, and that’s where this Pikachu’s talents really shine—he can communicate with other Pokémon—and with Tim, too. Look forward to plenty of other fascinating people in Ryme City…but it’s up to you to figure out who to trust!

Detective Pikachu and Tim at the waterfront
Image: The Pokémon Company / YouTube

Detective Pikachu‘s release will work differently in Japan, as the first ‘episode’ of the game has been available on the Japanese eShop since February 3rd, 2016. There, the second episode will be released on March 23rd as another eShop download, while in the west a physical edition of the game containing both episodes will be available for purchase as well as a digital edition. Sadly, as stated at the close of the trailer, the game is only in 3D – but regardless, it still looks to be a lot of fun, and its release is only a couple of months away.

In addition to the game, it has also been revealed that a giant Detective Pikachu amiibo is in the works, set to be released alongside the game. The following descriptions of the amiibo are provided on the game’s announcement page from January 12th and its official game page, respectively:

A special Detective Pikachu amiibo is in the works, too. This amiibo features a sleuthing Pikachu that’s larger than the standard amiibo, and when used with your game, it can unlock short videos that may contain helpful hints for your investigation.

A cool Detective Pikachu amiibo is also planned for release at game launch. It’s larger than a regular amiibo, and it will allow players to view all the Pika Prompts from chapters they have completed, including ones they missed finding earlier.

Pikachu amiibo with Detective Pikachu amiibo
Image: The Pokémon Company

What do you think of Detective Pikachu? Does it look like the kind of Pokémon title you’ve been waiting for? Let us know down in the comments, and be sure to follow us over on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up-to-date with all the latest Detective Pikachu news.