Detective Pikachu is quite a lengthy adventure. Depending on how long it takes you to solve mysteries, it will probably be a ten-hour game. There is a lot going on in Tim Goodman’s life after arriving in Ryme City, as his father got caught up in quite an intriguing case. The thing is, the game is not only about telling a story and getting us invested in Tim and Pikachu’s lives. It also feels like it is setting the stage for something more.
Editor’s Note: Detective Pikachu spoilers appear below.
Tim comes to Ryme City searching for his missing father, Harry Goodman. However, this investigation quickly switches to another topic. Upon looking for information on him, they learn that Harry was looking into why so many Pokemon were going berserk. This led to Tim and Pikachu heading to a laboratory where they learn Harry’s accident was no accident. A researcher named Carlos was behind it. He was working on R, something that would strengthen Pokemon injected with it, but also drive them mad, for some other entity. This leads them to the original creator of R, Dr. John Waals, to learn why R drives Pokemon crazy. Waals tells them Harry came to see him and that the presence of Mewtwo’s cells and Berserk Gene in R, rather than Mew’s, causes the problems with R.
From there, it is about proving that R is behind Pokemon crazy, preventing a major distribution of the chemical at the Pokemon Carnival, showing that Mewtwo was not the reason Pokemon were going mad and finding the person who was ordering the manufacturing of R. Well, and also keeping Mewtwo from killing every human too. It turns out GNN staff members are behind the outbreaks, with Assistant Director Keith Norman acting as the public face and Roger Clifford, a GNN Producer, was responsible for the whole scheme. Roger did it to boost ratings, gain control of the station and control all information in Ryme City. Naturally, Tim and Pikachu save the day, and Pikachu gets Mewtwo’s cells back. By shifting focus, we get a chance to enjoy an expanded story and build up a team that can continue onto future adventures. A franchise can be built.
Here is the big downside. Detective Pikachu ends with plenty of cliffhangers. When Pikachu meets with Mewtwo, Mewtwo asks, “Have you decided on which one to choose?” Pikachu makes a decision, but we do not know what Mewtwo was talking about or what Pikachu decided. What happened to Harry Goodman? We do not know, though Mewtwo tells Tim his father is alive and will see him again. Why can only Tim hear Pikachu? It is never explained. Why was Pikachu able to use Thunderbolt against Noivern to save Tim? Pikachu does not remember doing it and there is no explanation. Why did Pikachu’s entire personality change after the accident, and why does he like coffee now? All of this is unresolved.
While these elements can be frustrating, it does help guarantee more Detective Pikachu. We know a movie is coming out on May 10, 2019. Perhaps the movie will pick up from the events in Ryme city and continue Tim and Pikachu’s search for Harry. We also must remember that the game itself is episodic. The first episode ended with Tim and Pikachu resolving the PCL mystery and watching Mewtwo flying across the moon. Maybe another episode could be released in a year, to capitalize on the release of the movie.
Detective Pikachu is available for the Nintendo 3DS.