Pokémon is simply using its transition to an open world model to transcend silly concepts like “entering buildings” and “being inside.” By the tenth generation, there will be no buildings at all! When vast open world games like Elden Ring (2022), Genshin Impact (2020), Breath of the Wild (2017), The Witcher 3 (2015), Skyrim (2011), Oblivion (2006), Morrowind (2002), etc etc allowed us to actually see inside buildings, and even enter many, they were mistaken, you see. Entering an open world game’s buildings when you could be thriving in the action-packed, full-of-life 3D wilderness is, like, so 1994 (The Elder Scrolls: Arena).
If we’re being completely serious - which is kind of hard to do with this series sometimes, honestly - this is a direct result of the development constraints currently placed on Game Freak. There’s no good faith argument that the game’s world is meaningfully streamlined or improved by disallowing us from actually entering shops and homes, or making other enterable buildings. It’s not like it was a sacrifice made to make one of the best open worlds we’ve ever seen, it’s a sacrifice that was made to get the open world over the finish line in time for a fall 2022 release at all, much like Dexit is suspected to have been a sacrifice to get a working Sword and Shield out on-schedule.
I’m relatively certain that in dozens of hours of playing I’ve only entered the school, cut-and-paste gyms, and one cut-and-paste sandwich shops - that’s less variety than games like RBY and GSC. Being unable to experience homes, museums, cultural centers, unique gyms, complex ruins, towers, shopping outlets, hotels, and other buildings present in prior regions - or even new places they could feature for the first time! - does meaningfully detract from the sense of the culture of the region. Partially as a result, Paldea feels very “generic Pokémon” to me. There’s a lot less substance to what flavor is present in the cities we see; they’re hollow, pretty but empty. The games are fine without these things, sure, but they’re not as good as the could have been - things like these are details that can contribute a lot more than you might think to making a video game feel like an experience with depth and life.
It all comes down to the fact that these games are almost universally given just three years of development with other titles being developed at the same time, even sharing some staff, in a continuous conveyor belt of content to keep up with the breakneck pace of the Pokémon merchandise schedule. They’ll come out; they’ll be fine; they’ll sell. They might even be better than the first games of the last generation (these are certainly better than Sword and Shield). But the magic erodes just a little every time something is sacrificed.