Genshin Impact is a new free-to-play game from miHoYo which arguably pushes the boundaries and standards for freemium games in today’s age. An action/adventure RPG game set in the Eastern inspired landscape of Teyvat with a focus on exploration, Genshin Impact is very likely to capture the hearts of many gamers with its beautiful, anime-styled and light coloured graphics and fun, exhilarating gameplay. The story itself revolves around the protagonist having lost your sibling to an evil entity and waking up in the land of Teyvat. With your trusty (oddly unexplained) fairy sidekick Paimon by your side, it sets the stage for a grand quest through the land of Teyvat. As the story progresses, you meet different characters, all with their own unique quirks and gameplay mechanics.
The gameplay of Genshin Impact is a mixture of hack and slash with spells, using a variety of weapons. Characters have a physical weapon, and two different, elemental spells. Each character has an element that they are proficient in, the main character is proficient at using Wind spells, and has access to a chargeable wind blast and as his/her ultimate move can summon a terrifying tornado to sweep through the crowd. Every character in the game is unique; none of them play the same. Within the combat itself, you can have up to 4 characters chosen at a time, and switch between them with no downtime. This means combat is extremely fast paced, with you fighting with wind powers from your protagonist, then instantly swapping to somebody else to use their element. Elements in this game leave status effects on the enemies, and by combining elements, you create reactions. For example, combining wind and fire creates a fire swirl, a small fire/wind explosion that sends enemies flying. This is what the gameplay revolves around; combining different elements from different characters and finding synergies that work in tandem to help defeat enemies.
The adventure aspect of the game comes from the extremely large in-game map of Teyvat; split into different sections. Currently, there are two zones available; Mondstadt, the German-inspired lanscape and Liyue, a Chinese mountainscape. With no load times, you can see yourself getting extremely immersed during your exploration sessions into the land. The game has a large focus on exploration. You are able to climb most surfaces in the game; your limiting factor being the characters stamina, which gets spent quickly but regenerates quickly. You also get a wind glider that let’s you glide with the wind. These two mechanics are key in being able to explore and discover everything that the world of Teyvat has to offer. There are a large amount of hidden secrets within the world, different collectibles and puzzles hidden away in the landscapes and it is up to you to find them.
One of the large points of controversy regarding this game revolves around the gacha system. The way that characters are earned are through a gacha system, where you use in-game currencies to roll for new characters and weapons. However, the percentage rate of getting the rarest and best items is extremely low, at 0.6%. There is a pity system, where you are eventually guaranteed a 5-star character or weapon at 90 rolls. Overall, regardless of the gacha system, the core gameplay provides a wonderful experience for any gamer looking for something new to play.
Developers: miHoYo, Shanghai Miha Touring Film Technology Co, Ltd.
Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: September 28, 2020
Genres: Action role-playing game, Open World
Pictures: screenshots from the game, taken by the author.