Genshin Impact is the latest game released by Mihoyo, the creators of numerous mobile games such as Honkai Impact. Much like their previous title, Genshin Impact is another gacha game that is currently making some serious waves online thanks to it being free to play, beautiful, colourful and playable on numerous platforms including PC and mobile devices. Let’s have a closer look at the game and what it’s doing well, what it needs to improve, and finally my overall thoughts.
Anime Breath of the Wild?
Let’s address the elephant in the room straight away as this was one of the biggest controversies (for some reason) that was surrounding the game when it was originally announced. It’s very obvious that Genshin Impact has taken some of its inspiration from Breath of the Wild: The stamina bars, gathering system, obtaining a specific resource in order to increase your stamina, the way you traverse around the world etc… On the surface, there is definitely a lot that can be compared.
However the further into the game you get, the more you will see just how different the 2 games are. Personally I always thought that BOTW had a strong focus on it’s combat and the way you would utilize the weapons you currently had stocked up, along with the ability to use all of your sheikah slate runes. Even more so than these though, BOTW was defined by its world being a huge physics-based playground where anything could become your weapon. You see a boulder on a cliff above an enemy camp? You can use your stasis to fire it in the enemies direction. A tower you need to climb, but it’s surrounded by water that is infested with a ton of Lizalfos? Build yourself a platform out of ice and fight from the high ground or just skip past them entirely.
These are the main things that made BOTW such a wonderful game, and these are absent in Genshin Impact. There are however, some things present in the world of Genshin that make it a really enjoyable explorative experience; the bosses, puzzles and chests. Throughout the entire world of Genshin you will encounter numerous different types of bosses such as Hypostasis and Regis Vines, along with numerous puzzles that can lead to rare chests, plus there are tons of other treasure chests littered about the world for you to find.
Combat & Party
Genshin Impact’s combat is simplistic, but it has enough depth that will have you constantly looking forward to the next fight to see what new combos you can pull off. I’m not talking about fighting game combos, but elemental combos. The game features a wide array of characters, each using one of the many elements in the game. These being: Water, Ice, Fire, Wind, Earth, and Electricity. These are the currently playable elements and each one has a unique and fun interaction with the next.
Each element serves a purpose on it’s own, but becomes much more powerful when used in tandem with others. For example, your main character will be given the wind element. Wind is one of the most versatile elements that can piggyback off of almost all the other elements in the game, spreading them further while also decreasing the enemies resistances to said elements. Fire will spread further across the ground, numerous enemies will become drenched, these drenched enemies can then be frozen and so on. It’s mastering these elements that really unlock the limitless fun of the game’s combat. Some enemies make use of shields that can only be destroyed by applying what you know of elements and their reactions with one another.
What determines your elemental synergies is all dependent on your party and how you’ve decided to set it up. You can have up to 4 characters in your party and in addition to the different elements, each character will specialise in different types of weapons. Your main character uses a 1 handed sword, Amber uses a bow, Diluc a 2 handed sword and so on. Each weapon has its own specific uses and specialties, so it’s important to make sure your party is set up in a way that makes use of each.
In addition to weapons, you will need to make use of the artifacts that you can equip to your characters in order to power them up and give them unique set bonuses that will serve to further their power. There are numerous different artifact sets in the game and each one offers a different stat and each set offers a different bonus.
Travelling Doctors sets can increase the healing you receive by a certain percent.
Adventurer sets will increase your total HP.
Berserker will improve that character’s critical hit rate.
Even if you don’t manage to roll a fantastic character, you can still make use of weapons, party setups, artifacts and levelling all of these up to make sure that you don’t fall behind. This is definitely a very praise worthy aspect of the game that I want to exaggerate.
Power creep is one of the most common features of a gacha game that can slowly make the characters you gain early on feel obsolete. Due to the fact that you as the player are always in the driving seat by controlling your characters, making use of elemental reactions, dodging incoming attacks etc… That feeling of power creep shouldn’t hit quite as hard as the game continues to develop.
Of course we absolutely have to talk about the gacha elements of the game. From the numerous gacha games I have tried and played, Genshin Impact’s roll system is quite the savage one. The only game I can think of that has a harsher system is Fate Grand Order.
Players can earn primogems from almost anything they do in the game: Opening chests, adventurer’s log, story quests and so on. The amount of primogems you gain from each of these tasks varies and can be from as low as 2 for some of the easier methods. These primogems can be exchanged for Wishes which is the currency used to perform a roll on the gacha banners. There are 2 types of Wish as of right now: The event banner wishes and the standard banner wishes.
If you take a look at the details of any gacha banner, you will be able to find the 5 star and 4 star characters that are possible to pull, but you will also find the percentage chance of you pulling said 5 star. That being a measly 0.6% chance. The most brutal part being that this game has 5 star weapons which are thrown in with the characters, so your chance of actually getting a specific character becomes even smaller.
All of this in combination with the slow grind of farming primogems as you fight off the demons in your head that are trying to get you to spend money, the gacha system is overall pretty awful. The only redeeming feature is the pity roll system. This is essentially a guaranteed 5 star unit that occurs 1 in 90 rolls. Even then as a free-to-play player, this is an insane amount of grinding.
Genshin Impact Review Verdict
Genshin Impact is genuinely fun, is set in a wonderfully vibrant world with stuff to be discovered everywhere you go, topped off with some fantastic waifus and best boys. As someone who is entirely free-to-play, the gacha system is horrendous. However, it doesn’t take too much away from the general enjoyment that I get from the game. You should definitely give the game a try. It’s free!