Genshin Impact has seen a lot of comparison to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and rightfully so. Genshin Impact has inherent inspirations from BOTW including the world\’s art style, the ability to climb any surface, the glider, and beacons that reveal parts of the map that were previously shrouded in darkness. While the two games have undeniable similarities, Genshin Impact offers a unique experience that makes the shared mechanics palatable to those who have played both titles.
A common problem with open-world RPGs is that the worlds can feel flat or empty, but Treyvat is densely populated with puzzles, challenges, and hidden secrets. Every inch of Treyvat is given a purpose that entices players and draws them away from their quests. It\’s so easy to get distracted while admiring Genshin Impact\’s sprawling hills or mysterious wetlands, but getting lost in Treyvat is one of the game\’s most appealing factors. While interesting enough on its own, Treyvat is brought to life by Genshin Impact\’s beautiful soundtrack. The orchestrated score celebrates the environment a nd seamlessly changes its tune depending on the setting which makes for some of the most memorable melodies.
Genshin Impact is an action RPG that heavily focuses on its unique combat system. Each character wields a type of weapon and element, and even those who wield the same types of weapons have unique combat styles. The player can switch between four different characters at will to chain combos and combine elemental attacks. There are a variety of enemy types which also control the elements forcing players to adapt to different situations and memorize their enemy\’s attack patterns. However, due to the simplicity of Genshin Impact\’s leveling system, combat rarely feels like a challenge but never gets old, creating the kind of gameplay loop that works on both mobile and other platforms.
Like any RPG, there are a lot of different mechanics for players to take in, but Genshin Impact introduces them one at a time to not overwhelm new players. As a result, it does take time to unlock certain features, which are kept hidden behind the player\’s Adventure Level and gradually become available as they progress. This can seem a little frustrating, but it also allows the player to take the time they need to understand the mechanics they already have access to. That being said, it is a bit annoying that players have to reach level 16 before they are able to play with one another. At first, Adventure leveling is relatively quick, but the later levels take a bit of a grind to reach which can deter some players from sticking with the game.
One of Genshin Impact\’s most interesting aspects is that it is free-to-play on PC, PS4, and mobile devices. Free mobile games carry a stigma of invasive microtransactions or being riddled with advertisements, but Genshin Impact breaks that mold. There are microtransactions available for those who are impatient, but the game freely gives out its premium currency in large quantities while playing normally. Genshin Impact also features cross-progression between PC and mobile devices which is the definition of seamless. The exact location a player leaves off on PC will be the exact same spot they pick up on mobile, and vice versa. However, the lack of controller support for mobile devices makes it challenging to play in certain situations.
Genshin Impact does have a storyline with loveable characters and amazing voice acting, but the story itself takes a back seat in comparison to the rest of the game. That\’s not to say the story is dull or boring because it is actually a compelling and unique narrative. Yet, with everything else Genshin Impact has to offer, the storyline is less appealing. This also goes back to how enticing the world can be and how it easily draws the player away from the main quest. Unlocking characters is one of the main appeals of progressing the storyline, but players can also unlock characters through Genshin Impact\’s gacha system which can be highly addictive and is where microtransactions come into play.
All in all, Genshin Impact is a fantastic adventure RPG that feels like the first season of everyone\’s favorite anime. Treyvat is a gorgeous world that challenges consumer perception for what should be expected from \”free\” gaming experiences. While it may not have the finest coat of polish that AAA titles can offer, Genshin Impact rivals some of the best adventure titles on the market, and is a must-play for everyone to see if it\’s a good fit on both their mobile devices and PC/PS4 if available.