While Mihoyo might be virtually unknown to console and PC players, it’s already established itself as a mobile game developer. Mihoyo’s Honkai Impact 3 is popular on iOS and Android, and its hack-and-slash gameplay looks somewhat like a precursor to the much smoother looking combat in Genshin Impact. In addition to its games, Mihoyo also makes anime and manga. It’s already eight chapters into a manga setting up the story of Genshin Impact, which is serialized on its own website and on Crunchyroll.
Mihoyo announced that Genshin Impact would appear on PS4 today on the official PlayStation Blog. The game takes place in a world called Teyvat, made up of seven different city-states each with its own unique style ranging from typical medieval fantasy kingdoms to empires built on futuristic technology. Mihoyo’s announcement puts a lot of emphasis on freedom in the game, saying that players can explore the world at whatever pace they want thanks to its fast travel system. Players in Genshin Impact can form parties of up to four characters from a selection of more than 30 NPCs or invite online friends to join their game. There has already been one closed beta test for the game, and sign-ups are still available on the game\’s website for future sessions.
The announcement trailer for Genshin Impact will look very familiar to anyone who’s played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In addition to its similar art style, Genshin Impact doesn’t look shy about borrowing mechanics liberally from Nintendo’s recent hit. Characters in the trailer can be seen gliding through the air, climbing buildings, shooting elemental arrows, and facing off against foes that look more than a little inspired by Link’s latest adventure. Genshin Impact even seems to be trying to expand on Breath of the Wild’s elemental effects. The trailer shows a character setting a field of grass on fire to burn out a group of enemies, and the announcement mentions that other elements will be added to aid in puzzles and combat.
Borrowing so heavily from a nearly universally beloved game is sure to bring Genshin Impact some criticism. It will have its work cut out for it to look like anything but an imitator, and its addition of multiplayer and different character classes look like a good start.