Let’s get this straight: There is no doubt that Genshin Impact and Teyvat are heavily influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and that’s saying something. A lot of things in this game evoke memories of Link’s open-world exploration in Hyrule, like the graphic style, stamina-based “climb anything” system, and the glide ability. That being said, Genshin Impact stands on its own two feet with its fantasy world and varied playable characters, as well as its rich RPG mechanics, and I’ve spent more than 120 hours in Teyvat enjoying every minute.
‘Traveler’ from another planet comes in Teyvat before being assaulted by a sorceress or God or…something, and your twin is taken in Genshin Impact, a free-to-play action-adventure RPG. There isn’t much of an actual search for your missing sister in the first few hours of your journey, which consists mostly of gathering fruit and creating goods, and defeating deities. These duck-feeding missions are much more crucial than Link’s haste to rescue Zelda, just as they were for Link.
In Genshin Impact’s narrative, every anime character stereotype and tale cliche is used to its full extent. The plot veers from humorous misadventure to amusing misadventure with no consistency, and the characters re-explain the same magical language like they’re being paid by the word. To make matters worse, there is an XP-gating between each act, where you must gain ever more difficult levels of Adventurer Rank before you can go on to the next one.
You’ll spend most of your time traveling the world and generating your own tales as you rise through the ranks rather than listening to someone describe what an Anemoculus really does. It’s also entertaining to engage with and play as the 23 playable characters in the game, even if some of them make a lot of obnoxious sexy remarks for no apparent reason – hurrah, anime! — even though I periodically rolled my eyes. Teyvat is the actual star of the show, a planet brimming over with potential. Each and every corner of the game is crammed with treasures, chests, puzzles, adversaries, challenges, dungeons, and grueling bosses that you must overcome to finish your journey. To put it mildly, there is a lot of work to be done. There were always at least five or six things in my near line of vision that I might pursue, each with its own set of obstacles and rewards. With so much to see and do in the world, it might be tough to remain focused and accomplish significant tasks. It’s possible to stumble into an unexpected mission or puzzle by seeing a locked box in the corner of your eye. Follow the blue fairy and you may find yourself in the middle of an epic battle or possibly a protracted boss battle. In the best conceivable sense, it’s a chain reaction of things to do.
With the exception of the odd over-the-top anime voice acting, the world of Teyvat is wonderfully beautiful to look at and listen to. There are stunning views around every bend and great music to go along with them, even though it steals more than it creates in terms of presentation. The PS4 and mobile versions of Genshin Impact feature a few minor problems, but overall, the game looks and runs well, with the exception of a few minor hiccups.
As you acquire access to additional characters and their unique combat styles, talents, and elemental affinity, the world begins to take on new forms. Cryo-type characters like Kaeya can just freeze the water so that you may easily swim across a lake that was previously too large for you to traverse on your own. When you unlock Venti’s capacity to produce wind currents anywhere he pleases, mountains that were insurmountable become easy to scale. Unlocking a new character, item, or skillfully re-energized my enthusiasm for the following twelve hours of compulsive treasure pursuit in Teyvat just as I had come to expect it.
A group of up to four characters may be switched between at any time during combat, allowing them to quickly shoot, hack, and destroy their way through a wide variety of opponent kinds. Each character has its own elemental type and a few powers that may be used with that element. You may unleash powerful combos by moving between characters and combining their abilities. It’s possible to take out an army of enemies in one fell swoop by using Xingqui’s water powers and Fischl’s electric strike, for example.
Having a wide variety of characters, weapons, and objects to choose from, and learning how they interact with one another, is critical to your success in battle, particularly when time is of the essence. As you reach the present ending, adversaries become more lethal and have larger health bars, especially bosses. This is extremely crucial. Whatever the situation, employing all the tools at your disposal becomes essential, whether you’re up against a ferocious plant or a colossal, menacing wolf with ice strikes.
After attaining Adventure Rank 16, Genshin Impact may be played in co-op, however, at the present, this feature seems a little slapped on. Most of the time your guests will not be able to enjoy the benefits of your efforts if you host or join a challenge or battle with another player. So it’s unfortunate that one of you can only assist in battle while the other is kept out of practically all of the treasure and advancement, making it a lot less enjoyable to play with a companion for more than a short period of time.
My 120-hour journey through Genshin Impact ended with me completing just two of the global locations and one of the game’s four chapters; the other two-thirds of the plot is still locked away. A third act has not yet been added to the chapter that follows after the prologue.
Although a third section of the map is expected to be added later this year by developer miHoYo, there is currently no information on when additional chapters will be released. However, there is already a lot of material, and the possibility of any future content upgrades seems more like an MMO expansion than an early access update.
Even while you may play the full game for free, Genshin Impact’s style of “gacha” (or loot boxes) encourages you to spend both in-game cash and real money on a wide variety of items including randomized characters and prizes. There is a danger that the game’s environment is pay-to-win, but it manages to strike a good balance so that those who don’t want to spend a dollar may still enjoy the whole experience for free.
You may, however, unlock all of the most powerful characters and weapons in the game without ever having to spend a penny if you manage to play for over 120 hours in two weeks without spending a single penny on loot boxes, or grind them out via sheer tenacity. Those strong weapons and characters aren’t required to progress, and I was able to breeze past most problems by skill and grinding until I eventually got fortunate with some fearsome unlocks.
After a certain point, the grind for account-wide ‘adventure XP’ and upgrade materials becomes an immensely steeper climb, and time-gated activities that reward those items become a big advancement roadblock…which can be removed for the proper price, of course. This implies that individuals who are prepared to pay a fee may go through the final stages of the game considerably more quickly than those who aren’t. Every item in Genshin Impact is available to you if you have enough money, and whenever you come across one of these obstacles, a pop-up will remind you precisely how you can get around the obstacle. To be fair, it took me around 40-50 hours of play before I reached that wall, but once you do, progress slows dramatically.
The good news is that even after more than 100 hours of grinding, I still found Genshin Impact enjoyable. As a player, you can’t get enough of solving puzzles, defeating enemies, completing missions, and unlocking new characters and equipment to explore with. There’s no need to grumble if you’re left to roam Teyvat solving riddles and sifting through boxes of riches in the latter levels of the game since it’s still so much fun. Since I am a free player, the grind hasn’t been severe enough for me to consider using my credit card, even though the temptation to do so is ever-present and sometimes in your face.