Genshin Impact - What Happens When You Mix Breath of the Wild, Multiplayer, and Anime

A dragon encounter in a fantasy world

“It’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild!” – many Nintendo fans exclaim, seeing Genshin Impact for the first time. – “They’ve just copied everything!”

It’s not that simple. At first glance, Genshin Impact, the new cross-platform open-world RPG from miHoYo studio, really resembles the mentioned “Zelda”, if that “Zelda” suddenly moved to PC and mobile devices. The recognizable art style of the world (excluding anime characters); stamina that is spent on sprinting and jumping; glider wings that allow gliding and soaring in the air currents; numerous secrets hidden around, in the grass, on trees, in rocks; the ability to climb cliffs and sheer walls; cooking food on a campfire…

A breathtaking scenic view in the game

Of course, it’s easy to say, “ew, a Chinese Zelda, they just copied everything” and not even give it a try. But no.

First of all, Genshin Impact offers something that Zelda doesn’t – the ability to play cooperatively. Not right away, you’ll have to play for a while, reach a certain level – but after that, you’ll be able to explore dungeons and defeat bosses together with your friends. A party can consist of up to four people, including yourself.

Exploring a vibrant and colorful landscape

Secondly, initially we don’t run with just one Link, sorry, the main character. Our MC (we choose between two twins, who to play as – brother or sister) starts their journey together with a little flying fairy named Paimon. Almost immediately, we meet another companion, a girl archer named Amber… and this is just the beginning of gathering our merry band of mages, swordsmen, wizards, and just slackers. In the “active” team, there can be up to four participants, and they all travel together, well, “in one bottle”, like shampoo, meaning they don’t run after you, but simply switch with the press of a button. Anytime – even in battle.

A mesmerizing fantasy world

The guys have different weapons, different abilities, different elemental magic – and all of this will come in handy in exploring the world and fighting monsters: for example, water works best against fire monsters, but those same monsters sometimes hide behind wooden shields, and these shields can… correctly, be set on fire with a fire arrow! And in the open – no jokes, it’s huge – world, totems are constantly encountered that need to be activated with specific magic; or, for example, dangerous fiery flowers that can only be picked after you cool them with ice. And ice can temporarily freeze water – and walk on it instead of swimming. And fire ignites the roots of trees… Well, enough, you could write a whole treatise on this! The essence is clear, right? The interaction of elements here is on the level of Divinity: Original Sin 2.

Thirdly, Genshin Impact is completely free – and as a bonus, you don’t have to buy a Nintendo Switch for it! It is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and mobile devices (iOS and Android).

A beautiful aerial shot of the game

This is not everything; but these are the main points that, I hope, will make you take a closer look at the game.

The developers have done a tremendous job. Those who have played Chinese MMORPGs are accustomed to quests that are often either entirely composed of “bring me five stones from the stomachs of river snails” or are translated in a style like “my warrior Li Yun dumplings reed jar of mayonnaise”. Here, there is neither the first nor the second. The story, although classically jRPG-like and predictable, is interesting, and the quests – especially the character quests – are truly original and good. Okay, I lied, sometimes you have to bring snail stones. But within the framework of meditative leveling – why not? Especially in such a beautiful world!

A character soaring through the skies

And the world is very beautiful. Both in terms of graphics (it’s magnificent!) and in terms of style. Reeds swaying in the wind, fish frolicking in the lakes, flocks of cranes wandering in the shallows and scattering with a noise at the sight of people… Fireflies appear at night, and you can catch them with your hands – if you can. During the day, you can catch lizards. (And tear off their tails. For soup. Sorry, it’s not me, it’s all part of the game!..)

The battles here are extremely dynamic. Dodges, techniques, super moves, don’t forget, again, how the elements react with the environment, it’s possible that when something wet comes into contact with something fiery, you’ll get a small explosion, and if you lure enemies into the water and strike it with ice or electricity, it will be quite effective and spectacular. Then instant character switch, another move, then another and another… Bingo!

A magical and enchanting world

And you know, it looks simply amazing. And the best part is, if you juggle with the settings, it works on any mobile or stationary device. And it hooks you in completely, like any good open-world game. You’re running on a quest, you see – somewhere in the distance, there’s a chest guarded by goblins, how can you not take it? And further away – a secret area with magical totems, and nearby – a little spirit that will lead you to another chest, and next to the chest – flowers that you can pick, and mushrooms still growing… and the quest? Oh yes, the quest…

Characters engaged in a thrilling battle

The plot is not exactly original, but interesting. A brother and sister (default names – Ezra and Lumina) travel between worlds. One of the twins (not the one we play as) is kidnapped by some mysterious goddess, and the same villainess deprives the other of the ability to travel and throws them into the world of Teyvat. That’s where we find ourselves – on the sandy shore of a small lake, without the ability to return, not knowing who this kidnapper is and how to find our sibling. And there we encounter the cheerful and treasure-hungry fairy Paimon. Or rather, we discover her – pulling her out of the water in an attempt to go fishing.

A serene and tranquil moment

It is Paimon who offers the hero a logical way out: to go to the nearest city, try to contact the local gods-Archons. And, of course, after just a few steps, we come across a dragon, a boy talking to a dragon, a pyro archer, a hurricane… Just a normal day in a typical RPG, isn’t it? Well, it’s even more fun that way. And it would be nice to find a brother/sister. Someday.

Is all of this free? Yes, it’s free in itself. However, you probably expected that it’s not completely free. In terms of genre, the game is a gacha. If someone doesn’t know this word, initially gacha was a term for Japanese toy machines: you throw a coin and get a random toy. Now it refers to games, mostly mobile ones, that urge gamers to spend money to get a random item – with no guarantee that it will actually drop. (This mechanic is similar to loot boxes.) So what “drops” in Genshin Impact? Weapons (which can also be upgraded here) and new characters. You will get some characters for free as part of the game’s story, but to get the rest, you’ll have to, as they say, “roll the gacha”.

A panoramic view of the game's world

Is it bad? It’s up to you to decide. Currency for “gacha” drops throughout the game in a sufficient amount, no one prevents you from playing without making a donation, getting enough characters through free spins and promotions. (I already got four.) The story is more than passable with free heroes. Developers don’t pressure players to spend money. And if someone really wants to spin the lottery and try their luck – who can judge them?

I’ll repeat, this is not just a BotW clone with co-op – it’s a completely separate project and a completely separate RPG that is still evolving and growing. Currently, there are two large zones available, with plans for, I think, five more. The world is meticulously crafted, down to every book in the library (which you can read and collect in your inventory!), every poster on the wall, every conversation with a passerby in an alley. You can climb rooftops and collect flowers growing on the highest walls. You can solve intricate treasure maps. You can capture sunsets and strike beautiful poses in photo mode. You can engage in a battle with a high-level boss, hiding from it behind rocks and shooting from a distance with a bow, replenishing health with roasted chicken. Dozens, hundreds of possibilities. It won’t be boring.

A stunning and detailed environment

Genshin Impact
Action, Adventure, RPG
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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