Available on: PC/PS4/Andriod/iOS
What is all the fuss about?
“It’s a Breath of the Wild clone!” was the first comment I saw about this game that a friend had recommended to me, and at the time my first reaction was… Awesome, tell me more!
This action RPG starts with some very familiar mechanics to anyone that has played the latest Zelda offering and I was not put off by this one bit, with nothing else out there to scratch this itch, I was happy to see another company tackle this type of game.
My first session of the game had me playing for about an hour on PC and thought, I quite liked that. I still didn’t fully understand some of the core mechanics like the gear, but the combat was fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable. Combat is handled with some set skills and the ability to switch heroes mid-combat, with a team of up to 4 heroes, you can combine varying different skills to come up with some pretty sweet combos, which was an interesting idea.
After putting the game down, I was still scratching my head on what to make of Genshin Impact, so I was determined to delve deeper into more of the core elements of the game. 6 hours into my second playthrough and I did not even see the time fly by.
I am completely in love with this game, and the crazy thing about it, this game is free to play!
Free to play… What is the catch?
I hear you cry out, there has to be a catch, the game does have a Gacha loot box style mechanic for collecting heroes and gear, but honestly, I didn’t even know where the store button was until I had progressed through the game and that was just from the curiosity of seeing what was there.
Genshin does not interrupt your play at any stage with pop-ups or discounts for the latest deals, and it almost felt like the game is a little ashamed of them and looks to keep them neatly tucked away in a corner so if you feel like using up some of the currency you have earned (and you earn a fair amount) then you have an option to grab a little bit more for your troubles.
With all that said I have not played to end game, and I understand that free to play games do plateau in their progression, but I will be happy to put some money into a game that I have enjoyed this much already.
Do I have to play on PC?
Do you have a phone? Yeah, it’s on mobile, as well as PS4 and soon coming to Switch, and the most awesome thing about it, it’s cross-platform, so you can play with your friends when you unlock multiple, oh yeah, it has that too.
My only gripe about the cross-platform support is that due to the way Sony PS+ works, you can’t play your PC/mobile account on your PS4, which is a bit of a let-down for me as I would like to be able to carry over my game to my PS4 when I feel like crashing on the couch.
Polish without the price tag
I honestly feel this game is going to set an extremely high bar for the free to play market if not the games industry as a whole. The AAA industry has made it common practice to sell a game for 60 euros and embed varying levels of microtransactions be it loot boxes or selective purchases, for a game with this level of quality and finesse to come along with no price tag, is still a little bit mind-blowing for me.
So far I have unlocked 2 parts of the map and I’m just approaching Rank 16 eager to see how multi-player will work, this in itself has given me ample time to experience the basics and some of the more advanced systems the game has to offer. The pacing of the game feels very finely tuned, I never felt like I was locked behind some energy wall that I have experienced so many times with free to play games.
What else can my blonde-haired ponytail sporting Zelda wannabe do?
Once you pick your twin (male or female), you will set out into the world to find your lost sibling and you begin recruiting more able-bodied warriors to your cause, and you will have a team of 4 heroes in no time without even looking at a wish (loot boxes). Aside from a wonderful story campaign, Genshins repeat gameplay is varied enough, giving daily quests, open-world boss fights, and dungeons.
There is a pretty robust gear system which involves items of certain ranks and levelling them up, these consist of weapons and a series of artefacts which also offer set bonus much as you would find in your standard RPG gearing system.
As you acquire more heroes you will be hard pushed to keep them all levelled up, so it’s always a good plan to focus on one hero per element and then bring up the others as you can.
Do not forget to bring your friends
Once you have progressed through the first act of the game you will start to feel pretty comfortable with the game and want to tackle some of the much harder elements of the game, and if this proves to be too difficult for you, then worry not, call on a friend!
The game unlocks a multiplayer mode that allows you to team up with 3 other daring adventurers, each focusing on one element to bring to the fight. The dungeon and boss fight strike a feeling of the old MMO days, where you had the traditional tank, healer, and DPS roles, but this gives a whole nice spin on things with each player bringing their very own hero and elemental power to the fight.
Genshin Impact… To infinity and beyond!
I think it’s clear that I’m a little partial to the game by now and if this had been released with a 60 euro price tag, I would not have been surprised as it is clearly up to par with what the AAA industry is putting out. Instead, we have the dark horse for 2020 that could very well be the benchmark for years to come.
Genshin still has some features that it needs to improve, as it lacks an in-game chat feature as well as custom key-bindings and the mobile support is meant to be a little choppy. However, for a world wide release this game is truly on another level and for everyone that starts playing before the next patch there is a wealth of welcome rewards.
Play this game if…
You like anime RPGs
You like free to play games
You like open world adventures
You enjoy fast paced action-packed combat
All images taken from the Genshin Impact press kit here
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