Genshin Impact First Impressions

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A Traveller's Tale... 

I recall when Genshin Impact was first revealed a little over a year ago. The Controversy surrounding the action-adventure RPG that had been labelled a “Breath of the Wild rip-off” had a crowd of Nintendo fans up in-arms over Chinese developer miHoYo’s aesthetic, design and gameplay choices. The studio weren’t shy in exclaiming their love for Zelda, and how the legendary franchise had inspired them to establish this brand new free-to-play IP. Personally, I thought it looked fantastic; as a huge fan of Zelda: Breath of the Wild myself, I was immediately captivated and engrossed by the sheer beauty in its gorgeous display demonstrated with some enticing combat that adds a new layer of depth and separates itself from being a carbon copy of our emerald crusader’s adventure in Hyrule.

It may be shameless, but a ballsy strategy to publish a title that essentially lifts multiple beats from its competitor’s franchise. Albeit, I must say that I’m impressed. Genshin Impact has already begun its dominant takeover within the RPG market. While the term “free-to-play” may deter, even dis-encourage those from experiencing this wonderful title, there are some immediate drawbacks. Yes, it does have a plethora of pay-to-win prevalently presented from the onset. The GRPG or Gacha market is prominent within Eastern markets, usually dominant within the mobile gaming space. The randomised lottery driven category has always been an arguable genre in which some have labelled as ‘black market gambling’. I can see the resemblance with randomised lottery draws after expenditure. It falls within a grey area and walks a fine line between paid DLC, and pay-to-win. It’s weird.

Genshin Impact delivers  on a promise of encapsulating environments with an interesting narrative. It most certainly takes cue’s from established anime series such as “No Game, No Life” and “In Another World with My Smartphone”, with a smidge of “Konosuba” thrown in for comedic effect. Confronted immediately by enemy hoards that parallel the an amalgamation of Breath of the Wild’s Bokoblin and Footsoldier’s, the mask fiends use their blazing abilities to singe and smolder our unnamed hero and their entourage. Beginning with the choice of choosing a male or female protagonist, our silent champion roams the lush fields of Teyvat, the overworld setting of the entire campaign. Respective species will be littered in hoards of vicious foes, which may lead into encounters that will display their unique Levels. Most enemy hoards encountered neat the beginning will be at Level 1. 

This is simply to acquaint players with the title’s control scheme, and for the RPG novice who may or may not have played an RPG for quite some time. Omitting traditional turn-based mechanics for a modern free-form approach, there are subtleties that have been applied from various titles such as Dragon Quest, Ni No Kuni and Persona. These attributes were all surprisingly accommodating to the framework lifted from Breath of the Wild’s sustenance mechanics. Collecting fruits and vegetables to replenish your health, all while cooking recipe’s such as chicken and mushroom skewers will become beneficial, if not critical in the long run. Visiting residential areas and opening dialogue between your characters and the town folk progresses the campaign’s key plot points in hopes of expanding its already broad scope.

While I expect a cavalcade of quirky characters to appear along the way, our hero is assisted by Paimon, a fairy-like female humanoid. The child-like sidekick follows our party and acts as the mouth piece for our mute leader. Much of our hero’s dialogue is represented in multiple choice/text form to simply advance idle situations, or small talk. Amber is highlighted as the brash, arrogant and rebellious member, that leads our party into wild encounters, given her outrageous resolve and confidence. Armed with an occultic crossbow, the former Knight of Favonius assumes leadership, while our true commander is recognised in the silent protagonist. Outfitted in steam-punk inspired garb, her glowing gold eyes play a primary role within the campaign.

for all intent and purpose, I'm real intrigued and excited to explore more of miHoYo's Genshin Impact.

One of Eight “Allogenes”, Amber harbours the the ability to control fire with a Pyro Element. This allows the arrogant yet experienced teen to charge her ranged attacks, with exploding arrows that burst into flames on impact. Her “Explosive Puppet” ability allows the pyrotechnic to taunt nearby hoards, initiating or inciting a potential battle. Her ranged attack provides an overall advantage over most of her respective cohorts, with our hero’s melee hack-and-slash abilities being their primary over the questionable ability to blast enemies with large gusts of wind. Many of fumbles have been had with questionable button mapping on the PlayStation 4 version of the title. Having to click or hold down R1 to sprint will deplete your party’s stamina, which also disables your characters from scaling mountainous cliffsides, or simply climbing trees for fresh fruit.

Yes, we’re all reminded of Breath of the Wild’s frustrating vitality system but I’d say that Genshin Impact provides a substantial amount of depending on the circumstance presented to you. Oh, and mercifully excluding weapon durability. Each character will cycle different attributes in strength, size and provided artillery. The great thing about this title being an RPG is each piece of weaponry having their respective upgrades. I have seen the title’s broad skill tree, and it looks to be quite bountiful. I’m sure there magnitude of the upgrade system’s overall prestige will play a major factor come the campaign’s climax. I’m excited to see where this adventure goes. I’ll be exploring more of Genshin Impact throughout the holiday season, and yes I may sneak in a small donation here and there, just out of curiosity. But for all intent and purpose, I’m real intrigued and excited to explore more of miHoYo’s Genshin Impact.

Genshin Impact - miHoYo

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play action role-playing game developed and published by Chinese developer miHoYo, who is known for Honkai Impact 3rd, a popular action game, The game features a fantastical open world with gacha game mechanics.

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