Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world adventure game that was released on September 2020 by a Chinese video game company named miHoYo (Currently Hoyoverse). It is available on PC, PS4/ PS5, and Mobile platforms. I have been playing Genshin Impact on my PS4 since its launch, and even after 2 years of playing, I can undoubtedly say that it is one of the best role-playing games I have played in my life. So, here is my review of Genshin Impact after 2 years of playing.
I am completely sold on the world of Genshin Impact for several reasons. Firstly, for its similarities with the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which was a cartoon/animated series I enjoyed immensely as a kid.
The world of Genshin Impact, known as “Teyvat,” is divided into 7 nations representing seven elements of nature: Monstadt representing Anemo (air), Li Yue representing Geo (Earth), Inazuma representing Electro (Electricity), Sumeru representing Dendro (Plants), etc. Other unreleased nations like Fontaine, Natlan, and Shnezneaya will represent Hydro (Water), Pyro (Fire), and Cryo (Ice), respectively. The eighth nation is hinted at as khanreah, but we know very little about it so far.
Secondly, like the bending in Avatar, Genshin Impact has Visions with which a wielder can yield the power of a particular element. But, unlike Avatar, every vision-holding character has a unique fighting style and weapon.
Thirdly, the exploration of Genshin Impacts is very immersive. You have the typical open-world formula with chests lying here and there guarded by mobs or simple puzzles. Then you have chests with a higher value which require you to solve some difficult puzzles or complete a domain challenge or maybe a world quest (Side Quest).
There is a high chance you will stumble upon new adventures in almost every corner of the world. I bumped into an NPC called Rana in the new region of Sumeru while exploring, and after talking with her, it began a chain of very unexpected world quests that led me to unlock so many new underground caverns and secret tunnels as well as two smaller explorable regions within Sumeru called Vanrana and Old Vanrana.
Even the world itself has different environments, such as forests, deserts, glaciers, mountainous terrains, islands, sea beaches, etc. While exploring, I never felt monotonous rather, it was surprising to me how so many variable environments can be inside a single game.
I can write countless reasons why I am so into the world of Genshin Impact but let us keep some things as mysteries for the readers or new players to find out.
The story of Genshin Impact is very simple. We play as a traveller who gets separated from his/her (depending on the character players chose) twin after their path was blocked by an unknown God when they fell into the world of Teyvat and tried to leave. After this event, the traveller meets Paimon, a flying fairy who becomes our travelling companion and helps us to explore the world of “Teyvat.”
The main goal of our protagonist is to find out where his/her (depending on the character players chose) sibling is and what happened after their separation. To do that, Paimon suggests we travel to the seven nations of Teyvat and meet the seven Gods to know more about the unknown God who blocked their path from leaving. The first chapter begins in Monstadt, the land of the Anemo archon.
So far, we have met four Archons, and we are currently travelling in Sumeru, the land of wisdom, and the Dendro Archon. The main storyline or the Archon Quest is continuing/spontaneous.
Other than the main storyline Genshin Impact features much more lore revolving around a character or a region. We get to meet many characters and personalities on our journey, and we learn more about their life and background through these quests. Genshin Impact also has hangout events, where we can spend time with some specific characters.
Even though my heart is urging me to write some of my favourite moments in the story so far, I cannot spoil the surprises for the readers or new players.
The story of Genshin Impact is one of its best-selling points. Because there is a huge curtain of mystery on the main story of what happened to our sibling and in the grand scheme of the world of Teyvat. There are still so many unanswered questions that players are excited about what’s to come next.
The art style of Genshin Impact was one of its first major features that caught the eyes of the players. Even though the semi-cartoonish or anime-esque art style was nothing new in gaming, Genshin Impact presented the art style in a more vivid and immersive way. It touches somewhere between anime and comic book art styles.
Rather than going for the photorealistic art style like the massively popular Final Fantasy and Assassins Creed series, Genshin Impact presented a non-realistic anime-style open-world game that perfectly made sense for its fantastical and magical world.
As I have been gaming for a long time, the photorealistic art style in AAA games was honestly getting a bit repetitive. My mind was craving something different. And that is exactly what Genshin Impact delivered, a unique and refreshing new open-world game that not only looked gorgeous, it felt like a breath of fresh air in a long time, thanks to its beautiful art style.
The biggest selling point of Genshin Impact is undoubtedly its unique characters. Almost every new character that is released in the game has a social media presence, and gamers, creators and general fans of the game constantly make artwork, videos, and cosplay around them. We can get an idea about the popularity of these characters in the view count of their demo videos on youtube.
As of the time of writing this article, the character demo of Zhongli: The Listener has reached more than 28 million views on YouTube. These characters symbolize not only the stylistic aspects but also represent the cultural and traditional values of their respective nations, making them popular all over the internet and in real life as well. It is around these characters the story of Genshin Impact revolves, and almost every character plays a significant role in the story and setting of the game.
Characters are divided into mainly two classes. 4 stars and 5 stars. It is mainly the five stars that the players are most excited about because they are very rare to get and has the potential to make your team stronger. I still remember waiting for kamisato Ayaka, an Inazuma character that I had been waiting to pull for a long time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get her in her first featured banner. But thankfully, I was able to get her in her re-run banner.
It is mainly through the characters Genshin Impact was able to make around 3 billion USD since its launch. Because the only way to attain a rare 5-star character is through its questionable ‘Gatcha’ system, which is compared to a sort of Gambling, and if you don’t have enough in-game currency, you have to spend real money to get your desired character.
But, another way is to save up the primogems by playing the game and doing all the events, which for some players is very time-consuming and a lengthy process. But, as each character is uniquely designed in terms of both appearance and combat style, it feels like an achievement when you get the desired character.
One of my favourite things about Genshin Impact is its music, and I am sure this feeling is mutual among most of the players. Genshin Impact’s music is definitely one of its strongest elements, as it brings life and emotion to the gameplay and story.
From its launch, Genshin Impact has been surprising fans with its unique OST. Rather than following the popular EDM style music like most modern games, Genshin Impact turned more towards orchestral music, which helps to bring that fantasy and magical feeling to the game.
That doesn’t mean the whole OST is solely orchestral; there have been various pieces of music that have the flavours of various modern genres of music, such as trap, hip-hop, rock, etc. In a way, the music in Genshin Impact has a place for all sorts of listeners. Genshin Impact launches its OST Albums on its official Youtube Channel regularly.
I still remember the first time I came to Dihua Marsh in Li Yue; a piece of music called “Vague Whispers” started playing in the background, and I just stood still for a moment as if I was a poet who had lost himself in the beauty of nature. Also, one of the BGMs of Qingce Village, named “The fading Stories (Qingce Night),” stunned me with its beauty. I felt like I was taking a stroll in a Chinese village full of simplicity and joy.
Such an experience warms the heart of the players and helps them to get lost in the game, which is a big reason why players keep coming back to the game each time a new update launches.
The combat in Genshin Impact is simple yet enjoyable. We control a team of four interchangeable characters. We have characters who can wield any of the seven elements that react with each other to increase damage. The seven elements are Anemo (Air), Geo (Earth), Electro (Electricity), Dendro (Plants), Hydro (Water), Pyro (Fire), and Cryo (Ice).
There are mainly five types of weapons in Genshin Impact. They are Swords, Claymore (Greatsword/Long sword) Polearms (Spears), Bows, Catalysts, etc. Also, there are artefacts that give the characters more power and damage, which players need to farm with ‘Resin.’ The stats of the artefacts are randomized for each player. Hence, every player will have a different character build.
This is the beauty of the combat in Gesnhin Impact, there are no specific rules for team building or fighting. Even though there is META (Most Effective Tactics Available), everyone has their unique team builds, strategy, and approach, making the combat of Genshin Impact a unique experience for every single player.
There is also a Co-op mode available to play around with friends and other random players.
Downsides of Genshin Impact:
Genshin Impact has faced much criticism from the community over the years for some of its lackings. One of the first downsides is the lack of endgame content for veteran players. The game becomes very easy to beat once you hit a certain level, regardless of how strong your account is. And even after the 3.1 updates, there has been no official declaration of any endgame content whatsoever. The only endgame content that is available in the game right now is Spiral Abyss.
Another big downside is the ‘Resin’ system which has been a matter of discomfort for almost every player since the game’s launch. Resin is the in-game currency that is required to farm artefacts, materials, and bosses to upgrade a character or a weapon. This process is painful itself as you have to do the same thing over and over again until you get the required amount of materials.
On top of that, we can only use 160 resin each day which makes the grinding process even more lengthy and, to some, ‘monotonous’. Even though resin replenishes over time, it makes the character-building process a bit worthless as there will be newer characters always on the horizon that players have to build from scratch, all over again!
I still remember downloading Genshin Impact on my ps4 2 years ago just to test it out as I was craving something fresh amidst the pandemic. And I can say without any incertitude that it was one of the best decisions of my life so far. Genshin Impact not only brought novelty into my life but also reduced my fondness for purchasing newer AAA games that I enjoyed only for a few days and then eventually uninstalled.
Being a free-to-play game, Genshin Impact delivers stunning visuals, a very relatable and touching story, and an enjoyable combat experience without directly forcing the players to spend a single penny.
It is no wonder that despite a few of its shortcomings, millions of players, including myself, jump into the game almost every day to find solitude in its beautifully crafted world accompanied by a beautiful BGM/OST/Music/Score which creates an immersive experience like very few games can/have.
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