Genshin Impact has recently turned six months old since its debut in September 2020!
For many of us in quarantine, the fictional world of the game, Teyvat, has become an alternate utopia where we immersed ourselves in the continent’s deep lore and relaxing sceneries.
What is Genshin Impact?
Genshin Impact is an open-world RPG developed by miHoYo and currently available for the PC, PS4, Android, and iOS. The game makes use of a gacha mechanic for mainly obtaining usable characters and weapons. While the game is free to play, it makes use of microtransactions to obtain in-game currencies to acquire more characters and weapons through the gacha chance system.
You play as one of the twins who wakes up on the continent of Teyvat. Traversing the currently available nations of Monstadt and Liyue in search of your missing sibling, you encounter various gods and deities as well as noble characters who guide you throughout your journey.
If you have previously played any of the Tales game series and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact definitely offers a similar gameplay experience.
All playable characters in the game are granted with a Vision, a talent given by the Gods to certain people. Visions also identify the character’s elemental abilities from the seven elements: Anemo (Wind), Cryo (Ice), Pyro (Fire), Hydro (Water) Dendro (Grass), Electro (Electricity), and Geo (Earth).
Most of the Vision characters you encounter can be part of your party and be obtained through the gacha system of the game.
Currently, playable characters are tiered in two grades of 4-star and 5-star ratings. Almost all of the 4-star characters are obtainable at any time through the gacha mechanics. However, half of the 5-star characters are featured characters only available during time-locked events along with new game updates every three weeks.
The day-to-day grind
Despite the game being open world, the main story of Genshin Impact revolves around the journey of the Traveler throughout the various nations which are yet to be revealed. Currently, only two out of seven nations are playable in Teyvat. When you try to go beyond the borders of the map, the game prompts that this region is not yet playable at the moment.
Even without a story to follow, Genshin Impact continues to provide post-game players with fulfilling time events, rewards, and new playable characters.
It is promising for players to know that the current storyline and available gameplay only account for 30% of the full game experience at the current time.
Timing in more than 100+ hours of gameplay, I have finished the main story and have proceeded with post-game content such as hunting for artifacts (equip-able accessories with little luck of getting good stats), completing challenges and achievements, and opening all treasure chests in the map.
The game, like many online RPGs, provide daily rewards for completing small missions which can be accomplished in an hour of a day. The game however makes use of a resin system where it restores the resin or energy which can be used to get rewards from defeating a world boss or finishing domains. This means that you are limited to at most six runs in domains in a single day before running out of obtainable materials. You will have to wait the next day until this restores to its full capacity again.
Aside from that, even though the game can be purely played in single player, it provides a multiplayer platform in aiding your friends to defeat world bosses and finish daily commissions.
Swords and Magic
Genshin Impact employs a real time combat system with each character having a specific weapon type of choice along with their innate element. Weapons in the game can either be of the five: swords, claymores, bows, polearms, and catalysts.
While on another hand, elemental reactions are triggered by switching your characters in your party (if played in single player), or triggered at the same time when playing with other players. Each character in the game has unique skills called Talents, usually one active bread-and-butter skill and an ultimate ability usable in battle. At the same time, certain characters have passive talents useful in crafting or hunting materials and even boosting other characters in the party.
There are lots of combinations that can be experimented with the elements and weapons in the game. This especially becomes useful when fighting enemies and bosses of a certain element. Knowing the weaknesses and resistance of enemies and the elemental reactions which occur is an essential skill in the game’s battle system.
There are characters with elements like Dendro (Grass) who are not yet released in the game, which many players are looking forward to in the future. All in all, the modern battle system is fulfilling and a pleasure to many. Also, the controls of the game are easy to adjust whether you’re playing on a keyboard, a controller, or even on the phone.
The Joy and Salt of Gacha
The gacha system is definitely not for everyone.
To some, it can be discouraging to know that other players can obtain most characters by shelling out money. And to some, it encourages people to commit to the game daily to take their chances on getting a 5-star character or weapon. At the end of the day, it’s up to you if you would engross yourself in this consumer scheme to enjoy the game.
Genshin Impact, being a free cross-platform game, has incorporated a similar gacha system commonly found in Japanese-developed mobile games like Fate: Grand Order, Granblue Fantasy, and Seven Deadly Sins among others, in which you get characters by pulling in banners.
Through this gacha system, people are tempted to buy in-game currencies to pull more for a chance to get their coveted character – although grinding daily also provides the currencies to pull, but at a slower pace compared to engaging in microtransactions.
Genshin Impact however has a forgiving pity system to still reward players with 4-star and 5-star characters and weapons after hitting a certain number of pulls. For 4-star pulls, the system guarantees that every 10th wish is a 4-star while 5-star pulls are guaranteed every 90th wish while also increasing your chances by the 75th wish.
Despite this, most people I know take pleasure in the game even without the money. Suffice to say, even the story quests are enough to enjoy the game at its extent! And for many of us free-to-play players out there, let’s just hope Lady Luck is on our side.
A paradise from the virus
Who would expect that a game released in the turmoil of the pandemic would become an alternate utopia for many of us staying at home?
In my experience, immersing myself daily in the world of Teyvat has provided an escape of sorts from the real world we are in. The deep lore of each character and place at one point or another gave us the relaxation we needed. Paired with the game’s wonderful music in every region, playing the game slowly became less of a chore and more of a respite from everything happening around.
I seldom ask myself what kept me to continue playing the game despite finishing the current storyline. In those times I didn’t feel like playing in the PC, I would move over to my phone and continue the cross-platform experience, then answer myself that it must be the beautiful world of Teyvat that led me to stay.
Genshin Impact definitely has already offered much in terms of story and content, but also promises to offer more storylines in the coming years or so. All in all, Genshin Impact has implemented a fair system for us to enjoy and cherish the lovable characters and their stories. It is definitely the beginning of something great.
What I love, and what I don’t
Like all games, it comes with its boons and banes. Take a look at some of my pros and cons of the game:
- Majestic storyline
- Rich post-game content
- Engaging combat system
- Great voice acting and overall scoring
- Large open world with thousands of hidden treasures
- Cross-save is available for PC and Mobile only
- No Xbox and Switch versions yet
- Limits progress on a daily basis (Resin system)
- Expensive in-game microtransactions