Genshin Impression isn’t the sport I believed it will be. I would written it off as nothing greater than a crappy, money-fuelled try to emulate The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I off-handedly referred to it as “Breath of the Weeb” each time it got here up in dialog. However beneath that Hyrule-dappled exterior is a stupidly enjoyable RPG with a compelling forged of characters and a fight system that simply rivals the one in Nintendo’s sport.
Although I gave it a fast shot when it was launched in 2020, it wasn’t till the two.0 replace landed in July that I grew to become totally immersed on the planet of Teyvat, journeying by way of its main nations with my annoying fairy sidekick/emergency meals provide, Paimon. Genshin’s early sport did an amazing job of constructing me neglect I used to be sinking my time right into a free-to-play gacha and never a paid RPG.
There’s a lot to do in Genshin’s sprawling map, which patches are nonetheless steadily revealing. Boss fights, challenges, puzzles, simply sweeping up some trash mobs for a chest or two. It is simple to lose hours working round and exploring all its nooks and crannies, harvesting all of the foliage and fruits you discover as you go. It is much more enjoyable in the event you handle to rope a pal or two into the fray—organising your group composition collectively and tackling challenges in co-op is considered one of my favorite elements. The story has no proper being so good, and MiHoYo manages to flesh out every main character you encounter.
It makes it all of the extra engaging when that character receives their very own banner—limited-time alternatives to recruit them into your get together. For a value, after all.
I’ve performed my justifiable share of gacha video games over time, so I am no stranger to the cycle of grinding gems for months in anticipation of my favorite character receiving a banner, then blowing the entire stash in mere minutes earlier than going once more. It is no totally different in Genshin—you slowly earn Primogems by way of taking part in daily or purchase them with actual cash. When your favorite character comes alongside on a banner, pray to the RNG overlords that they “come residence.” It is what I had been hoping to do with Baal, the electro Archon of Teyvat and licensed badass shogun.
By this level I would accomplished all of Genshin’s essential story quests, so I spent the subsequent few weeks grinding overworld bosses and doing sidequests with a pal to save lots of up an honest variety of Primogems. I used to be additionally attempting to stage up my essential group as I observed the facility hole between my lagging get together and even essentially the most pitiful of trash mobs as my gear fell behind and the enemy ranges elevated. Genshin had additionally began to grow to be more and more repetitive—go online, spend my Resin on bosses, do some dailies, after which wrestle to search out different methods of staying engaged.
Patch 2.1 dropped, and the Baal banner was right here. I did my nonsensical prepull rituals with my pal and obtained able to go.
I did not get her. Genshin Impression has a pity system, the place you are assured a 5-star character after so many pulls. In case you save sufficient to hit pity twice, you are assured the banner character. I would solely managed to save lots of sufficient to hit pity as soon as, so I used to be out of luck. My pal obtained Baal, which was nice, and I ended up with one other character I would been wanting so as to add to my group. Not an entire victory, however I used to be nonetheless happy. However not for lengthy.
One among Genshin’s largest downfalls, and the factor that ultimately turned me away from it, is how goddamn tough it’s to experiment. The fight focuses on mixing totally different character parts collectively to create reactions. It is a bit like Pokémon in some methods—hearth characters could have a greater time towards ice enemies, however a worse time towards water-aspects. Ship an electro character towards water foes, although, and their well being will soften away.
The additional you get into the sport, the more durable it’s to introduce new characters into your composition. I would spent nearly all of my time working with Fischl, Barbara, Chongyun, and Xiangling. I needed to strive integrating Sucrose, a wind-based assist character, into my get together. However having pumped all my cash, time, and sources into preserving my essential get together from falling behind, I had nothing to stage her up with. It will take me roughly per week and a half to get Sucrose matched as much as the remainder of my group, and that was simply to see if she was a great slot in my composition.
Genshin does an amazing job of hooking you early on, however issues begin to come aside the deeper you get—particularly in the event you’re not coughing up money. It is in some way a sport that concurrently respects and disrespects your time. You’ll be able to bounce in, do your dailies, and be out inside half-hour. However as quickly as you need to change issues up or strive one thing new, it is a gargantuan activity. It makes an already paltry endgame really feel extremely stagnant.
I liked my time with Genshin Impression and got here away from it spending mercifully little cash. I performed daily for over two months and loved each second, however I want MiHoYo did a greater job of preserving its late-game gamers engaged. When there’s extra story, I am going to probably return to it.
However for now, I will be observing Teyvat from afar.