Breath of the Wild has been a phenomenal success ever since its release and although many single-player video games tried to replicate its magic, one thing that players always longed for was the ability to take such a mesmerizing world online.
No one tried to do something so ambitious until Genshin Impact appeared on the scene and took the world by storm on every platform that it was released for.
The game features a gorgeous world, dozens of unique characters to play, hundreds of hours’ worth of quests, and a co-op mode.
So, is Genshin Impact worth more than its initial 15 minutes of fame? Let's find out.
The gameplay of Genshin Impact is very engaging and varied.
Although it’s an online game, the main focus seems to be the single-player adventures because the co-op feels more like a secondary feature.
You need to be at a certain level to be able to play the game with your friends, and even then, there is not an awful lot to do together that you generally cannot do on your own.
The game follows a gacha structure, so you have to rely on luck in terms of what characters you get to play as. Once you have a character ready to go and complete the tutorial missions, you’re free to explore the game’s large world at your leisure.
The story-based quests are generally about fighting hordes of enemies, bosses, and exploring the game’s world.
Additionally, there are side activities such as fishing, hunting, cooking, treasure hunts, collecting items, taking pictures with your friends, and so on. If you get bored of one aspect of the game, you can spend some time on another instead and this helps to keep the gameplay loop fresh.
Since this is mainly an action game and the majority of quests are about fighting enemies, you would expect the game to have well-crated combat. Fortunately, it delivers on that aspect, the combat is very fun and has a lot of combo potential to master.
Every character has a unique move-set and players can try out as many characters as they like until they find someone that matches their playstyle. It's also possible to keep multiple characters at the same time since the game lets you assemble a party rather than forcing players to go solo.
Much like any other game, Genshin Impact is not without its shortcomings.
The first thing to note is that the story is very generic. Although the game’s world has lore behind it and every character has some backstory, it’s more of an afterthought rather than something that was taken seriously.
Whether it’s the main story or the side quests, it’s all very predictable and a simple case of ‘good vs bad’ with little to no depth.
Another issue with the main story is that it’s far from complete, so players cannot be satisfied if they wish to see conclusive arcs for their favorite characters.
The multiplayer co-op aspect is fun but it’s not as fleshed out as it could have been. It feels like your friends popped into a single-player game to just help you mess around a bit.
Ultimately, the single-player experience is what the game was really developed for and that is odd for an online gacha game with microtransactions and tons of grind.
The graphics of Genshin Impact are nothing short of excellent.
The art style is beautiful, the characters and environments are very detailed and have high-quality textures, the special effects look immaculate, and even small details like the in-game water or sceneries that you see in the distance look great.
It’s easily one of the best-looking mobile games on the market right now and resembles the much-beloved Breath of the Wild in more ways than one.
The UI feels professionally developed. Nothing is confusing and it’s easy to navigate, there are even some fun secrets hidden in the UI that are tied to the game’s achievements. So, even if you’re just messing around in the menus, there’s some fun to it.
The polish is another great thing about the game as there are very few technical issues you could run into and it even looks pretty good on compatible budget phones.
The sound design is as high-quality as the rest of the game.
The characters are voiced by professional voice actors who have a good reputation, and that’s certainly evident as the dialogue sounds pretty decent.
The background music isn’t particularly memorable but it does a good job of accompanying what you see or do in the game.
Genshin Impact is a wildly entertaining game to play and it’s filled with enough content to have something for everyone. Whether you wish to play solo or with friends, you’ll have fun with it even if you don’t plan to stick around.
It’s far from perfect and can use some improvements, but for a free-to-play video game that is not pay-to-win and has cross-play with a long list of platforms – it’s something that everyone could at least try once in their lives.