Reviews

Being Too Broke For Zelda, I Tried The Next Best Thing: This Free Open-World Mobile Game

Author’s Blurb: As someone who enjoys games that incorporate real-time combat, quests and scavenging, and a storyline all in one, I had to check out Genshin Impact to see what it’s all about. I used an iPhone XR to play this game for about three days to gauge what it had to offer.

If you’ve been an avid player of the Honkai Impact series in the past, you’d probably be excited to check out what miHoYo has to offer with their latest action role-playing game. 

Previously, Honkai Impact 3rd has raked up over 1 million downloads just 11 days after its Japanese launch, according to IGN.

Additionally, it’s also acquired 6 million first-month players in China, and a million more in Korea, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan. 

The wait for Genshin Impact was highly anticipated.

Genshin Impact’s announcement for their launch alone had an engagement of 700+ retweets, 100+ quote tweets, and 3.3k likes on their official Twitter account. 

Clearly, the Honkai Impact series had a ripple effect on its loyal players and leveraged the anticipation for Genshin Impact.

Hence, I had to try this out for myself and see what the developers have improved with their new but similar action role-playing game.

Genshin Impact designs its characters, objects and sceneries like any other Japanese animation. 

The navigator is on the top left and the action buttons are on the bottom right

Since it runs on a storyline, it’s very much like watching an anime series, except you actually have control over the story and your character(s).

Many users have pointed out the resemblance between Genshin Impact and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but the plots aren’t similar.

What I Liked About The Game

Essentially, the point of the game is to find your lost twin. 

It starts out with a pair of twins facing a god who takes away one of them (whichever one you pick to not be), and sends you, the other twin, off to another world called Teyvat.

Upon reaching that world, you are introduced to a local fairy guide called Paimon, who will be your guide along your quest of finding your twin.

The local fairy guide, Paimon

Scenery

The first thing that caught my attention and reeled me in were the sceneries of the game, which is a sentiment I found commonly shared on Reddit reviews.

Teyvat is really expansive, which incentivises me to spend more time on the side scavenging for food, meeting new enemies and testing out my abilities, which I’m sure the game encourages.

I’m not going to lie, I probably died about 5 times trying to test out how long and well I can swim, climb and fly at various locations.

Me, swimming blissfully once again in the very waters that drowned me before

Combat

I enjoyed combat the most in this game for two reasons. 

Firstly, Genshin uses real-time combat, which allows you to have direct control over the characters rather than choosing from a menu of combat options.

The shortcut to killing your enemies is by just controlling your environment

Additionally, your stats are not affected by the game, but rather, the game improves your stats. 

For instance, your health wouldn’t be what you’d have to focus on while you’re in combat to see how long you’re able to withstand one showdown.

However, the way you use your abilities and skills in your combats are what you’d be focusing on to increase your XP which is important for your character’s growth. 

I think having this feature makes the game more accessible to everyone, as you don’t need skills and strategies to consistently “win” in the game.

The point of it is more for you to explore the characters’ abilities which in return, adds to their development.

One of the many combat experiences I explored

Secondly, you’re given about four characters at the beginning (each of which you’d have to discover as you go) as options to go into combat.

Their different abilities cater to different requirements in combat.

Say for instance, if enemies are attacking you from the ground, you’d use the one skilled in swordfighting to slash them away.

However, if enemies are attacking you from a hill, you’d use the one skilled in archery to shoot them instead. 

It goes back to the point of the game, which is to get players to explore more of their abilities rather than hone their combat skills.

I could choose between the archer (left) and the swordsman (right)

What I Didn’t Enjoy About The Game

Phone Heats Up Fast

My phone always heats up around 20 minutes into the game, which doesn’t allow me to stay in it as much as I’d like. 

Other reviews on AppStore have pointed out this game crashing often and lagging for them while playing on their mobile devices as well, mostly amongst Apple users. 

Some of them have experienced glitches in the game like fish swimming on land, frequent weather switches, and not being able to see their enemies up close.

I would think that it’s less of a hassle playing this on PC or PS4, however, some users on Metacritic have also shared that they found their gaming experience much better on the phone than on PC or PS4.

Lack of Guidance

Personally, I don’t think I’d easily tire of this game because of the expansiveness plus the autonomy incorporated in your character’s journey.

However, the expansiveness is both a blessing and a curse to me.

Because of how much there is to see and do, there is only so much the guide and map can help you with.

I found myself having to rely a lot on Reddit most of the time for tips on how to complete missions and where to scavenge.

This is because there are a whole lot of places to explore and learn from, but sometimes they lack guidance on how to access them.

Moreover, the vast map makes it even harder to remember where you came from, so you’d have to really remember the landmarks.

The guides (the navigator and Paimon) unfortunately only lead you to the main places like the temples where the main event is.

There are times where Paimon even actively hindered me from achieving the level I am supposed to be in before I enter these temples, which doesn’t make sense since it is part of the requirement after all.

You Can’t Pet The Dog

In what may be one of the biggest gaming sins ever, Genshin deliberately shoves a fluffy, friendly dog in your face, but doesn’t let you touch a single hair on it.

Tell me, what am I supposed to do with myself after I have to walk away mournfully from a dog that’s rolling in front of me, begging for pets and a treat?!

Suggestions For Improvement 

Adding a few more hints on where to scavenge objects to unlock certain places would be very helpful given how overwhelmingly vast the Teyvat world is.

Fixing bugs like Paimon hindering my character from finishing the required level and scavenge is recommended too.

Another suggestion I have would be to complicate other simple tasks like cooking, which at the moment is just waiting until the indicator hits the right level for it to be cooked.

The game on its own is quite developed when it comes to combat, where there is a variety of combat experiences that the characters can go through.

So, complicating simple tasks like cooking would add more flavour to the game, no pun intended.

Last of all, let us pet the darn dogs!

Bottom Line: I’ll admit that three days doesn’t let me fully gauge what Genshin Impact has to offer, but it did give me good enough insight into it. While I did enjoy the game as a whole, I think the experience would’ve been much better if my phone didn’t heat up as quickly.

  • You can read more about Genshin Impact here.

Featured Image Credit: Genshin Impact

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