You probably know Genshin Impact as the “Breath of the Wild but Anime” game that’s been making its way around the internet, which is a pretty apt comparison at first glance.

 

The art style and ability to climb on anything is where those comparisons stop, though. Genshin Impact is an entirely different beast, and if you’re looking for a carbon copy of Breath of the Wild, this isn’t it.

 

So, what type of game is Genshin Impact then? Well, it’s a free-to-play action JRPG. It’s filled with cutscenes, a story revolving around looking for your lost sibling and conjuring the elements to your advantage.

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It’s also filled with plenty of Gacha mechanics, mostly seen in mobile games. If you’re unfamiliar with Gacha style games, let’s break it down. Basically, you accrue (or purchase) currency in-game to open lootboxes filled with new weapons, money, and yes, even playable characters. 

Further, these characters and weapons are ranked on a system of 1-5 stars. A character with five stars being better than one with four stars and so on. This system can keep players on the hook, always reaching for the best possible character to get.

This might be a turnoff for many people looking for a straightforward JRPG, but these systems aren’t heavily present in the game, at least early on.

Genshin Impact is much more interested in providing players with a fun and exciting narrative. The game doesn’t even introduce the free-to-play systems until about an hour in.

After spending about eight or so hours in the game, I worked my way through quests, explored the vast open world, and accrued new party members, all without interacting with the Gacha systems in the game.

It’s unclear if the game will bottleneck you into eventually interacting with these systems, but I would imagine towards the endgame it will. 

The combat in Genshin Impact feels great. Each character in your party has a different element, such as fire, ice, wind, and lightning, all of which are used in battles and puzzle-solving.

You can switch characters on the fly, allowing you to swap between different elements quickly. Each character also has their level-up system and gear to manage, which can be a bit overwhelming at first, but becomes much easier over time. 

My biggest gripe with the game currently is how many different currencies there are. There’s Fate, which allows you to purchase loot boxes. Then there are genesis crystals, which you can buy for real money. There’s also Primogems, Intertwined Fate, Masterless Stardust, Aegil Signals, and Mora. Got all that? 

The game doesn’t do a great job of explaining how all of these currencies are used, and it took a lot of fumbling around in menus even to find where you use half of them.

Despite that though in about eight hours of gameplay, I haven’t hit a roadblock that couldn’t be overcome by merely just playing more of the game. Completing quests and exploration is rewarded with experience points and one of the many currencies I listed above.

Exploring the open world of Genshin impact is exciting. Each corner is filled with a puzzle to solve or a weird NPC to talk to. Early on, you meet a boy Timmy on a bridge. I won’t spoil his dialogue, but it gave me a good chuckle.

It’s the small moments like those that help make Genshin Impact intriguing. It’s not a revolutionary game, but it’s got a lot of promise and enough going on to keep me going.

My thoughts could change drastically as I reach closer to the end of the story, but where I’m at now, it’s an easy recommendation for JRPG fans. I don’t think it will change your mind on the genre if you’re not already a fan, but for a free-to-play game, it’s worth at least checking out.

Genshin Impact is currently available for free on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, IOS, Android, and PC

Are you interested in Genshin Impact? Let us know on the official Prima Twitter and Facebook pages.