The announcement of Genshin Impact from the Chinese studio miHoYo made a lot of noise in its time- the game looked like a full-fledged mobile (yes, I insist, we’ll come back to that) AAA. a clone of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And what happened in the end?
Genre: Action RPG, gacha
Platforms: Windows / PlayStation 4 / iOS / Android
Let’s Bend Your Fingers – visual style, a huge open world with the ability to climb any vertical surface, paragliding, dungeons with puzzles, a combat system tied to the use of natural elements, enemy design, cooking, maybe no horses. The influence of Breath of the Wild is really noticeable with the naked eye, however, it cannot be called a clone of Genshin Impact with all the desire, the game is simply about something else.
In theory, Genshin Impact is a free cross-platform open-world action RPG with co-op mode. And at first, it even looks like that – after choosing one of the two proposed starting characters, a large world, even by the standards of classic sandboxes, opens up in front of the player, generously strewn with points of interest. Well, you know what to do. Yellow pictograms mark the main tasks, blue ones – optional, everywhere in need of cleaning up monster camps, towers, the activation of which dispels the “fog of war”, closed chests, doors that hide the entrance to dungeons, tons of loot, cities and towns, through which NPCs scurry, ready to share important story information or just chat about life.
The plot of stars from the sky is not enough, but against the background of other mobile Action RPGs, it seems almost exemplary. Here and the search for the lost brother (or sister, depending on which character the player chooses at the beginning), and the dark forces hunting for the power of the ancient gods, and political intrigues, and funny personal stories of party members. It is interesting to explore the world, absolutely any landmark that catches your eye, be it a tall tree, a suspicious gorge, a mountain on the horizon or a river bend is guaranteed to lead to a reward, there are no empty locations and landscape elements added for beauty in the game, everywhere like treasure chests, so resources, quests, world bosses, dungeons or, at worst, enemy squads. And this was not done in vain.
Despite the fact that the game was released on PlayStation 4, PC and mobile devices, the main game mechanics have migrated here exclusively from the latter, which means that you will regularly bump into artificial barriers. The character has stopped in development and cannot get new levels until you “raise” him by collecting a certain amount of rare resources, with weapons the same, so go farm. You are too overclocked in the story and cannot get new tasks until you increase your “adventure rank”, in fact, the level of your account, so go on farming further. Want to try and get your hands on a new character? You need a special currency, go farm. But you won’t even be allowed to farm non-stop, because the standard energy mechanic for mobile games hasn’t gone anywhere. You are given 120 of it and it is spent on getting loot from a defeated elite monster, a world boss and receiving a reward for completing a dungeon. 20 units there, 40 here – and that’s all, stocks are depleted, and it is restored one unit in eight minutes. Not much. But at first, the game does not ask you to spend a lot of time and effort on completing all sorts of side and daily tasks, experience, money and resources are given for each sneeze, closer to the final progress noticeably slows down, but still does not seem too tiring, since the locations in which run in circles, damn beautiful, and the battles with the enemies turned out to be very amusing.
The combat system at first glance is simple to the point of impossibility – a blow that can be enhanced by holding down a button, an elemental ability and an ultimate. Each hero owns a certain type of weapon, and here there were no innovations. Short swords do not hit hard, but quickly and spend less stamina, two-handed swords, in turn, are slow, but they demolish armor well, bows allow you to hit the vulnerable spots of opponents, spears have a good attack radius and the highest speed, and catalysts turn any attack into the spontaneous. The whole beauty of the combat system lies in the interaction of seven elemental elements, and miHoYo has been mesmerized over this mechanic. A squad usually consists of four characters, but at any given time the player controls only one of them, the rest do not take part in the battle, and the guarantee of victory lies in correctly combining the effects of the elements, switching between party members. Some combos are obvious, some have to be found by poking: ice spells, for example, freeze a wet enemy, and an electric charge directed at the same target generates chain lightning, fire sets the enemy on fire and, for example, burns wooden shields, the wind carries the fire further, providing AoE damage, but water will extinguish the burning target, provoking the effect of evaporation and causing additional damage.
Of course, you should not ignore the opportunities that the environment provides. Enemies perfectly collide from a height, are driven into the river, with subsequent defeat by ice and electricity, burn to death in burnt grass, and so on. True, the opposite effect also takes place: I once did a lot of trouble with two big guys armed with tower shields, the rain that started at the wrong time was constantly extinguishing the shields, and there were no heroes with electricity or ice at that time in the group. And, it would seem, everything in the game is great – run, fight, explore, pump the character and meet those who want to join your squad along the way, but no. Since in fact Genshin Impact is only secondarily an Action RPG, first of all it is gacha.
This genre is extremely popular on mobile devices and got its name by analogy with Japanese slot machines gashapon, in exchange for a coin, issuing a capsule with a random toy, since it uses exactly the same principle to unlock new characters. Not cosmetics, as in the usual loot boxes, but playable characters, which are almost impossible to get in any other way. Gambling? He is the most, in the literal sense of the word, so keep in mind that you need to play gacha games with a certain degree of caution, the same Fate / Grand Order became the most profitable mobile game in history, having earned more than four billion dollars for its creators in four years, not just.
How do gacha mechanics work in Genshin Impact? Before proceeding to the answer to this question, you need to clarify – all the content in the game is available for free, and in the first few days enough currency will come to the in-game mail to play the gacha about sixty times, end up with several diverse characters and not experience any special problems with the passage. Moreover, the currency will continue to flow later, albeit in smaller quantities, so that with regular play, you will be able to try to “roll” the desired hero with a certain frequency.
Why then spend money trying to get a new character? The game is really not bad, the player thinks, again, the next floor of the Twisted Abyss, the most difficult multi-level dungeon at the moment, does not lend itself to fire, it is sharpened for fire, and I have only four-star characters with fire, but with a five-star one it is definitely easier will be. Yesterday, during the side assignment, they just gave them a little run, the skills are interesting, and the money seems to be small, why not try it.
What it looks like in reality: the chance of dropping a five-star item is 0.6%, the probability doubles if you make 10 attempts at a time. Moreover, attention, we are talking about the subject, because in addition to the characters, weapons can also fall out. The five star loot will definitely drop once in 90 tries, but again, no one can guarantee that it will be a character. Crystals, allowing you to make 40 attempts, by the way, cost $ 99. Of course, there are all sorts of bonuses for the first purchase of crystals, a blessing that allows you to receive crystals daily for a month, and events that increase the chance of getting certain five-star heroes, but the fact remains that the chance of getting a specific rare character is scanty, so this process in Genshin is not in vain Impact is called Prayer.
But gacha is not the only complaint about Genshin Impact, there are games that are more bloodthirsty in this regard. Unfortunately, as is the case with most service games, only part of the storyline is available at the start, and after a couple of weeks of leisurely play, you will only have to farm resources, complete daily tasks, go through dungeons and wait for a patch with the next chapters and new regions. The cooperative regime could potentially diversify this process, but it works here frankly badly. In the open world, the host receives undivided power, guests cannot even interact with anything plainly, and during the passage of dungeons there are serious problems with the network code – delays and disconnections make this mode unplayable. There is no PvP in the game either.
Moreover, cross-platform is also not very good at being a plus. Progress remains only on PC and mobile devices, the PlayStation 4 version is still living its own life, and the computer version is not so simple. There are problems with logging in if the account was created using Facebook, keyboard and mouse control is far from ideal, and the game does not allow it to be configured, Genshin Impact cannot automatically detect the connected gamepad and, in addition, refuses to work with the gamepad if it is connected to the system some additional devices are connected (in my case it was a keypad), before the release of the last patch, freezes and FPS drops were regularly encountered.
And if you don’t have to worry too much about new content and technical problems, miHoYo, using the example of Honkai Impact 3rd, proved that a studio can support large projects for years and quickly work on fixing bugs, then the gacha mechanics underlying the game can seriously alienate the Western audience. Those who want to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars for the sake of an illusory chance to get a rare hero, we still have much less than in Asia. However, it is worth looking at the game, it is a very beautiful and not quite standard project for mobile games.