By: miHoYo Limited
There was a lot of hype surrounding miHoYo’s Breath of the Wild-like open world action RPG, Genshin Impact, but I didn’t get on the hype train because I don’t have much faith in free-to-play games these days. When I finally did decide to give it a try, it wouldn’t load on my iPad Pro, despite it being listed as a supported device. So I pushed off playing it even more. When I finally caved and started playing it on my iPhone, I felt silly for waiting as long as I did. I can’t speak to how the game holds up long-term, but after a few hours with it, I wanted to share some impressions and videos for those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.
Visually, it really is like a handheld Breath of the Wild with anime characters. The gorgeous landscapes and cutscenes make it extra painful for me that I’m stuck playing this on a small screen instead of my nice big iPad. I want to see everything bigger and spread out! An iPhone really doesn’t do it justice, but it’s plenty playable. It does put some strain on my eyes, so I may need to cut down the length of my sessions. But yes, as far as the visuals go, believe the hype. This is one breathtaking game. I’m especially impressed by the giant blue dragon encountered early on, and I’m really hoping there might be mounts at some point. Even without them, though, you can glide with your wings over wind currents.
At the start of the game, I was given the choice between a brother and sister as my main character. I chose the sister, and it turns out she controls the wind. That means all her spells are wind-based. I’m not sure if that’s the most exciting element, but it’s serving me just fine so far. I also have an archer that joined up with me early on, and you can swap between them at any point. She controls fire and it’s a lot of fun lighting things up. Sometimes you actually need to use it to burn vines blocking your way or entangling a treasure chest. There’s even monoliths that she needs to light up to unlock certain things. I also just earned a character who has ice magic, which means he can freeze water and walk on it. I like how each character allows you access to different things throughout the world. It makes it feel more puzzly. Since I haven’t run into any trouble yet, I’ve been able to ignore the shop and just play with what the game gives me.
I should also mention that the voice acting is high quality, as well. Most of the characters sound great, but I do find Paimon, the little squeaky sidekick, a bit annoying. I also don’t know why my character does this really weird yawn all the time, which sounds a little like she’s having an orgasm. I’ll have to try and figure out if there’s a way to shut that off because it’s really distracting.
What I’m really enjoying about the game is its sense of exploration. There are quests to complete, and the game does a good job making sure you know where you’re supposed to be headed. But I keep wandering off to check on something I see in the distance. I’ve already managed to free some spirits and earned some rewards for it, just by being curious. There’s also a ton of plants and fruit and other items to find, which can be used to cook or craft other materials. I’ve also found plenty of chests out in the open, sometimes guarded by a few enemies or light puzzles. I can see this is the type of game you would sink countless hours into just by exploring.
Like I said, so far I’ve been able to ignore the free-to-play aspects such as in-app purchases, but I’ll be sure to update you if things start to become an issue. One thing I’m not sure of is how to get a specific item needed to “ascend” my main character so her level will be capped at 40 instead of 20. If it takes me too long to find that item, I fear I’ll be underpowered at some point. But for now I’m still enjoying Genshin Impact and would recommend giving it a try even if you’re not a fan of free-to-play games.
And I’ll be adding more vidoes below: