Look What I Found! Let's Play Genshin Impact!
Our 2021 has been chock full of fun so far. With baller anime dropping, great new games on the horizon, and just a general feeling of renewal washing over the world, it’s good to be able to appreciate the growth the cold weather allows. We’ve braved the December holiday hoedown and stepped into the lull of January’s frost. And what a better way to enjoy the inside than with a game that makes you feel like you’re outside?
Imagine my delight when I got rolling in Genshin Impact, open-world MMORPG from miHo-Yo. What was introduced to me as a free-to-play Zelda ‘clone’ has turned out to be a great rendition of open world adventure and combat with the coolest character designs this side of edgytown. You start this lovely adventure as a Traveler, a twin who traverses worlds like a walk in the park. On one of these high flying walks, you lose your other twin to an unknown godly force, leaving you and your companion Paimon to explore the realm of Teyvat to locate your sibling. Your search takes you through the nations of Teyvat and you learn all sorts of things about the world miHo-Yo has built, in addition to the types of gods that rule over it.
The gods in this world, Archons, each have access to a primordial elemental energy they use to rule their nation. There are seven in all, ranging from fire to plant life and a bunch of states in-between. The Archons have Visions, gemstones imbued with their element, most (if not all) of the other characters you use possess one. Visions also give the bearer the chance to ascend to godhood if an Archon happens to vacate their post. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to have a Vision right now.
Having a Vision is kind of a prerequisite to doing cool things around Teyvat. Most of the normies lead normal lives, cooking, cleaning, living peacefully or in fear of the dreaded monsters that terrorize the expansive countryside. It’s the job of you and your 4-person team to take on missions and make the world a safer place while hunting for your lost sibling. And it’s a good thing too, wielding an element isn’t the coolest thing they can do with Visions.
The elements in this game also have key interactions with each other. These reactions are key to maximizing damage and leveling up and are also some of the most rewarding mechanics to work with. You can combine Pyro and Electro to Overload and deal massive damage. Hydro and Cryo combine to freeze opponents! Anemo (wind) and any of the four above combine to Swirl and damage enemies caught in range. Being able to swap characters on the fly and apply their elemental abilities and individual strengths to each situation is key to becoming a strong Traveler and eventually finding your missing twin. And with a growing list of highly unique characters wielding one of five weapon types, the combinations are more plentiful than the selections at an ice cream shop.
Exploring this world will take the eye of a falcon, as every inch is covered in monsters to defeat, puzzles to solve, or ingredients to cook into food. The food gives you major buffs and can even bring fallen characters back from the brink. Good thing too, without proper guidance, maintaining the power creep as your Adventure Rank grows can be a daunting task. The world’s enemies grow stronger as you do, but your weapons and accessories have to be manually upgraded with items you find in the overworld. You can level your characters this way as well, but it gets very pricey very quickly. Food is the best way to fill in these gaps, cooking the best cuisine can grant you major stat boosts for those boss battles, commissions, and domains you can challenge daily as long as you have the Resin (one form of in-game currency) for it. The boss fights are some of my favorite, as each creature is pumped to the maximum extreme of its design. You ever heard of the blue glaucus? It grew up in Teyvat, so this is them now. Feel old yet?
With such an expansive list of flavo-- characters, how do you even begin to pick the right one? It’s free and they give you all these characters and weapons to play with? It can’t be true, can it?
Note: Gacha is a mechanic prominent in mobile games similar to a grab bag with various pull ratings. Collectors beware!
Like any game that reels you in with the free-to-play tagline, there are gonna be in game purchases. This is where you get a chance to really flex your lucky muscles and try to find your perfect, most favorite character. It’s not the most glamorous way to unlock items, but for what you get for free it could be worse. Each pull you acquire another form of the myriad currencies in this game to purchase more items. Fate is the currency you use to pull for weapons and characters and that can be purchased through Primogems which can be acquired from chests and missions in-game. Each pull gives you stardust and stardust can be turned in for tons of other stuff.
Look, there’s just a lot of currency conversion here and it makes sense in the world they’ve built. Gotta spend money to make money, am I right?
Long and short, Genshin Impact is a game with loads of content you get at no cost to yourself. You can load up on Primogems to gamble for you favorite character just through normal gameplay, albeit a bit slower than dropping 5.99 USD for the monthly pass and getting an extra 90 Primogems daily. They really want people to come back tomorrow and the next day and get lost in Teyvat. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Check out Genshin Impact on Playstation, Windows, Nintendo Switch, and mobile.
Does Teyvat sound interesting to you? What other free-to-play games are you into right now? Let us know in the comments and follow me on Twitch where I stream my dailies and other fun games periodically.