I’ve spent a little over 40 hours in Genshin Impact. It’s ruled all of my gaming time lately and I’ve seen a lot of people calling this a Breath of the Wild clone. I’m here to not only defend this game but write a proper first impression of it too. Here’s what I think of my first 40 hours of Genshin Impact!
Genshin Impact is an odd game. It has AAA quality, but it’s completely free. This is a game that I thought we would have to pay for and it’s 100% free. It’s also a gatcha game and that’s a genre of games that I usually avoid because they almost always end up being super pay to win and pay to progress after you hit a wall. And you WILL hit a wall in these kinds of games. That’s why it took me so long to write this article. I wanted to give this game some serious time before praising it to the high heavens. I have not hit a wall at all in this game. I just got my second character to level 50 along with their weapons and I have a bunch of level 40 characters.
Loot and crafting materials are still dropping like crazy and I’ve never felt the need to pay for anything. This game is actually very user friendly. The only thing you can do with real money is roll for new characters (you don’t even need to do that though because you get plenty of free ones) and weapons. This is a free to play game and stuff like this is normal in them. The good ones make progression easy and that’s what this game does. It’s a good free to play model and it stays out of your way. There are no advertisements popping up trying to get you to spend your money on shit you don’t want and that’s much appreciated. Games like this don’t do stuff like that.
You can tell the developers wanted to make a great game and not a cash grab. Genshin Impact is beautiful on every platform and runs like a dream on PC and on my Ipad 8. The PC controls are fantastic and I haven’t experienced a single frame drop in 40 hours of gameplay. There aren’t a lot of graphical options to tweak, but the basics are there. This game looks much better than Breath of the Wild could ever dream of because it was made on better hardware. Since I brought the game everyone is comparing this to let me get this out of the way. Genshin Impact is NOT a Breath of the Wild clone. As a matter of fact, this game does quite a few things better than Breath of the Wild and, in my opinion anyway, is a better game than it too.
Breath of the Wild IS a good game, but it’s not a great one to me. It was a piss poor Zelda game and alright open world game. There wasn’t nothing worth doing in the open world which is a shame because it’s well designed one. In Genshin Impact, on the other hand, there’s so much to do in the game. I’m not talking about collecting stupid Korok Seeds for a big golden shit turd at the end or completing 123 shrines that are simple reskins of each other. I’m talking about actual content with actual rewards that made me feel like I accomplished something. Did I mention that there’s not stupid weapon degradation here? I can use my sword as much as I want and not have to worry about it breaking on me.
The world is absolutely gorgeous and filled with little secrets, puzzles, bosses, and plenty of different enemies to go up against. Yes, it has some samey dungeons, but the gameplay is so much fun that it I’m willing to look past that. The boss fights are abosolutely fantastic and the fact that I switch between 4 characters at any time really added to the depth of the combat. You can easily see that Genshin Impact was partly influenced by Breath of the Wild, but can you please name a game that releases today that wasn’t influenced by another popoular game in its genre? Breath of the Wild is basically an Ubisoft game with weapon degradation and no question marks. So what you can climb anything. I’ve been doing that in Assassin’s Creed for years.
Do you see my point? Every game (even your precious Breath of the Wild) was influenced by something that came before it. That doesn’t make Genshin Impact a clone. Genshin Impact has clearly taken some its influence from Breath of the Wild, Tales of, and YS. The art style really reminds me of Tales of more than Breath of the Wild while the combat reminds me of YS. Not Zelda. Genshin Impact is better than a lot of AAA games that’s released today and it’s totally free. That’s the amazing part about it. It’s free! It doesn’t cost $60 and it’s not pay to win. I only have 1 character out of the meta that other people have come up with and I’m doing just fine in the harder dungeons in the game. My favorite character isn’t even in the meta and I don’t care. I’m having fun and that’s all that matters.
I don’t hate Breath of the Wild, but you guys need to calm the hell down about Genshin Impact. I think it’s jealously because people actually like this game and are willing to admit that it does some things better than Breath of the Wild and there’s nothing wrong with that. Genshin Impact is a great game and you can easily lose 100 hours of gameplay in. The amazing part is that it’s not even finished yet. There are more regions in the works and most likely more characters too. This game is already massive and has a shit ton of content and there’s more being added to it. There’s going to be 7 regions in this game. We have 2 and it’s already a huge and beautiful game. There’s most likely going to be a region for every element in the game and I’m down for that.
I’m sorry for that wall of text there on the whole “Genshin Impact is a Breath of the Wild clone” bullshit that I’ve been hearing from butthurt Zelda fans. It’s not and if you’re too blinded by loyalty to see that then that’s a you problem. Not a Genshin Impact one.
Now back to my first impression. Genshin Impact has a lot going for it. It’s a beautiful game with a lot of secrets, puzzles, bosses, and loot to find. Getting good gear will take some time, but when you do manage to get your first purple item you’ll almost instantly notice how much harder it hits compared to regular blue tiered shit that you had before. There’s even crafting in this game and that’s actually the way I recommend getting your first purple items if they don’t drop as wishes. They’re fairly simple to craft as long as you make sure you pick everything you find on the ground up.
My favorite part of this game is exploring. I like making new discoveries and seeing what’s over on the next horizon. Where does that mountain lead to? Or what’s on the other side of that lake that I don’t have enough stamina to swim across? I’m always discovering something new and I love that about this game the same way I love it in any open world game (even Breath of the Wild). I just wish we had some sort of mounts to make traversing the landscape a little faster. The wind glider does come in the handy lthough and it’s incredibly fun to use.
Completing quests plays a big part in Genshin Impact. You’ll meet characters that you’ll eventually unlock and add to your party. They come with their own introductory quest and everything. Xiangling is a famous chef and her character quest was started because we murdered some boar we wasn’t supposed to and that led to a cook off between her and the village’s top chef. It was funny and made me want to use her more than I did before. My Xiangling is almost level 50 now. I really enjoyed getting to know each character by completing their missions and I hope there’s more than one for each of them.
There are also world quest which are basically long side quest and offer an interesting look into the lore of the world. Some of the quest are pretty interesting and some aren’t just like in every open world game. There are also daily commisions that you can complete for some quick adventure xp. Adventure rank experience is arguably more important than leveling your characters up because you can’t do anything if you’re not the proper adventure rank. Gaining Adventure ranks is actually quite easy in my opinion. I do my dailies and just level up by doing random stuff. Opening treasure chest, completing side quest, dungeons, etc. Just about every thing you do in game rewards adventure xp. Once you rank up all you’ve gotta do is remember to visit the Adventurer’s Guild for some nice goodies. I haven’t reached a point to where I’ve had to grind for adventure xp.
The combat is incredibly satisfying and is focused on exploiting different enemies weaknesses. You can even combine elemental attacks that triggers explosions and all sorts of neat stuff. If you use an ice attack and follow up with a water based move you’ll freeze whatever you’re fighting solid. This will allow you to get some free hits in. Switching characters out mid combo is often rewarded by massive damage numbers and dead enemies. It’s awesome and rewards experimentation too. I’ll light an enemy on fire and then shock them and watch them blow up. It’s fantastic and I can’t get enough of it and I know I’m just scratching the surface of what this game has to offer.
If you can’t tell, I’m in love with this game. I’ve spent most of my free time playing it and I plan on getting through all of the main story chapters that are available right now so I’ll be ready when the next big expansion drops.