This Genshin Impact review will cover the game on everyone’s lips since its release on the 28th September 2020. The game shot to stardom immediately with over 17 million confirmed downloads in only four days on mobile devices.
There was always going to be a certain level of intrigue surrounding this title due to its close ties to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Many critics immediately wrote this game off as a clone of the much-loved Switch exclusive. However, it seems that Genshin Impact has managed to carve out its own path and show itself to be more than just a cheap rip off.
The game shows its own personality through an action-packed anime story. This art style is much more in line with popular manga and anime.
Perhaps most importantly, this one is completely free to play on both console and mobile devices. However, we need to delve deeper to understand if this game is capable of establishing itself as a permanent fixture within gaming. Or will it prove the critics right and be style over substance. Here is my review of Genshin Impact for Mobile Devices.
Genshin Impact Review – Quick Pros and Cons
Lets hit some pros and cons first.
- Immaculate visual and sound quality
- Main story and side stories are all well written and interesting
- Paid content is non-intrusive unlike other free to play titles
- Combat system is fun and varied
- The world building is excellent and takes inspiration from real world regions.
- Lesser mechanics such as crafting and cooking are dull.
- Co-op takes quite a while to unlock.
- Zelda inspired aspects such as dungeons leave a lot to be desired.
Genshin Impact Review – Took Our Breath Away
Perhaps if this were a review for the console version we would not be as in awe of the visuals. For a mobile title, this looks absolutely astounding. The game opens with a cut scene that offers some exposition and motivation for the player to set off into this vast open world. A battle takes place between a god of the realm and your sibling is captured. Now you’ll have to set off and find them. It’s a gentle push that gets the player moving in the right direction and the meat of the story presents itself as you go.
Genshin Impact Visuals
The cut scene is wonderfully animated and shows exactly what kind of spectacle that this game can be. Then as the dust settles, you get into the action and the live gameplay graphics. Not as sharp as the cut scenes but are still incredible. The animations are slick; the world is dynamic and vibrant even on the smaller screen and every single asset within this game is instantly recognisable. In short, the visuals for this title are mind-blowing. Arguably some of best graphics for a mobile game in a while!
Genshin Impact Sound
The sound quality of this game is also extremely strong. You can hear the ambient noises of birds chirping, babbling brooks, the swaying of the trees in the wind. Plus, the musical score that accompanies these sounds are excellently mixed. They are not overpowering and ramp up accordingly when you get involved in intense battles. Admittedly, we could have done without Paimon being quite as relentlessly annoying with her high pitched voice and referring to herself in the third person. I suppose that comes with the territory when dealing with anime inspired titles.
Real World Ties
What also has to be commended is the world building within this title. Not only is every area visually stunning. It also has ties to real world countries and accordingly adjusts the culture and values of these regions. For example, the first town you encounter called Mondstadt is based on Germany. The town of Inazuma which you’ll see later in the game is based on Japan. It’s an interesting approach that comes off really well from an artistic point of view.
Genshin Impact Review – Gameplay
Now we move on to the gameplay and just as a disclaimer, there is no other way to approach this other than making comparisons to Breath Of The Wild.
We begin with the combat which is one of the more unique aspects of this game. You will have access to a wide variety of weapons, elemental skills, dodge rolls and other mechanics to utilise to take down your foes, with each character having their own unique set of skills and abilities.
Changing between characters on the fly is seamless and easy and it offers various tactical advantages depending on the enemy that you’re aiming to take down. Admittedly, some of the combat skills are rather one-note but this is to be expected when providing so many characters rather than focusing on one sole playable character, so I can forgive this small issue.
What I can’t forgive though, are the skills and activities that exist outside of battling such as crafting and cooking. These essentially boil down to glorified quick-time events which offer no difficulty or variety regardless of what you are crafting or cooking. They are mechanics that serve their purpose fine. It would have been nice to see the developer do something more creative and fun with these essential mechanics for progression.
Then moving onto the areas that are essentially Breath Of The Wild’s mechanics repurposed for this game. The climbing of cliff faces is a straight swap, the dungeon-crawling sections are shorter but much less impressive than its counterpart. The gathering of materials, loot and resources are very much the same. The only real change is the glider which although the same in principle, can be used in different ways with Genshin Impact. The most apparent is the first boss battle you’ll face. However, we can’t really say this change is necessarily for the better.
The one similarity that these two games share, all be it for different reasons, is that they both tell wonderful stories throughout. The side quests within Genshin Impact are more than simple fetch quests or mindless tasks. Each quest has context within the world and makes the connections between your character and the NPC’s you encounter throughout your playthrough. It’s a real high point of the series and one that we can only assume will continue with future updates.
While this game may be free to play, there is a clear method in which the game tries to monetize itself. It locks certain aspects of the game behind a paywall. Now, this may seem somewhat nefarious but thankfully in my experience at least, this never really affects your overall enjoyment of this game. Without a cash injection you will have some elemental weaknesses that a party member is capable of neutralising. You’ll also have to grind and work harder to get the same result as a paying player but that never really bothered me. You still have access to the whole expanse of Teyvat. You still have a healthy batch of characters at your disposal and the game is so fun to play that you don’t mind that added bit of grind.
The only reason I could argue that microtransactions were in some way justified would be that co-op does not unlock until level sixteen. So if you want to make a beeline for that level to play with your pals then more power to you. Otherwise, though, the game offers enough of its premium currency throughout natural play to offer patient players everything they need.
Genshin Makes a Lasting Impact
Overall, this title does more than enough to prove it is more than a Zelda clone. Yes, it does utilise a number of Breath of the Wild’s core mechanics, mainly for traversing the world. However, this does not define Genshin Impact. The storyline for this title is enthralling, the visual and sound quality is outstanding, especially considering the platform in question. The combat system is very intricate as you are likely to see in an action RPG’s. The open world of Teyvat is a joy to explore.
There are small issues for the game such as the arbitrary and dull activities such as crafting and cooking that offer no intrigue whatsoever. Plus the dungeon sections are very similar to one another. Aside from this though, I think that MiHoYo can be pleased with what they have achieved here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this live service title had the longevity to run into the life span of the next generation of gaming. Plus its free so you have no excuse. Get out there and explore the wonderful world of Genshin Impact!
You can download the mobile game for both android and apple devices.
Genshin Impact on Google Play Store
Genshin Impact for IOS
Genshin Impact Guide
Checkout our Genshin Impact Guide! We cover tier lists, characters, beginners guides, etc. We are constantly updating it.