From huge locations to explore and exciting quests to ruthless randomness and endless grind
By Genshin Impact can be treated differently. Someone frowns at just one mention of the game from the Chinese studio miHoYo. They say, although it is on PC and Sony consoles, and not only on smartphones, but in fact it is a typical gacha project for mobile platforms (i.e. new heroes here can be obtained mainly in the lottery), unworthy of the attention of real gamers. Others are in love with the local adventure, excited by the resemblance to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wildand idolize local heroines (and heroes), drawn in the anime style. Still others share stories of incredible luck in the local lottery, or, on the contrary, cheat the villainess-fate for not being able to get the hero they need, even having paid an impressive amount. For the first anniversary of the game and after hundreds of hours in the vastness of Teiwata, we decided to collect in one material five reasons to love and five reasons to hate this spectacular RPG.
Interesting story. Genshin Impact has a fascinating main plot that continues to evolve with each major update, addictive side quests, interesting lore, well-written heroes and their motivations. From some lines you can let out a mean male tear (my heart, for example, beat a little harder after the end of “Whispering of the Crane and the White Rabbit”), in some – to catch the wow effects from sudden plot twists. The absolutely beautiful soundtrack and exciting design of many locations only add to the charm. At some point, you can catch yourself thinking – why, as a hardened gamer who has seen everything in brutal and ruthless games, do these cute anime characters and their stories sink so deeply into my soul?
Best of all, it’s all free, and you don’t have to pay for hours of engaging story content. Here, of course, not without a catch, but more on that later.
The spirit of exploration. The already large world of Genshin Impact has become even larger after the latest 2.1 update. So, in the region of Inazuma, new islands have appeared with a sea of content and new quests for a dozen hours.
Each location of Teiwat offers a lot of activities: completing one quest, you can stumble upon an exciting random event, face a curious puzzle, or simply get carried away with collecting resources and “cleaning” all the chests in sight. Any event passed is rewarded, sometimes even very generously (depending on the difficulty and duration), so Genshin Impact can be called one of the best sources of dopamine.
In Genshin Impact, you can again feel the same spirit of the explorer, when you want to collect every flower, explore the next ruins and find out what is guarded by that group of hilichurls.
The game does not require donation. Until the last month, I did not invest a dime in Genshin Impact, and calmly closed story missions, side quests, passed event tests and traveled the world. Perhaps I was a little lucky, but the accumulated game resources were enough to get from the local “roulette” (they are also called banners) and successfully pump several popular five-star heroes, including, for example, Kamisato Ayaku from update 2.0. We also managed to create several effective parties for various difficult modes, including a battle with weekly bosses and a race across the floors of the Abyss, a local high-level dungeon.
Non-paying players can feel comfortable, since donation mainly affects the speed of obtaining Source Stones (they are also called primohems) – the in-game currency that allows you to spin local loot boxes. If you do not set yourself the goal of knocking out absolutely all characters from temporary and standard banners, focus on quests, exploring locations and pumping even basic heroes, you can get a lot of pleasure from the game.
Cross-platform. With update 2.0, the developers have fulfilled a long-held fantasy of all fans – now a single account is available on all platforms. Prior to that, synchronization worked only with versions for mobile devices and PC, the version of the game on the PlayStation stood apart. Now, owners of all supported platforms have the opportunity to get exclusive content from the Sony console (for example, Aloy or exclusive weapon) and use it anywhere.
For Russians who have the game both on PS4 / PS5 and on other devices, another small bonus is available – the cost of donation on the console is slightly cheaper than on other platforms.
Characters. Liu Wei, founder of miHoYo, said that the developers wanted to get away from the formula for earning on “hate” – when mainstream games make money on the player’s desire to be the strongest. The authors of Genshin Impact wanted to focus on “love”, focusing not on the competitive element, but on the attractiveness of female and male characters.
The developers paid a lot of attention to the appearance of the characters, their animation, voice acting (for example, the girls are voiced by famous Japanese voice actors), and also came up with backstories for everyone. Unsurprisingly, almost all GI characters have cosplay, fan art, and comics (and, of course, NSFW content) on them.
The Genshin Impact gaming community usually forces certain characters on a “schedule”. Now, for example, is the time to adore Baal, Yoimii and Ayaka.
Lottery and ruthless donation. The lottery is the cornerstone of the game. It is impossible to get absolutely all characters from the standard two banners – temporary heroes appear only during event events that last only a few weeks. And then you have to either grind those same primohems for days on end, or pay real money.
But the most depressing thing is the extremely low probability of getting a 5-star character, even if you are ready to donate. In Genshin Impact, it is 0.6%, which is incredibly small even by the standards of other gacha games. What makes it even more sad – you need to get at least a couple of (and ideally – six) copies of the same hero to make him more powerful. Duplicates form “constellations” and open passive skills that give a significant increase in damage or other skills.
Yes, here you can go through all the quests and close other activities from a pumped party of basic characters, which the player is rewarded for free as the story progresses. But when you immerse yourself in this universe, one way or another you will want to get, say, the same Baal, Venti or Zhong Li (which, in fact, all gacha games are betting on). And if you are not an Arab sheikh with your own oil rig, collecting (and pumping!) All the characters is a very, very difficult task.
Resin . The higher the level of your characters, the more time you will have to spend on pumping them. For example, knocking out the necessary elements from dungeons that are open only on certain days of the week. And here the main feature of the game makes itself felt – to receive any rewards for completing dungeons, you need to use a special resin. It tends to end quickly after three or four mini-bosses like hypostases of different elements or 7-8 dungeons. At the same time, it regenerates slowly, and its appearance can be accelerated with the help of primohems. Well, if there are not enough of them, you can always buy them. For real money.
Initially, 120 units of resin were regenerated per day. After criticism from the players, this figure was increased to 160 units. But the probability of a 5-star character falling out of banners did not change.
Difficult pumping. You need to pump not only the levels of the heroes, but also their talents, artifacts and weapons. The higher the character’s level, the more resources are needed for its further pumping – often you can spend several hours knocking out materials for only one talent level. I am silent about artifacts with the necessary characteristics – after all, even after 5-6 attempts, the desired item may not fall out, and the resin will run out.
The parameters of artifacts are generated randomly, and sometimes a comical situation arises: on items intended, for example, exclusively for characters with cryo-damage, a pyro-damage buff appears.
Now imagine that you have finally pumped your favorite characters to the maximum level 90, and decided to spin banners on the slowly accumulated Source Stones. Luck smiles at you, and you get new characters, to level them up … again you need to grind and knock out the necessary items in dungeons and bosses. And while you’re at it, there’s a new update coming along with new characters …
Genshin Impact is designed in such a way that almost any material found at locations will be useful on the farm – for creating special items on an alchemy machine (including for pumping), cooking or creating special items (for example, bags for quick access to dishes).
What to do after? Those who have been playing Genshin Impact since the fall or winter of last year have faced another problem – after the closure of the main storyline, side quests and the clearing of all territories, there are few activities in the game. Yes, you can close daily and weekly tasks, drain tar in a couple of dungeons and bosses, go through the Abyss, take part in temporary events, but still interest in the game can greatly decrease when almost all heroes are collected and pumped, all high-level dungeons have been completed and 100% explored all locations.
To miHoYo’s credit, updates with new locations for the GI are usually released every 2-3 months, so many old-timers follow the path of WoW veterans – leaving the game before the next major update.
Unplanned mountaineering and interface. And in the end I will move from global problems to private ones. For almost a year of its existence, several annoying features have not been fixed in the game, and, perhaps, the main one is associated with automatic climbing onto the scenery. It usually looks like this: during a skirmish, say, in a narrow cave or next to a large boulder, your character stops fighting in the midst of a battle. It turns out that he hangs on this unfortunate stone and does not want to peel off until you figure out to press the reset button. The ability to climb everything, alas, cannot be turned off. When there are important trials for time, where every second counts, a hero who suddenly decides to turn into a climber can easily bring him to white heat.
If you play from mobile devices or consoles, you can also come across a terribly working camera, which, during a battle or cut-scene, strives to choose an unsuccessful angle.
Another complaint is the interface, which is generally poorly executed and has not changed in any way in a year. Any actions must be “confirmed”. Did the blacksmith craft something? “Confirm.” Found one necessary quest item and want to turn it in to your character? First click on this item, then click “Select”, then “Confirm”.
But in the menu of banners, the game for some reason no longer asks to confirm the use of the obtained prayer or their entire pack. Therefore, there are often cases when you can accidentally touch it, and it is instantly consumed.
Finally, in Genshin Impact, you cannot skip a randomly started dialogue with an NPC – you need to skip it to the item “Say goodbye” or “Leave”. This is most annoying when, for example, you need to quickly use the alchemical workbench, but because of a miss you get on the character who is standing next to him. In general, it is unpleasant how easy it is to activate the wrong object due to the rotation of the camera – for example, you want to use the door to enter a tavern in Monstadt, but persistently end up on a leaflet.