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Want to Have an Impact?--Genshin Impact Review

Updated: May 13, 2021

Traveler stands on the hands of one of the statues of the seven in Mondstat. (Screenshot by Zoe Nix)

By Zoe Nix--Staff Writer

Do you want to explore lands of unknown potential? Do you want to defeat monsters and find treasures beyond your wildest dreams? Do you want to wield a sword or cast spells? Well, Genshin Impact might be right up your alley.

Genshin Impact is a Chinese game, with optional English, Japanese, and Korean dialogue, made by MiHoYo and released on September 28, 2020. The game is centered around the main character, called Traveler, whose gender you can pick, and who is trying to find their sibling with the help of a little floating character named Paimon. From there, the Traveler will meet all sorts of non-player characters (NPCs) and defeat loads of monsters.

“There is already a crazy amount of content for a free game: A long main story, and lots of quests, puzzles, challenges, and bosses — with a ton added already with their first update, and more to come with future updates,” Kaity Kline, NPR writer, said.

When first starting the game, you will be guided by Paimon and playable character Amber to the city of Mondstat, one of the seven civilizations in Teyvat, the world this game takes place in. Each civilization worships a different member of the seven, a group of gods who represents each of the game's many elements and civilizations. Statues of these gods are littered about Teyvat, and one of Traveler’s goals is to unlock each one.

“Genshin Impact incentivizes you to explore as much as you can. The world map is chock full of secrets and treasures to find. For example, you can extend the limits of your stamina by finding and donating magical teardrops to divine statues. These relics are hidden across the map, often in elevated spots that require you to ride air currents or solve a puzzle," Gabriel Zamora, writer for PCMag, said. "Ghostly sprites hover over landmarks and encourage you to chase them across the field they inhabit for treasure chest rewards. Of course, dungeons are strewn all over the world, which are filled with monsters to slay and puzzles to solve. Genshin Impact's cooking system lets you combine food items based on recipes you acquire to create meals that heal or temporarily boost attack and defense stats."

Character Diona uses her wings to glide to the ground. (Screenshot by Zoe Nix)

You’ll receive various quests as you go about the map, some are side quests and others pertain to the main plot. Through these quests you'll be awarded primogems, used to get new characters and/or Mora, Teyvat’s currency. In the game's beginning, you'll be given Lisa, Kaeya, and Amber, three playable characters, as well as a set of wings, which allow you to glide to practically anywhere.

Each character within Genshin has abilities that co-align with the elements. Lisa is electro (electricity), Kaeya is cryo (ice), Amber is pyro (fire), Noelle (a gacha gainable character) is geo (Earth), and Traveler is anemo (air).

Genshin is heavily based on a gacha system. Gacha is essentially like a bubblegum machine: you pay and get the chance to win a new character or weapon, or get repeats. A multitude of characters are available for play and new ones are added nearly every update with new abilities and skills.

“You fight in teams of four with characters you unlock through the story — and through a system known as gacha, which is common in free-to-play games. You spend points (earned in the game, but often bought with real money) to roll for a random chance at getting characters and items. These are characters you meet throughout the story, and they all fight with different elements and skills, a lot like Pokemon,” Kline explained.

In the world of Genshin, an event called the Lantern Rite, was occurring in Liyue, another nation in Teyvat, from February 10 to the 28. The Rite is based on Xiao, a brand new playable character, who is involved with the seven and is an adeptus, or a mortal whose actions have led him to be god-like and gained him quite a number of followers.

In the Lantern Rite, you complete quests involving Xiao lanterns or other Rite related events and you could even play a tower defense game for one lantern a try. The Rite is a perfect example of the many events MiHoYo does for each Genshin player.

Character Noelle stands in front of Liyue Harbor, who is celebrating the Lantern Rite (Screenshot by Zoe Nix)

“This entire event has really served to show just how alive and lived-in the world of Genshin Impact can feel. This is a new sort of live service game that is mostly single player, but heavily story focused in a way that others aren’t,” Paul Tassi, a writer for Forbes, stated.

Tassi goes on to list examples.

“For example, Destiny 2 might have a 'Dawning' Christmas-type event that decorates the Tower and has you delivering cookies to various characters with a few written lines of dialogue here and there. But Genshin Impact’s Lantern Rite (based on Lunar New Year) has elaborate, voiced story quests, and at least two dozen mini side quests where you’re doing everything from helping poets and painters find inspiration, to visiting old people and children in remote villages to make sure they have a nice holiday even if they can’t make it to Liyue Harbor itself. It’s far, far more than just decorations between story components and new activities like the Theater Mechanicus Tower Defense minigame," he continued.

The new event for the next week and a half as of today, March 23, is called the "Invitation of Windblume" which celebrates Mondstat and it's representative member of the seven "Barbados".

Of course, the game does come with some improvable parts. Certain buildings and hills are not climbable due to little edges and differences in structure. Furthermore, when sending out characters on expeditions, via the Adventurer’s Club, you can only send two. There are quite a few glitches in quests and buildings in which you will most likely have to restart your game in order to fix. One big thing though, is Genshin is a major space hog. On my phone, it takes up 10 GBs.

Nonetheless, Genshin is a beautiful game which allows players to explore every corner of the world and experience incredible adventures. The game is playable on iOS, Android, Playstation 4 and 5, Windows, and will be on the Nintendo Switch. This is a game I totally recommend and it’s honestly very addicting. It’s free to play, so why not give it a try?

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