Genshin Impact
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    So, whadda we know? Genshin Impact is an open-world, free-to-play, action-RPG for PS4, PC, and mobile (with a Switch version in development), from Chinese ACG outfit, miHoYo. Yeah it does draw some obvious inspiration from BotW, but care to take the briefest of glances beyond a clickbait YT thumbnail or Twitter hot take and you'll see that any accusations of it being a simple clone are lazy at best. These are two different games at heart, Genshin puts combat front and centre and is dripping with RPG systems and numberwang.

    You play as a collection of elementally gifted heroes led by a mysterious planet hopping traveller searching for their lost twin. There's a substantial main campaign to play through, a large chunk of the world of Teyvat to explore complete with all the usual open-world activities, shit-loads of collectables, side quests, dungeons, all the levelling/upgrading you could want, and then there's that really quite wonderful combat system; fast and fluid with smooth and slick animations, a stamina based dash that makes use of iFrames and can trigger animation cancelling, and a whole load of hot-swapping between characters with the press of a button to trigger some crazy elemental reactions. 

    The current story campaign comprises a Prologue and the first two acts of Chapter 1, some 30 or hours of main story content stretching into hundreds of hours with all the side quests and open-world shenanigans. The finale to Chapter 1 is expected soon, and the devs have 6 further chapters of story content planned, each focusing on a new region of Teyvat to be added in future updates. The third region of the world, Dragonspine, is due at the end of December. 



    And yeah it is absolutely bloody gorgeous. From the world design to the enemies and creatures to the characters themselves, the flawless and charming animations, the UI and general presentation, this game looks a million bucks. And the music, damn this game got chops. 



    Monetization does take the form of a gacha (lootbox) system to get the chance to add statistically better characters and weapons to your loadout, and once you hit Adventure Rank 20 there's a battle pass, but there's absolutely no need to get involved in any of that and the game honestly doesn't push this aspect - it's there IF you want it. What the game gives you is stupidly generous and will see you through the content available at the moment without a worry, as well as handing you many a free roll at the gacha system from currency earned a multitude of ways in-game.

    So yeah just ignore the money stuff and let yourself get swept away in the story, the music, the exploration, the beautiful art direction, and fun, elementally charged combat. 

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    There is limited multiplayer available once you get to a certain point, but it isn't implemented amazingly at the moment. Expect this to get better over time, but it's a single-player game at heart. Actually, expect everything to get better over time. This is an ambitious live service title with a $100 million budget that's designed to keep you (and your debit card) engaged for years, and the devs have already talked about new map regions, quests, dungeons, characters, weapons, and equipment on the way.

    I mean, the game's free and crazy generous in what it does offer you. If anything you've seen has piqued your interest, give it a go. What's the worst that could happen?*


    Useful links: 

    Official website: For the PC download, news, world info, official forums, and even their own manga.

    Interactive mapWanna find all the anemoculus or geoculus? How about chests, shrines, or mining locations? It's all here.

    The Wiki'Cause you're probably gonna need it at some point.






    *I take no responsibility for all the really bad things that could happen.
  • It’s mainly single player, yes?
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Dark Soldier
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    I would love to play this but the characters, and the sounds they make, are an affront to my senses.
  • I would love to play this but the characters, and the sounds they make, are an affront to my senses.

    This.
    Are there plans for characters that aren't embarrassing?
  • Nope. The gacha system even awards bonus cringe stats. 

    @Elf Yeah, it's a single-player game. The MP stuff is very limited, but expect them to build on this going forward.
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  • Curtis
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    I'm really enjoying it. It has the best realtime RPG combat since Dragon's Dogma, cracking team compostion options, and the character switching mid-combo stuff is very Platinum Games. Plus its a shameless BoTW rip-off. All of those add up to a fantastic game that clearly had a massive budget. 

    Sure, the Anime Waifu characters might get you some dodgy looks from the missus, but don't let that put you off.  ;)

    The gacha/cashola aspect is purely optional and never once pushed in your face (or even mentioned for the matter). The shop is hidden away in the start menu and hella confusing with its multiple currencies, so even if you did stumble onto it, you'd probably be too lost to figure out how to spend any real money. lol!

    I just hit AR16 and unlocked coop. There is sooooo much content its ridiculous. And patch 1.1 dropping sometime this month supposedly adds another 40% to the overall world map. Its insane that its F2P.
  • You're way past me, Curtis. Agree with all that though. The game's just really solid, enjoyable stuff with so much to see and do. 

    And the whole gacha thing is so far in the background that you've really gotta want to spend money to get involved in that.

    Can't quite believe this is free-to-play. It's almost too good to be true.
  • Stormy you goddamn dealer.

    I DLed this. The voices can do one, but holy hell it's pretty. Only managed to see 30 seconds up the beach and not even start the first quest. But still.
    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • regmcfly
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    I'll get this but it'll take a lot to pull me from Dragalia.
  • Facewon wrote:
    Stormy you goddamn dealer. I DLed this. The voices can do one, but holy hell it's pretty. Only managed to see 30 seconds up the beach and not even start the first quest. But still.

    I know right?   

    This game just keeps on giving. I'm getting loot and characters thrown at me from a whole variety of random achievements and mission progress. I now have access to more characters than I can level up, and more weapons and items than I know what to do with. Srsly, what do I do with all this stuff?

    Loving the elemental combos you can create when tag-teaming characters in a fight as well. Some very cool stuff going on here. Still early days though. Only at AR 7 or so, and I'm currently exploring the world around the first town and doing a few side quests. Really enjoying it though.
  • A couple of things that are bugging me though... I'm playing on PC with my trusty Xbox controller and the button bindings just feel weird and there's no re-mapping option. I've cancelled out of menus far too often by mistake.

    Also, you have to manually select the controller every time you load up. 

    They're not game breaking issues or anything, but it'd be nice for QoL if we got patches for this stuff.
  • regmcfly
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    I'm gonna get it on phone, have you tried it there yet?
  • FranticPea
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    LivDiv wrote:
    I would love to play this but the characters, and the sounds they make, are an affront to my senses.

    This.
    Are there plans for characters that aren't embarrassing?

    Yeh, just watched a vid and it's just full on creepy cringe.
    Hairlo?
  • regmcfly wrote:
    I'm gonna get it on phone, have you tried it there yet?

    No, but the person who recommended it to me has it on phone and loves it.
  • regmcfly
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    Great. Will dive in.
  • I'm playing on PC with my trusty Xbox controller and the button bindings just feel weird and there's no re-mapping option.

    I can't get my wireless xbox one control to work.
    When I select it in the menu the game just locks.

    Did it just work for you and is your pad wired?
    You rang.....
  • I played a few hours of this last night (to AR10) and it’s got some charm but I am not sure how much legs.

    I changed the language in the first minute cos fuuuuuuck that. Chinese and Japanese are at least 100% less insulting to your ears.
  • Tempy wrote:
    I played a few hours of this last night (to AR10) and it’s got some charm but I am not sure how much legs. I changed the language in the first minute cos fuuuuuuck that. Chinese and Japanese are at least 100% less insulting to your ears.

    Genius.

    Totes doing that.

    Strong vibe of this otherwise:

    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • A couple of things that are bugging me though... I'm playing on PC with my trusty Xbox controller and the button bindings just feel weird and there's no re-mapping option. I've cancelled out of menus far too often by mistake. Also, you have to manually select the controller every time you load up.  They're not game breaking issues or anything, but it'd be nice for QoL if we got patches for this stuff.

    Yeah, the controller thing is annoying, and yep, b to confirm and a to back out, oh my days it gets messy.
    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • I’m sort of invigorated by Curtis’s enthusiasm but also it just feels super hollow. Very attractive but... the landscape has none of the stuff that made BotW what it was, your regular mobs have zero personality and no AI, the elemental effects are sort of fun but again don’t really add a whole lot beyond being able to freeze water and elecorructe people. Quests have been standard RPG fare of “go 500m away to get a ream of insipid dialogue onl to be told to go 500m in the opposite direction and fight another mob of enemies then go 500m other direction to open a chest” which isn’t really... inspiring or anything.

    There are some fun little micro puzzle things in the environment for sure, and it’s always chucking something your way (usually currency) but there are also a lot of gauges to fill up: level your characters, and their weapons, and their skills, and your adventure level to earn currency that lets you “wish” for new characters and end up getting 50 duplicate weapons you need to chunk into your other weapons to level them up. Still, I got some cute maid/warrior called Noelle from the current offer pack who has a massive broadsword and she seems fun. It’ll have to offer something pretty substantial to keep its hooks in though I think.
  • Fair enough. Gotta say, I'm having a blast. The art direction and music have properly suckered me in, and I'm finding it a very nice place to just wander around and have some casual RPG-style fun. I've no idea how long it'll keep me entertained, but I'm entirely fine with playing it 'til I find out.
  • The music also feels very BotW-lite. There's a particular theme in the dungeons which just sounds like someone doing a cover of a BotW piano track, but missing crux of the glitchy minimalist feel.
  • I should probably play BotW. And y'know, buy a Switch.
  • PS4, yes. Right there in the OP.
  • Download to my iPhone too! Do I want to sign in with Facebook? I’m not so sure
    Cause I'm not getting any younger
    Some new kids trying to steal my thunder
  • PS4, yes. Right there in the OP.

    Oh yeah ha ha fuck this puppy is melting my brain...

  • PS4, yes. Right there in the OP.

    Oh yeah ha ha fuck this puppy is melting my brain...

    Ironically it’s worth a chalice
    Cause I'm not getting any younger
    Some new kids trying to steal my thunder
  • Some handy tips for new players from a less crazy than usual Mtashed (Destiny players know). Really wish he'd put this up a couple of days earlier.

  • Japanese VO is way better.
    I'm still great and you still love it.
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