Genshin Impact and why you should play it


Five of the main characters from the prologue story of Genshin Impact. The game launched on September 28, 2020. Photo courtesy of miHoYo

Vivian Chiang, Staff Writer

One of the more popular games that rose out of quarantine boredom last year was “Animal Crossing: New Horizons;” however,  a lot of people have probably grown tired of it. In that case, may I present my new fixation: “Genshin Impact.”


Developed by Chinese company Mihoyo, “Genshin Impact” is an anime-inspired open world adventure game. In the game, you play as one half of a pair of dimension-hopping siblings, suddenly torn apart by an unknown goddess, known as the Traveler. You meet a fairy-like character, Paimon, who promises to help you find your lost sibling by taking you across the world of Teyvat, where each nation is ruled by a different elemental god or goddess known as Archons.


At first glance, the art style of “Genshin Impact” is almost eerily similar to “Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” featuring the same serene landscapes and overall vibe that the two art styles give off. However, that is where the similarities end. You can choose from a multitude of unique characters, each with their own history, inspiration and personality to add to your party. Additionally, there are major cities and villages scattered across the map, full of interactable non-playable characters (NPCs) and chests for the player to find. The sheer scale of the game does necessitate some consideration to your PC or phone requirements, but the effect is worth it.


“Genshin Impact” has something for everyone. For the more casual players, picking up the game once in a while will still let them meet with tons of the things to do, see and explore. With events that are released in game almost every month and a huge world to explore, you never run out of things to do. They have not even released the entire world yet, and I still have so much to do. World quests, hidden chests, world bosses— even the normally tedious tasks like farming for materials can be fun if you are running around with your friends using the co-op function. Since this game has so many options for players, you can also easily find your own playing style and your own way to do things whether it be focusing on your party or exploration or questing.

Two of the five star banner characters featured in Liyue. They were released with Version 1.1 of the game. Photo courtesy of miHoYo

There is something for the hardcore players as well. Getting the perfect weapon and artifacts (special equipment that boost your stats) for your characters, crafting the perfect party to take down this particular boss, watching the damage you deal go from 31 to over 100k… so satisfying. I never thought something so simple as developing the perfect strategy for dealing with the enormous variety of fightable mobs would be so fun. If you are the type of player who likes to dive into the stats (CRIT rate, damage multipliers, energy recharge… cue swirling calculations) this is definitely the game for you.


“‘Genshin Impact’ has to be one of the easiest games to play,” senior Cynthia Liang said. “[The] gacha system, running around town… it’s basically your little pocket if-you’re-bored-come-play-this game — and the graphics are amazing. Comparing it to games like’ Stardew Valley,’ ‘Valorant,’ ‘Minecraft’ etc., the controls are simple, unlike the other games.”


There are some unique quirks to this game that really sets it apart from its competitors. The biggest is probably the gacha system. A “gacha” is a Japanese vending machine that randomly spits out a small toy, and has recently begun to be a more popular concept in games as a way to pull different characters or weapons. For instance, in “Genshin Impact” which uses a one-to-five star rating system to identify which items are more rare or valuable, certain five-star characters can only be pulled during their promotion periods through the gacha system and are incredibly hard to win. There are jokes amongst players about having developed gambling addictions because of this.


“I have a love hate relationship with the gacha system… it is absolutely based on chance,” Liang said. “However, I believe that the gacha system also makes the game fun because it’s based on chance. You never know what you’re going to get and it is unpredictable.”


Another feature that really pulled me into playing this game was the co-op function, where players can join the worlds of other players and defeat bosses, explore and discover chests together. This is especially fun for those who like playing with their friends, and also allows you to tackle otherwise impossible bosses or domains.


There is so much to love about “Genshin.” I would recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in playing games. It can be anything from a fun way to fill time when you’re bored to a full on passion. I picked up this game while I was sick, and by the time I stopped playing, it had been almost six hours. The effort and love poured into this game from its developers and voice actors (I would recommend the Japanese voices) makes it even sweeter when you realize how much you have fallen in love with it.