Free-to-play action RPG Genshin Impact is out now on PC, PS4, iOS, and Android and heck, it actually seems pretty enticing. The very Breath Of The Wild-looking fantasy game gives you elemental powers to wield in action combat, a party to build, and a colorful world to explore. Better yet, you can pull your pals on other systems into co-op with cross-platform multiplayer.
"Experience an immersive single-player campaign. As a traveler from another world, you will embark on a journey to reunite with your long-lost sibling and unravel the mysteries of Teyvat, and yourself," the developers Mihoyo say. "Not just another mindless hack and slash. Manipulating the various elements is the key to defeating powerful enemies and solving challenging puzzles."
You can fly, swim, and climb around the world solo or choose to bring friends along in co-op for up to four players, which is exactly why a pal asked me several weeks ago if I'd heard anything about it. At the time, I looked it up, saw the words "gacha game", and immediately bah humbug'd it without investigating much further. It's launched on PC today and, now that I'm beginning to see screenshots on Twitter, I think I may have been hasty. Fantasy RPGs are quite up my alley, after all. Apparently I've decided to find out for myself as it's now installing over on my auxiliary monitor. Whoops.
Heck, it's not like I don't already play Red Dead Online and Sea Of Thieves, both of which attempt to entice me into spending money on in-game clothes. Using premium currency to buy specific cosmetics isn't quite the same as the lootbox-like gacha system of randomised rewards, but the allure of shiny items is similar. As a free to play game, I suspect Genshin Impact may be a bit more persuasive in that endeavor than the games I’ve paid for up front, but who doesn’t need to test their resolve against cosmetics every now and again?
Breath Of The Wild's colorful aesthetic and unrestrained exploration are certainly encouraging plenty of mimicry in PC games. Between Genshin Impact and the upcoming Ubisoft game Immortals Fenyx Rising, I'm actually looking forward to finding out if any are worthy siblings. Oh, and there's also Craftopia, the game that's Breath Of The Wild and also every other type of game.
You can download and play Genshin Impact for free through its launcher on Mihoyo's website.