Every Honkai: Star Rail trailer I watch focuses entirely on its many characters and their interpersonal drama, and the latest is no different. Dark pasts? Dark dreams? Dark academia bedrooms? It has all three. As per usual, I am just here for the fun of an old-fashioned train that can fly through space.
Here's the video from tonight's Gamescom Opening Night Live:
Honkai: Star Rail is from HoYoVerse, and as the name suggest, it's connected to their action RPG Honkai Impact 3rd. Where it differs is that Star Rail has turn-based combat instead of real-time hack-and-slashing. You'll still explore large regions with a party of characters and have plenty of dialogue with anime locals, but encountering enemies will shift you into a battle arena. Your party of four then take it in turns to cast attacks or defensive moves, in traditional style.
If you want a look at how it actually plays, it might be worth stepping outside the official trailers and looking at some closed beta footage, such as in this 20 minute video from back in May. Even from that video, it's difficult to get a sense of what is tactically interesting about the fights, but it at least shows how the fun concepts of the characters - who wield magical guitars, cameras, baseball bats, among other things - manifest in combat.
Of course, looping back around, the other way Star Rail is like its predecessors is that it's a gacha game, so you'll need to unlock at least some and probably most of those characters via pulls, which have a random chance of success. Fail to get the character you want and you'll need to spend real money to keep cranking the slot machine arm.
I remain curious - and a little disappointed that Honkai: Star Rail has no release date yet.
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