Genshin Impact: RPG meets Gacha Game

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By Catherine Fang, Staff Writer

If you’ve taken the S train, you may have seen an exclusive train with the inside covered with advertisements for a new game called Genshin Impact. With a record of 10 million pre-registrations, Genshin Impact is a free online game that was released on September 28. Within the first week of its launch, it gained 17 million players and was advertised everywhere, from well-known anime streaming sites such as Crunchyroll to train stations in Berlin. Many players claim that it’s similar to the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild of RPGs (Role Playing Games), as it is a completely open world game, where players can explore the map without constraints, and has similar features, including gliding and bow-and-arrow combat. 

There are few to no restrictions on a player after the tutorial—as you explore the world by completing quests, you have the ability to divert your characters to any other other aspect of the game. You can climb any tree, glide from the tops of all buildings, and scale every mountain you wish to. Mihoyo, the company behind the game, seamlessly combines the smooth mechanisms of a slash-and-hack game, mesmerizing graphics, and soothing soundtracks. Amusing voice actors and interactive NPCs (non-playable characters) add to the personality of all individuals of the game. 

There’s something for every type of player in Genshin Impact. Sophomore Rachel Ly enjoys the freedom to customize her gaming experience from weapons to gliders to teleportation. “Chasing crabs by Falcon Coast and cooking them, collecting iron chunks, and stumbling upon chests guarded by monsters makes the game more intense and unpredictable,”  Rachel commented.

As players move further into the game, they encounter Gacha, random spin-to-win loot-boxes that require game currency called primogems to open. Though Genshin Impact is not the first video game to implement a gacha system into its structure, the roll-to-win aspect and unique character designs lure players in for many hours of quest completion. Because the system is designed to rarely reveal popular characters and first-rate weapons, members of the Genshin community, like Junior Omar Hussain, have responded with wide-spread feelings of both frustration and joy.  “It’s neat, but I wish either the rates were better or [it would] just give [us] more primogems faster,” Omar expressed.

Other students found the design of the gacha to be fair as primogems are offered as bonuses for completing quests and as daily log-in rewards. “The game provides you with a lot of opportunities to get free primogems, from completing your quests, temples, and commissions, to gifting them to you through in-game mail, which really helps you reach your pity-counter faster, if you’re really unlucky,” said Rachel. The game’s “pity-counter” guarantees players a 5 star item or character at their 90th roll for an item. 

Although 5 star characters are in high demand, players can progress far into the story without one.Sophomore Rachel Ng, a veteran Genshin Impact player noted, “As long as you build your characters correctly, they can be really good supports and DPS” (DPS stands for damage per second which is your damage output based on your base character and the weapon they have).

Genshin Impact is similar to other RPG’s in that there are many hours in which the player spends completing the main story’s quests. Genshin players have shown their approval for the style of gameplay. “My favorite part of the game would have to be the grinding aspect of it. I really enjoy being able to level up my characters and make them stronger by improving their gear,” remarked Rachel Ng. 

As Genshin players wait for new updates to the main story and overall map, Mihoyo has much in the works with new characters and abilities being introduced every month and the second major update to be released on December 23.