Review of Genshin Impact (for PC)

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Despite its striking surface similarities to a prominent Nintendo IP, Genshin Impact has enough individuality to stand on its own, with a unique fighting system and a large environment to explore.


  • The battle mechanics in this action-RPG is fascinating
  • A vast universe with countless hours of content
  • It’s completely free to play
  • Console and mobile platforms are both supported


  • Cash register with a high price tag
  • There are no keybinding options
  • Several vexing dungeon bugs


Video games PlatformPC
Video games StylePosition-Taking part in
ESRB RankingT for Teen

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Mihoyo’s game is as complimentary as games get. Genshin Impact made an impression in the video game world in 2019 when they announced a massive open-world action-RPG based on Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But that’s not to suggest it’s a cheap knockoff. To set it distinct from Zelda and other open-world RPGs, Genshin Impact has a number of innovative gameplay mechanisms and attractive story beats. To unlock high-powered fighters in the free-to-play PC game, you’ll have to perform some serious grinding (or dish out some serious cash).

Review of Genshin Impact (for PC)
Genshin Impact

Journey Calls

After a battle with a super-powered demigoddess, twins are cast out into an unknown world in Genshin Impact. To begin the adventure, you choose a hero, and after some plot hijinks, you are separated from your sister. The rest of the game takes place in the strange land of Teyvat, where you hunt for your sibling and meet other heroes along the way.

The visual parallels between Genshin Impact and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are undeniable. Both games include open-world areas brimming with treasures to discover, barriers to scale, and funny monsters to battle. At first glance, Genshin Impact’s archery and swordplay appear to be very comparable to Nintendo’s offering, and the vibrant cel-shaded anime graphical style is very similar to Zelda’s.

However, the party system in Genshin Impact quickly distinguishes it from Zelda and other open-world RPGs. As you move through the story, you actively recruit new playable members into your party, each with their own combat styles and skills. To be sure, there is some overlap: Sword-wielding heroes, for example, have distinct attack animations, yet they all use the same combat inputs and are functionally equivalent.

In the active party, you can have up to four characters. Only one party member can be out on the field at a time, but you can switch between them on the fly, resulting in a visually stunning explosion of combination attacks and particle effects.

Extra Than Meets the Eye

The elements system in Genshin Impact is extensive and nuanced, and it is linked to the game’s party system. Each character is associated with one of the five elements: air, fire, water, lightning, or ice. Each character has a special, element-specific strike that has a short cool-down gauge in addition to their basic melee combo and heavy attack. Auto-deflecting energy shields, devastating counter-stances, spiraling sword formations, basic magical blasts, and area of effect attacks are among these specialties. Because most adversaries have their own affinity attacks and vulnerabilities that make them difficult to deal with if you only employ melee attacks, effective use of these elemental assaults is crucial.

Genshin Impact not only incorporates elemental magic into its battle, but it also incorporates status effects into these systems. As a result, there’s a surprising amount of depth to the problem. Every elemental attack inflicts a status effect on its target in addition to the assault’s base damage. For example, victims of fire attacks are left burning for several seconds after the first strike. Ice attacks opponents that move slowly.

Once a status is applied to a target, it becomes vulnerable to additional elemental strikes, which might lead to a chain reaction. This is what makes the combat in Genshin Impact so compelling. When a wet target is hit with an ice assault, it freezes solid. When struck by lightning, an enemy chilled by an ice strike becomes superconductive, weakening its protection and doing significant damage to nearby enemies. As you play, there are a plethora of combinations to try out, and the thankfully huge character list allows you to experiment to your heart’s content as you explore the globe.

Keqing Genshin Impact GIF - Keqing Genshin Impact - Discover & Share GIFs
Genshin Impact

Discover the World

Naturally, the world you explore determines the quality of your journey. Genshin Impact is a large, expansive open world filled with foes to battle, treasures to discover, dungeons to raid, and heights to scale. Climbing in Genshin Impact, like in Breath of the Wild, is unexpectedly open-ended, thus most surfaces can be scaled if you have the stamina to finish your ascent. Genshin Impact, like Breath of the Wild, gives you a glider to decrease your descent speed, but this time in the shape of wings. These wings can be used to fly, reach far-off platforms, perform mini-games, and solve riddles. Because the gliding wings deplete your stamina while in use, there is a limit to how far or how long you can glide before plummeting to the ground. Genshin Impact, on the other hand, provides a terrific sense of verticality thanks to both free climbing and easy gliding; I found myself climbing any building, monument, or tree the game would allow simply because I could.

Genshin Impact encourages you to learn as much as possible. There are many secrets and riches to be discovered on the global map. Finding and donating magical teardrops to divine statues, for example, can help you increase your stamina. These relics can be found all across the landscape, typically at high places where you must ride air currents or solve a puzzle. Ghostly sprites float around landmarks, beckoning you to chase them across the field for treasure chest prizes. Of course, there are dungeons spread across the globe, complete with creatures to slaughter and riddles to solve. The cooking system in Genshin Impact allows you to combine food items based on recipes to make meals that heal or temporarily improve attack and defensive stats.

Best Genshin Impact GIFs | Gfycat
Genshin Impact

You can explore and dungeon raid in co-op multiplayer action with up to four players once you achieve Adventure Rank 16. The host gets the most out of co-op sessions in the open world, but raiding dungeons and fighting bosses is profitable for everyone. Genshin Impact also supports crossplay between consoles and mobile devices, making finding other players a breeze.

The game is far more story-driven than its Zelda-like graphics would suggest. While you are free to explore the globe in between narrative beats, there are some restrictions on where you can go right away. You are first limited to the areas surrounding Mondstadt, the game’s largest city. However, when you complete story objectives, find monuments, and solve riddles, the world opens up. I like Genshin Impact’s open-world concept because it allows you to roam and quest without feeling hemmed in by the story or intimidated by the sheer scale of the map.

Make a Want

Mihoyo, the game’s creator, has 30 characters planned for Genshin Impact, with 23 of them now available. Once the story begins, you’ll be given a handful of free characters to use, each with their own attack speciality and elemental affinity. For example, Amber is a fire-based archer who is almost always in my party because her fire-arrows are a useful puzzle-solving tool. Other characters, such as Barbara, a water-based healer, and Xiangling, a fiery lancer, are unlocked by completing specific tasks. Barbara is free to everyone who reaches Adventure Rank 20, while Xiangling is unlocked after completing the arduous Abyss gauntlet halfway through. These free characters, however, will not endure indefinitely. Though the timeframe has not been publicly revealed, the characters you earn ultimately rotate. My hunch is that it will be once a month, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Aside from the freebies and rotating unlockable characters, the only other method to get new party members in this free PC game is to spend Primogems, which are a premium currency. These are given out in little amounts when you open chests, accomplish quests, run dungeons, or complete daily objectives. Primogems can be obtained by completing game log achievements. Primogems can be acquired as a premium currency from Genshin Impact’s cash shop: Genesis crystals, which can be purchased in bundles of 300 for around $5, can be changed into Primogems at a 1:1 rate.

Unfortunately, unlocking new characters is not as simple as picking one you like and purchasing it. The game’s Wish mechanism distributes characters at random. You can try your luck with a Wish for 160 Primogems, which summons a random weapon or character from a large pool. For a variety of factors, the average rate of plucking characters is pitifully low. Heroes are rated four or five stars, depending on the character, and weapons are rated three to five stars. Wishes draw from both weapon and character pools, thus you’re considerably more likely to acquire a mediocre three-star weapon than a memorable character.

However, there are a couple restrictions that make the Wish system more appealing. You will receive at least one four-star character or weapon for every ten Wishes you make. Low-rank weapons muck up your roll, but three-star weaponry are destroyed at least once every ten attempts. Characters and weapons with five stars are far more difficult to come by, with just 90 attempts guaranteed. It’s intimidating, especially if you’re paying real money for characters.

Despite the system’s high cost, conscientious players can earn at least one free roll per day by performing daily tasks and other in-game activities; in other words, by playing the game. Earning Primogems through gaming is far more enjoyable, and it fits in better with Genshin Impact’s emphasis on gameplay. Of course, if you have the funds, there’s nothing stopping you from whaling right away.

Xiao Genshin Impact GIF - Xiao Genshin Impact - Discover & Share GIFs
Genshin Impact

Deficiencies in the Canvas

Genshin Impact’s visual style is bright and colorful, with cel-shaded models and an anime graphic style. It misses the distinguishing art direction of Breath of the Wild, opting instead for a more generic anime look, notably in terms of character designs. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, and there are a few unique designs, such as Beidou, the eye-patch-wearing warrior woman, and Kaeya, the suave frost knight. Others, on the other hand, are a little more forgettable, and I have a hard time distinguishing between the cutesy maid-like combatants. The monster design is similarly bright and attractive, but it’s also uninteresting. The majority of your opponents are bouncing elemental balloon monsters and generic masked goblin-like creatures. They can be quite difficult depending on their level and the composition of your party, but they aren’t visually appealing.

Fortunately, since the last beta test, Genshin Impact has added a lot more exciting foes. Along with the typical fodder, breakdancing lizard monsters, wind-punching bruisers, fire-blasting gunslingers, magical flower monsters, and more creatures now roam Teyvat, making exploration far more intriguing and engaging than before. Along with the wind dragon Stormterror and the ice wolf Boreas, Genshin Impact also includes two new world bosses: the water elemental Oceanid and the plant monster Cryo Regisvine.

The first dungeons in Genshin Impact are brief and combat-heavy. Because they’re not particularly intelligent, you’ll be platforming, activating switches, or avoiding hazards while you’re not battling. I predict dungeons to grow in size as the game progresses, especially given the complexity of the elemental status effect system.

Having saying that, the dungeons are by far the least polished game areas. They’re mechanically sound, but players with even a smidgeon of wanderlust can quickly stray from the developer’s intended borders and tumble out of the map or into floors that aren’t supposed to be explored. I rode a wind current to the top levels of one side dungeon, for example, and found a crack in the masonry in the preceding chamber that led to a seemingly optional room. I rode the wind back down into the opening, only to discover that the detail was simply aesthetic, and I crashed through the floor back to the entrance. Dungeons have a tendency to appear much larger than they are, and this is one of the rare times where I would rather have invisible borders to keep me on track rather than over-exploring and falling into the nothingness.

Is Genshin Impact compatible with your PC?

Genshin Impact [Game Review]
Genshin Impact pc

Your gaming PC must have an Intel Core i5 or equivalent processor, an Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 or higher graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and at least 30GB of storage space to run Genshin Impact. In addition, the computer must run a 64-bit version of Windows 7 (or later). Genshin Impact runs in a smooth 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution on my gaming desktop, which has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU and an Intel i5 4690 CPU. The graphics settings are basic, but Mihoyo says that an Ultra HD visual increase for PC will be available soon.

The lack of keybinding flexibility was the only legitimate complaint I had about the settings. On the keyboard and mouse, Genshin Impact is fairly intuitive, but I loathe being forced to use my mouse wheel, which may be a bit tricky. The mouse wheel is used in Genshin Impact’s detection mechanism, which works similarly to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Witcher vision. Outside of a few crucial objectives, the detection system isn’t used very often, thus switching to a controller to get it to work properly was a pain. Instead, I would have preferred to tie that function to a different key.

A Recipe for Success

Genshin Impact is a nice surprise, with a large, intelligent setting and clever fighting systems. Teyvat presently only has two of the seven regions teased in the plot, but creator Mihoyo has stated that a new region, new characters, and all fresh material are on the way. Genshin Impact has it all, including an expansive world with hours of calm exploration and stuff to enjoy, whether alone or with company, and at an unbeatable price.

Review of Genshin Impact (for PC)

Genshin Impact (for PC) Try it out

Aside from some superficial parallels to another popular Nintendo IP, the battle system in Genshin Impact is original and the area to explore is wide, despite the game’s eerie resemblances.

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Kato Tanaka, a writer who is always looking for new ways to connect with readers and tell compelling stories. I believe that writing is not just about expressing oneself, but about creating a connection with others. I strive to create work that is both relatable and engaging, that speaks to the human experience in a way that is both authentic and accessible. I believe that writing has the power to connect us with others, to bring us closer together, and to help us understand ourselves and the world around us.

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Sariel Gomez, a writer who is passionate about using the power of the written word to create change and make a difference. I believe that writing is not just about expressing oneself, but about using words to inspire others and to make a positive impact on the world. I strive to create stories that are both impactful and meaningful, that inspire readers to take action and to make a difference. I believe that writing has the power to change the world, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition.

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