Although COVID-19 has made it quite hard to spend time with anyone outside of our own homes, online games have been a great way to connect with friends without putting anyone at risk. In the spring, we traversed tropical islands in Animal Crossing. In the last weeks of the summer, we investigated which of our friends was an impostor in Among Us. Now, while it is getting colder and it becomes harder to meet outside, Genshin Impact offers a new world to explore from the comfort of our own homes.
Genshin Impact made a serious impact upon release; within only its first week, it generated over 17 million downloads across PC, PS4, and mobile platforms. Possibly the most attractive part of this game to newcomers is that it is free to play. That’s right- it is an expansive open world game with polished graphics, a story campaign, and characters for different types of play styles- and it’s free! The game makes its money from players purchasing in game currency, although this is completely optional. The full story is completely playable without spending a single penny!
The game’s story focuses on the player character, a traveller who visits different worlds with their twin sibling. However, after a fateful encounter with an unknown goddess, the twins become separated, and the player must journey through the fantasy world of Teyvat in search of their lost sibling. Throughout their travels, they meet a colorful cast of characters such as Jean, a powerful knight, Kaeya, a former pirate, and Venti, a mysterious bard. Players can unlock these characters to fight using their unique battle skills and elemental powers.
Creating teams of characters is where co-op play comes in. While players can fight using a team composed of four of their own characters, they can meet up with others online to explore and battle together. You can invite your friends, or play with complete strangers, but either way, it adds a fun new aspect to the game. Co-op mode makes battling big enemies much easier; however, fighting isn’t the only thing you can do with friends- many players have enjoyed crossing oceans using Kaeya’s ice ability that freezes the water in front of him. With others, players can quickly freeze their way to mysterious islands far away from the rest of the map.
It has been about a month since Genshin Impact first released, and many players have already completed the story and touched every corner of Mondstadt and Liyue. However, this is not even close to the end of what the game developers have in store! Because it is an online game, Genshin Impact will have frequent updates, adding new chapters, boss fights, and characters to play. New content is constantly being added, so the world of Teyvat has so much more to explore!