Genshin Impact has a huge world to lớn explore, và a surprising amount of nội dung for a free-to-play game. Screenshot by Kaity Kline/MiHoYo hide caption

Genshin Impact has a huge world to lớn explore, & a surprising amount of content for a free-to-play game.

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Screenshot by Kaity Kline/MiHoYo

I didn"t have an interest in playing Genshin Impact at first. I kept hearing it described as a clone of The Legkết thúc of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and I didn"t really feel lượt thích playing a crummier version of a game I"ve sầu already played.

Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open-world adventure RPG made by miHoYo. It"s available on điện thoại, PC, the PS4, and has cross-play compatibility between systems. So because it"s free (until you really want a rare character và feel compelled khổng lồ spover big money on loot crates without a guarantee of getting anything good) and everybody is playing it — I gave it a shot, and found out it"s actually more fun than BOTW in a lot of ways.

I was shocked at how huge the game was. Like BOTW, Genshin Impact has a beautiful, big open world you can glide, climb, & fight through, và it"s only going to keep getting bigger with future updates. (Right now, only two regions are unlocked out of the seven that will eventually be available.)

There is already a crazy amount of nội dung for a không tính phí game: A long main story, & lots of quests, puzzles, challenges, & bosses — with a ton added already with their first update, and more to lớn come with future updates.

That said, I didn"t play Genshin Impact for the story, I played it for the fighting & the exploring. It"s better than I thought it would be for a miễn phí game, but the storytelling is still less than memorable. The dialogue was cringe-inducingly emotionless when I listened to it in English, but more tolerable and human-sounding when I switched the language setting khổng lồ Japanese.

The fights ... are much more fun in "Genshin Impact" than they are in "Breath of the Wild," and that"s the biggest difference between the two games.

The fights, however, are much more fun in Genshin Impact than they are in BOTW, và that"s the biggest difference between the two games.

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You fight in teams of four with characters you unlochồng through the story — & through a system known as gaphụ thân, which is common in free-to-play games. You spover points (earned in the game, but often bought with real money) khổng lồ roll for a random chance at getting characters & items. These are characters you meet throughout the story, and they all fight with different elements & skills, a lot lượt thích Pokemon

In BOTW, the only playable character is Link, but Genshin Impact gives you more opportunities lớn set up your fighting style. Weapons that break quickly is one part of BOTW that has remained unenjoyable & tedious for me. In Genshin Impact, your weapons don"t break & you can fight without constant interruptions, so you can spkết thúc less time searching for weapons & more time doing what you want.

During fights, you constantly cycle between members of your team & staông xã their abilities to lớn customize attacks against monsters, & as your characters màn chơi up, you can màn chơi the world up too — getting tougher monsters và better rewards once you defeat them.

Your team also gives you perks during normal gameplay. For example, Venti has wind powers which are great in battle — but he can also create gusts that propel you inlớn the air, making it easier to lớn climb mountains. Unfortunately for me, he"s one of the rare characters you have sầu to roll for. I spent tons of points trying khổng lồ get hyên — with no luông chồng — & now Venti is far less likely lớn appear from a gaphụ vương drop.

And that"s important: Genshin Impact — lượt thích all gaphụ vương games — makes you really want lớn get those rare characters. It"s beyond tempting to lớn spover real-life money, just to lớn have sầu a chance at unlocking rare, high-powered characters who can make your life much easier. I spent $40 of my money trying khổng lồ unlock Venti or maybe Diluc (who giao dịch fire damage), & didn"t get either of them. And I went in thinking I wouldn"t spover any money!

You"re never guaranteed anything good in "Genshin Impact" ... so building a good team can go pretty slow if you don"t crack và spkết thúc money.

You"re never guaranteed anything good in Genshin Impact -- until the game starts to lớn pity you after an absurd number of rolls, so building a good team can go pretty slow if you don"t craông chồng and spkết thúc money. And when certain characters seem almost impossible to get, it"s even harder lớn resist opening your wallet.

When you get khổng lồ Adventure Rank 16, you can play with your friends on Co-Op Mode. It"s a lot of fun khổng lồ fight bosses và explore the world with other people. But unfortunately, there"s a timer called Resin that replenishes every 16 hours, limiting the awards you get throughout the day from things lượt thích trùm battles, which makes playing pointless after you run out of Resin.

MiHoYo has improved the Resin system in the lakiểm tra update: They increased the timer"s capacity so you can fight more bosses & collect more rewards per day. You can also save sầu some unused Resin for later. So while before the update you could only fight three or four bosses a day before running out of Resing — not much time to play with others — now, you can vị way more with friends.

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It"s worth playing Genshin Impact, but you need lớn know right off the bat it"s difficult to resist spending real money, and the Resin timer is frustrating, particularly later in the game or when you want to lớn fight bosses. But there"s still a ridiculous amount of content for a không tính tiền game, and that makes it worth it — if you can make it through without spending any money.

Kaity Kline is a columnist for"s Join the Game and a producer on 1A. She is a native sầu of New Jersey, a lifelong game thủ, and a former gaming YouTuber. She tweets at