Should You Play Anime Breath of the Wild? 

By: Max Myers

Genshin Impact was released less than a month ago on September 28th and was quickly dubbed “anime Breath of the Wild.” While this is a fairly accurate, the game does an amazing job of bringing more players into the gacha game genre. For people who are already tired of reading the short answer is yes you should try this game.  

However, it wouldn’t be much of an article if that’s all I had to say about Genshin Impact. The number one selling point of this game is the price tag which will run you exactly zero dollars. With no risk associated with putting a few hours into Genshin Impact, new players can play and then decide whether or not they’d rather use the twelve gigabytes for the next Call of Duty: Warzone update. Not only does the game cost nothing up front, it’s incredibly well optimized for single player and co-op play on PC, PS4, and even on mobile devices.  

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But how did this game earn the title of “anime Breath of the Wild?” To put it simply, many mechanics and features of Genshin Impact are near carbon copies of Nintendo’s 4th best-selling switch title. Your character drains stamina from sprinting, climbing, swimming, and gliding, yes gliding, as you explore the game’s expansive region of Teyvat. If those similarities weren’t striking enough, Genshin Impact also requires the player to explore and find “Statues of the Seven” which, when activated, act almost identically to the Shrine Towers from Breath of the Wild, revealing a map of the area with landmarks and even offering stat boosts similar to the function of the Goddess Statues. Needless to say, fans of Breath of the Wild’s exploration and atmosphere will feel right at home with this title.

Genshin and Breath Of the wild compared

While I’m not going to go into detail about what some have called Genshin Impact’s “pay to win” loot-box system prevalent in most gacha games, I will offer a rebuttal. While you can easily drop hundreds of dollars trying to get a rare five-star character or item, if you enjoy the exploration aspect of the open world RPG genre you should have no problem finding the various materials you need to level up your characters without having to pull out your wallet. 

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While we’ve talked about how much Genshin Impact has drawn from Breath of the Wild there are a few unique things that this title brings to the table. The combat system is element-based, complex, and feels a lot like Final Fantasy VII Remake in its character switching and weapon customization. Mechanically this game is super solid. Where I feel it may be lacking is the story and its progression. While the story itself isn’t anything earth shattering, it’s by no means bad or uninteresting. However, sometimes players will find themselves literally unable to start the next story quest due to their low level. This is where, in my opinion, the story suffers the most.

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Story quests that delve into world lore and character development become more difficult to follow or care about knowing that the only way to continue the story will be broken up by grinding side quests for the next few gameplay hours. While I think the story suffers from this weird broken up pacing, I actually believe this to be generally good for the overall experience of Genshin Impact. It wasn’t until I was forced to put my story on hold and explore all the different regions that I started to understand the things the game did really well. While the visuals and atmosphere do, again, feel like Breath of the Wild, being forced to explore rather than tearing through the storyline brings the world to the forefront. Compared to many open world RPG’s, Genshin Impact’s setting of Teyvat felt very lived in and immersive much to my surprise.

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The regions have distinct cultures and governing bodies, the sprawling mountains and forests provide specific native flowers, and most NPC dialogue feels (for the most part) grounded in reality. The gameplay experience thrives in the time spent in between main and story quests. This coupled with the ability to sync your progress between platforms provides an interesting and unique experience. Personally, I tend to play combat heavy missions and story content on my PC while completing daily missions and fetch quests on my phone which lets me explore the world while still progressing whether I’m at my desk or on the toilet. This makes Genshin Impact perfect for fans of older-style RPG’s to quest and grind levels regardless of time or place.

shows similarities with breath of the wild ui and combat

Lastly, we’re going to cover two of Genshin Impact’s coolest features: co-op mode and the Spiral Abyss. The co-op feature is great for grinding those levels out in between major quests and sharing map and game knowledge. Co-op events tend to yield substantial rewards, especially if you happen to be the lowest level in your party. Although co-op in this genre is definitely cool, the coolest feature in my opinion is the Spiral Abyss. The Spiral Abyss offers twelve floors, each consisting of three chambers, of monsters and mobs to defeat in timed challenges, increasing in both difficulty and quality of rewards. The characters in your party are locked in, consumables are disabled, and buffs are granted each chamber and floor. This is balls to the wall combat to see how far you can get. Your early experience with the Spiral Abyss will most likely feel like a round of Call of Duty’s zombies game mode. However, as you progress, your gameplay will evolve into a contest of how well you can handle the last four floors in which rewards are reset and enemies and combat will change twice a month. Assuming you are able to explore the world 100% and complete every quest, the Spiral Abyss will continue to provide you with new challenges past your completion of the world and story quests.  

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Overall, Genshin Impact is an outstanding success in mainstreaming the gacha game genre while still providing interesting and fulfilling gameplay for those not wanting to “invest” in loot-boxes and the battle pass. I encourage you to suffer through the short download and installation process to at least try a free game that draws from and expands on the open world RPG genre. To make a long article short, yes, you should play anime Breath of the Wild because you quite literally have nothing to lose. 

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