By MAEVE GRAY
“Wouldn’t gliding be faster?”
Genshin Impact is a free role-playing game that was released to the public by video game developer Mihoyo on Sep. 28. Upon its release, the game has been a major success with loads of mainstream traction and viral fan content. With its estimated fan base of over 39 million, Genshin Impact has made its “impact” by winning multiple awards, such as the TapTap Best Game of 2020, refining the mobile game genre. With the recent 1.4 installments released on Mar. 17, it is undeniable the game is a hit, but what is it about Genshin Impact in particular that has made the game so successful? The answer lies within its consistent updates that drastically improve the overall gaming experience.
The 1.4 update, “Invitation of Windblume,” is about a festival taking place in Mondstadt, an in-game city that was inspired by Germany. Similar to the previous update, which also showcased a certain regional festival, new minigames are added with the addition of a continued storyline for the player's journey around Teyvat—a world and the setting of Genshin Impact; but, one thing players can attest to is the boost in quality.
In one of the new activities, players can co-op with their friends to play through battle-royale-esque challenges and fight against a final boss. The challenges are remarkably similar to the 2020 hit game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, whose simplicity and comical features make it an overall enjoyable add-on. Previously, the past 1.3 installments only gave repetitive tasks to players instead of proper engagement, to which many attributed the update as a chore instead of a fun activity. But, with the addition of the "Windblume Festival," more content is added into the mix that players can enjoy, in addition to the absent energy gate that allows players to game without restrictions. The new update spiced the entire game up at a crucial time when players were becoming tired of doing the same-old daily quests and dungeons.
On top of new challenges, three primary mini-games have been added that are available to play. One of them includes a rhythm game—a minigame that challenges the player’s sense of rhythm by requiring players to press buttons in a sequence dictated on the screen. Along with that, they also made use of the game’s fan-favorite features, gliding and shooting, applying it to flying freefalls and balloon-popping. The cherry on top of this successful event was general praise from the community, as even Twitch streamer Tectone has publicly stated how he prefers this update over the past few. With some level of difficulty, the mini-games are eventful, and overall, a great past-time activity to play with friends.
The content does not stop there, as a new character is added to the game. Rosaria, a four-star character, has excited many fans with her gothic design and “icy” playstyle. Not only that, but two five-star characters will be making a return as well, with fan-favorite Venti, followed by Childe. Five-star characters are harder to receive due to the wish system guaranteeing one only every 90 wishes, and it is still a 50/50 chance of getting the character from the banner.
Despite the hype, as these updates continue, people are speculating when the next region will be released. Inazuma, the Japanese-inspired nation, is supposedly coming up next in the story and players are longing for it to come out. The consequence of long updates with a desperate player base? None other than good old drama from leaks.
After the entire 1.5 update was leaked on to the internet, the Genshin Impact fanbase were in for a whirlwind of surprises, which resulted in both positive and negative reactions. On one hand, some believe that the leaks are what is keeping players from leaving the game, as Mihoyo is usually ambiguous with their updates. On the other, some say it is unethical as beta tests can falsely uplift player expectations, creating more tension between developers and players.
Nevertheless, Mihoyo has done an amazing job with this recent update. Although some issues still exist within the game's management, from the decorations to the free in-game giveaways, this new event was definitely worth the wait.