Yes, Genshin Impact is worth playing for casual and free-to-play players due to its beautiful open world, fluid combat gameplay, and memorable characters!
However, the grinding, time-gating, and predatory gacha mechanics may overwhelm the positives for more competitive players who want to complete all content.
Here are the pros and cons about whether Genshin Impact is worth playing now:
|Beautiful open world with diverse regions to explore||Can feel repetitive and grindy at times|
|Fun combat system with unique character abilities||Gacha system encourages spending money on wishes|
|Great music and anime-inspired art style||Story quests can feel drawn out|
|Co-op mode allows playing with friends||Limited endgame and lack of permanent content|
|Constant updates and events adding new content||Requires a lot of time investment|
|F2P friendly, no need to spend money||Graphics and performance issues on some devices|
|Well-developed characters and storylines||Predatory monetization tactics|
Overall it’s a high quality gacha game, but requires a big time commitment. For casual or F2P players the pros may outweigh the cons, while hardcore gamers may feel limited by the monetization and lack of endgame. The predatory tactics and repetition may also turn some players off. But it’s free to try and see if the initial experience is enjoyable.
As someone who has now clocked over 100 hours in the game, here are my thoughts on if Genshin Impact truly delivers on the hype.
The Pros: Beautiful Open World and Gameplay
Genshin Impact’s biggest strength lies in its expansive open world that is a joy to explore. The game features six distinct regions based on real world Asian cultures, each with unique biomes and environments. From the tropical islands of Liyue to the snowy mountains of Dragonspine, the developers have crafted a living, breathing world full of charming details.
Exploring the open world wouldn’t be as fun without the hack and slash combat and character progression system. Similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact features characters you can swap between on the fly to utilize their different elemental abilities. Combining elements like fire, ice, lightning, and more leads to various reactions that allow you to defeat enemies and solve puzzles creatively. As your characters level up and you gain new abilities, combat becomes more and more fun and strategic.
The dungeons, domains, and world bosses provide a nice break from the main story and exploration. Tackling them with the right party composition and strategy offers a decent challenge without ever feeling unfair. Overall, the gameplay loop of exploring the open world, completing quests, and battling enemies to level up my characters has remained highly engaging.
The Pros: Memorable Characters and Storytelling
The character designs and personalities are undeniablyGenshin Impact’sstrong suit. Each playable character has a rich backstory, layer of depth, and distinctive voice acting that really helps bring them to life. Even minor NPCs feel fleshed out and contribute to the world building. The storytelling focuses more on character development and plot twists rather than jaw dropping cinematics, which works well for a game of this scale.
While the overarching plot of the game hasn’t completely blown me away yet, the individual story quests for each of the characters have been quite poignant and emotionally resonant at times. Getting to know the different characters’ motivations, hardships, and relationships has made me grow attached to quite a few of them. This level of strong character writing sets Genshin Impact apart from many of its competitors in the genre.
The Cons: Grinding and Gacha Mechanics
The further you progress into Genshin Impact, the more you realize the endgame boils down to grinding various repeatable content to gain resources to level up your characters and gear. Domains, commissions, and farming materials can become tedious extremely fast. There are time gating mechanics that limit how much you can progress in a day, which feels artificially prolonging the game’s lifespan.
The gacha system for obtaining new characters is also extremely predatory and financially exploitative, especially for more casual players. The drop rates for 5-star characters are abysmally low and you’re more likely to hit the pity limit of 180 wishes before getting a rate up 5-star. This forces you to spend real money if you want to collect a decent roster of characters to experiment with team comps.
The daily and resin-based grind combined with the gacha mechanics aim to keep players logging in every day in the hopes of reliable progression, even if it’s not very enjoyable progression. The overall monetization leaves a sour taste for some.
Is It Worth Playing? For Casual and Free-To-Play Players, Yes!
Despite its issues, I think Genshin Impact is still well worth at least giving a try if you’re a fan of open world RPGs or gacha games in general. The amazing world design, fluid combat, and memorable cast of characters create an experience that is genuinely magical during the first few dozen hours. Even as a free-to-play player, there is plenty of content to keep you busy for a long time.
If you don’t mind ignoring the predatory gacha mechanics and time gating, Genshin Impact offers a truly stunning open world adventure without compromising on production quality. Playing in short bursts to unwind after a long day and focusing on the story quests instead of the grinding endgame helps ameliorate some of the issues I mentioned.
So in conclusion, I do think Genshin Impact delivers on the hype for casual and free-to-play players who can ignore or play around the flaws in its systems. But for more competitive and completionist type players, the grind and gacha may end up overwhelming the game’s many positives.
Only you can decide if Genshin Impact is worth your time based on your gaming priorities and tolerance for such mechanics. But I do recommend at least downloading the game and giving it an honest try, especially if you’re itching for a new open world RPG experience.