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Is Genshin Impact Worth Playing in 2021

The year is 2021 and you are itching for an MMORPG experience but simply cannot commit to playing WoW, ESO, or any of the other popular MMO’s. If this sounds like you, you will be very interested to continue reading and see whether Genshin Impact is worth the time you have to invest in games in 2021.

What is Genshin Impact?

Genshin Impact is a fantasy RPG developed by the Chinese developer miHoYo, and forms part of the genre of games known as Gacha games. For those in the Western world, gacha may be an unfamiliar term. Gacha refers to a mechanic similar to loot boxes where players spend currency to have a slight chance of obtaining a rare or premium item or character. In Genshin Impact, it refers to the gacha mechanic as “wishes” and players can purchase wishes using real-world money or in-game currency. Wishing for characters or items gives you a chance at obtaining a random premium character or item depending on your wish. Before you decide that Genshin Impact is not worth playing in 2021 because of its gacha mechanics, give me a chance to explain why you should give it a chance.

Is Genshin Impact pay-to-win?

Nobody likes to invest time into a game where you can expect a pay-to-win experience. Having hours of grinding and farming be invalidated by someone with more cash to spend is undoubtedly a demoralising experience. For many people, this would be a deciding factor in whether Genshin Impact is worth playing in 2021. Here at Beards, Swords, and Shotguns we are very critical of free-to-play games, and therefore we put Genshin Impact to the test. I started playing in November 2020 (on PC) and gave the game two months to see whether I hit a wall where coughing up cash was the only way to proceed. After a bit over two months of playing Genshin Impact, I am happy to report that the game is not pay-to-win, depending on what you expect from your experience. If you want to blast through the available content, paying is the way to go, but if you are fine with playing at a slower pace, the game is a great free-to-play experience.

Is Genshin Impact an MMO?

This is quite a tricky question to answer, and depending on what you expect from an MMO, this will determine whether Genshin Impact is worth playing in 2021. Genshin Impact plays like an MMO, but it lacks many of the social elements that we expect from games like WoW and ESO. Genshin Impact gives players a wide open world to explore. This world is filled with quests and interesting places to explore. Genshin Impact uses a daily quest system along with frequent events and opportunities for loot to make it worth playing the game on a daily basis. The world of Genshin Impact is also littered with its version of dungeons and even an endgame mega-dungeon comprising 12 levels with 3 floors each.

So far it has a lot of the elements that make MMO’s worth playing. It does however lack the social element. You can join other players’ worlds and do endgame content with them, but it comes nowhere near the traditional MMO experience. So if you are looking for an MMO experience focussing on a persistent world, daily grind, and long-term endgame goals, Genshin Impact is worth playing in 2021. If you are after the social aspects of MMO’s, Genshin Impact may not be worth your time as this is a tiny part of the experience.

Combat in Genshin Impact

Is genshin impact worth playing in 2021

Fighting the unique monsters and villains in the world of Genshin Impact is perhaps one of its strongest suits. Combat is built around your squad of four characters. Each character in Genshin Impact is connected to a type of element including fire, ice and electro as well as unique elements such as anemo. The idea is to rotate between your characters and exploit the different elemental reactions to deal damage to your enemies. For instance, you can use a water-based character (hydro) to apply the “wet” status to an enemy and then follow up with a fire-based character (pyro) to trigger the vaporize effect that does increased damage. I had a lot of fun building different teams of characters to find the best setup to deal max damage.

While there is certainly a meta and so-called “s-tier” characters, the wish system means that every player will have access to a different cast of characters. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter who the best characters are, as you will not necessarily have access to them, unless you are prepared to spend a lot of money. I haven’t spent a cent on the game, and I have access to a wide variety of characters, and my favourite teams have no problem powering through the available content.

Exploration in Genshin Impact

One of the best elements that makes Genshin Impact worth playing in 2021 is its exploration. The game boasts gorgeous graphics and exploring the unique regions of the game world is truly a pleasure. I have yet to explore the entire available world, and I have not grown tired of scaling gigantic mountains and taking epic screenshots at the summit.

miHoYo also made it worth your time to explore every nook and cranny of the world. There are a huge number of chests, treasures, and upgrades hidden around the world. These reward you with upgrade materials, cash, weapons, artifacts and even premium currency used to wish for new characters. If you decide to dip your toes into Genshin Impact in 2021, exploration should be at the top of your to-do list.

The best part of it all is that the entire world, every dungeon, every boss and every secret is available at no cost. You can see everything the game offers without paying any money, and that alone makes Genshin Impact worth playing. Genshin Impact is a gorgeous game, well worth exploring.

So is Genshin Impact worth playing in 2021?

Based on my time with the game the last two months, I give it a resounding thumbs-up. I have literally not missed my daily quests for two months now, and I still log into the game for at least an hour day to grind various materials and exp. I have gathered enough of the premium currency on a free-to-play basis to wish for more characters than I need, so I can build a variety of teams to play with.

miHoYo releases events and new content at a rapid pace, and therefore I almost always have something to work towards. My honest opinion is that Genshin Impact is best played as a free-to-play player. Grinding for currency means that when you get a character with a wish, it is truly an exciting and rewarding experience.

A word of warning though, gacha games are also famous for ludicrous spending. If you have a problem with spending money on in-game purchases, it is perhaps better to skip Genshin Impact as it could cause some financial woes.

Genshin Impact is worth playing in 2021 and according to my experience the game is an absolute blast even as a free-to-play peasant.