Genshin Impact, aka the breakout open-world RPG game of 2020 from Mihoyo, is inching close to its first anniversary this year. Before the festivities, Mihoyo finally released version 2.0 of Genshin Impact, which brings us to the world of Inazuma.
A lot of players, especially those who have stopped due to the game’s content drought, were very excited about this update. Unlike the previous patches (from 1.3 to 1.6), 2.0 is the patch that introduces the most number of new in-game content since the inception of Genshin Impact.
As someone who is considered a player who started late (I started playing during the 1.3 era AKA the Liyue Lantern Rite Festival update), I was very excited to see what the nation of Inazuma–also known as the nation of Eternity–had to offer. I played the Inazuma update of Genshin Impact for several hours for my honest review, and here’s my overall take:
*Quick disclaimer: there are bits on this review that reveal spoilers on one of the Archon quests.
A quick briefer on the Inazuma Story
Unlike Mondsandt and Liyue, the situation of Inazuma is tense. Aside from notable evidence of corruption running within the city–starting from the moment you land at Ritou Island–there is an ongoing tension within the nation. The Electro Archon issued a Vision Hunt Decree, which meant that officers are ordered to hunt down individuals wielding Visions. They would confiscate these Visions from their wielder after torturing or killing them in the process.
If you are a history geek, the whole Inazuma story and culture is based on Japan’s history. From my initial gameplay, I can clearly see references to the Sakoku policy of the Shogunate during the Edo period. Compared to that of Monstandt and Liyue, the Inazuma storyline is more political and complex, encouraging you to read all the lines in the game.
The new characters
The first archon quest will introduce you immediately to Tohma, who is there to guide you towards the strict rules and regulations of Inazuma starting from the border crossing. Part of his assistance includes a visit to Kamisato Ayaka–aka the most-awaited Genshin Impact character since its Closed Beta Test days–to reveal the bigger picture at the ongoing war in Inazuma.
Throughout the first archon quest, we are welcomed by Yae Miko as the shrine maiden, explaining the situation in Inazuma, while Yoimiya and Kujou Sara try to be civil with one another despite the current situation caused by the Vision Hunt decree of the Raiden Shogun.
Compared to the trailer Mihoyo initially released AND the events that unfolded within the first archon quest, we have more or less an idea of the roles of six out of the 9 Inazuma characters revealed. As of this writing, we do not know the extent of the roles of Kokomi, Gorou, and Sayu in the whole Inazuma story.
Inazuma will change the way you play Genshin Impact, and that’s a big plus for me in this review. With the nation revolving around the Electro element, the majority of the puzzles within Inazuma involve knowledge on wielding the Electro element properly. Beyond the joy of finding new chests, the added difficulty is a welcome challenge to those like me who have been playing the game for quite some time.
There’s a good reason why Mihoyo requires players to reach at least AR30 before heading over to Inazuma: unlike with Mondstandt (save the frost-ridden Dragonspine) and Liyue, a number of spots in Inazuma are laden with traps that can sap your precious HP or even kill you unknowingly. Aside from the added environmental hazards, the new enemies and bosses prove to be tankier than ever, prompting players to rethink their strategies towards clearing the game’s content.
While I did speedrun my way to unlock all teleport waypoints and the whole Inazuma Map, I am left with a plethora of puzzles that I still have to figure out as of this writing. I am not complaining about the difficulty at all, as the added challenges in exploring Inazuma is a great way of letting you think crucially about solving them. End-game players (those who are at AR50 and above) will definitely appreciate all the complexities within Inazuma.
As for those who are concerned about content drought, Inazuma provides a lot of content for players. Do note that Mihoyo only made 3 out of 6 Inazuma islands open for 2.0, and those three islands alone are already bigger than the entirety of Liyue–and it becomes more tedious if you factor in using a boat to visit other islands. There are also quality-of-life updates as well, which include rerolling 5-star artifacts via Mystic Offering, the Sacred Sakura Tree (which is similar to Dragonspine’s Frostbearer tree), and the much-requested cross-saving feature from PlayStation 4/5 to PC, Android, and iOS platforms.
Since Inazuma is a new continent, that also translates to a bigger game size for Genshin. On mobile, the latest update of Genshin Impact consumed almost 14GB of storage, and my OnePlus Nord keeps up with the game very well even while playing in Medium graphics settings.
Initial verdict: A worthy update at last
Our review of the Genshin Impact Inazuma update in the Philippines shows that it is worth the wait for players who have been complaining of content drought for months.
As someone who has played Genshin Impact for the past 7 months, the Inazuma update is the patch that made me appreciate the game more. Developing games with a gacha mechanic can be a challenge–especially with how you will make players interested in the game without forcing them to shell out an enormous amount of money to progress through the game AND not whine about content drought.
It took Mihoyo a while to fix that content drought (and the overspending problem of players, to an extent), but it was well worth it. Considering that they managed to earn over $1 billion in under six months, I remain optimistic that Mihoyo will be adding compelling content to the game in the coming months beyond Inazuma.
That being said, I’ll most likely spend my free time exploring Inazuma–and building up some of my characters for the next Abyss challenge.