Some have described Genshin Impact, miHoYo
Technology’s open world action game, as an anime version of Breath of the Wild. The similarities took the spotlight at the
China Joy 2019 gaming expo this weekend when Sony released the title’s first gameplay footage,
drawing immediate backlash from Zelda fans. On August 1, miHoYo Technology announced that
Genshin Impact, in addition to iOS and PC, would release on PlayStation 4 next year. Sony promoted the title on the official PlayStation
Blog, featuring an interview with Sam Lai, miHoYo’s global PR communication representative. According to Lai, the game sees you playing
as The Traveler, a figure who, quote, “awakens from a long sleep on the shore alone, loses
connection with their sibling, and has scarce knowledge of this mysterious land.” Sounds kinda familiar… Where have we seen that one before? “Open your eyes… Wake up, Link…” If you replace “The Traveler” with “The Hero
of Hyrule” and “sibling” with “princess,” you have the premise for Breath of the Wild. The gameplay trailer showcases the world of
Teyvat, Genshin Impact’s fantasy setting, through a series of scenes that would feel
right at home in Hyrule. The color palette and art style replicate
Breath of the Wild’s own environments. Even the enemies look like Breath of the Wild
doppelgangers, ranging from thinly disguised Bokoblin encampments and blatant Chuchu jelly
ripoffs to a Lynel-like creature wielding a shield. Zelda fans attending China Joy expressed their
outrage over the similarities by snapping photos of themselves flipping off the Genshin
Impact display while holding up copies of Breath of the Wild. Others ran the game on their handheld consoles
as they gave the Sony booth the bird. According to video game industry analyst Daniel
Ahmad, one man even destroyed his PlayStation 4 in front of shocked onlookers in protest
against Sony’s “shameless” promotion of the copycat. While Genshin Impact has clearly “borrowed”
visual and story elements from Breath of the Wild, a few features set the two apart. For example, in Genshin Impact, you can play
as different characters, assembling a team of up to four adventurers at a time. You also have seven “natural elements” to
call upon in combat, including Pyro, Hydro, Electro, and Dendro. Are those distinctions enough? It’s hard to say at this stage. There’s no doubt many aspects of Genshin Impact
are pulled straight from the Breath of the Wild playbook, though. We half expected to hear music from the latter’s
soundtrack as the game’s trailer panned around Teyvat, and one can imagine that, had some
footage of the game leaked out before Sony released the trailer, players would’ve believed
it was from the Breath of the Wild sequel. That’s actually quite the compliment to developer
miHoYo, a small studio more known for its mobile titles than its large, open-world console
RPGs. It means the team is really nailing the look
and feel of such a game. Has miHoYo gone beyond inspiration and crossed
the line into theft? That’s a question best left to the lawyers. But you can’t really knock miHoYo for wanting
to emulate Nintendo’s 2017 hit. Breath of the Wild is a master class in game
development and design, featuring a vast open world to explore, surprisingly intricate mechanics,
and secrets that players are still discovering to this day. It’s widely considered by many to be the best
Legend of Zelda title to date, pushing a number of other stellar Zelda games further down
the list. Given its success, it should come as a surprise
that more developers aren’t trying to make a Breath of the Wild of their own. Breath of the Wild was an ambitious endeavor;
all the more reason why Genshin Impact is worth keeping an eye on. This could be the game that puts miHoYo on
the map; that is, if the studio can pull it off. Nintendo has yet to weigh in on the reveal
of Genshin Impact at this time, though we’ll definitely keep you updated should the company
issue a statement or take legal action. Until then, we’d advise against smashing your
PlayStation 4 to pieces. Genshin Impact is coming to that console sometime
in 2020, which means it’ll likely arrive before Nintendo can get the next Breath of the Wild
game out the door. Given the choice between a Zelda-like and
no Zelda at all, we’ll see what Genshin Impact has to offer. Sorry, Link! “Well, excUuUuUuUse me, Princess!” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more SVG videos about your favorite
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