I’m not very good at managing my time with games. I can’t seem to marathon them the way I used to unless I’m forcing myself for a review, and I’m really bad about hopping between three or four games at once. Like right now, I’m playing Pokemon Snap, Mass Effect, and Final Fantasy 4 – it’s a mess. I can’t seem to dedicate myself to something and finish it, but that’s why I really love Genshin Impact’s story beats. Given the nature of Mihoyo’s action-adventure RPG, you get these big story beats every month or so, and the occasional side quest story sprinkled in. On a good night, I can usually sit down and clear it all in one go. It’s the perfect formula, and when I’m feeling indecisive, Mihoyo’s bite-sized story patches are perfect for me.
And this is no stab at the quality of Mihoyo’s releases either, short doesn’t mean bad. I absolutely love that I can drop into Genshin Impact for one night, sit down for just a couple of hours, and clear everything. It’s the same sort of joy I get out of playing some of Final Fantasy 14’s smaller story patches. Genshin Impact’s story so far has been an incredible journey, and has given me some of my favorite new gaming characters, like Ganyu and Zhongli, and in a few weeks, I can sit down and revisit their world.
These short, quality chunks prevent me from racing through – I have too much to do in that game anyway in terms of farming. Mihoyo puts the gate up, opening and closing one big arc with each new patch, but often leaving me on cliffhangers to ponder. I’m not in a race to beat a thirty-something-hour RPG so I can discuss it with my friends, there’s no pressure to see some long and winding quest to its end. I get an hour or two max, and that’s it. I’m ready to go dive into conversations about where Genshin Impact just took us, and where it may go next.
I love things this way; I almost wish I could pass on the burden of my personal responsibility managing my time to some of these games. I either make myself sick of some of them trying to race through, or I beat it slowly and risk having everyone around me ruin everything. Either way, as a miserably indecisive person, Genshin Impact’s formula has nailed it. I easily pencil in the next update to my gaming nights – knowing that I won’t feel overwhelmed by how much of my time the story is going to ask of me.
While I’m often unsure of what games I’ll keep in my messy rotation of half-finished playthroughs, Genshin Impact is a staple. It’s a comfort food that I know will be there when everything else has overstayed its welcome or failed to really woo me in its first hours. Despite how often I get frustrated with gacha mechanics and struggling to maintain ideal party compositions – it doesn’t matter for the story. As long as Mihoyo keeps delivering these brilliant, brief encounters, I’ll keep coming back.
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