Genshin Impact is not an original game. While its gorgeous selection of anime boys and girls are filled with imagination and the regions you explore have all been carefully curated with bespoke world building, the gameplay formula that underpins it all has always been drawn from painfully obvious inspiration. I’ve creatively labeled it as Weeaboo Breath of the Wild.
Ever since its reveal, we all knew that Mihoyo had taken the fundamentals established by Link’s latest adventure and lifted them into its open world gacha extravaganza. Certain animations are nearly identical, while the focus on rewarding exploration, stamina systems, and fast-paced, rhythmic combat were so similar that side-by-side comparisons were made to show how truly egregious it really was. This game has absolutely no shame.
As you will already be aware, this did not stop Genshin Impact from achieving success. If anything, a free-to-play title that featured Breath of the Wild’s finest elements while incorporating a lavish anime aesthetic only served to draw in an even bigger audience. While I’ve since left the game behind, I have poured countless hours and a fair amount of money into Genshin Impact over the years. I was taken in by its mixture of exploration and combat, eager to grind through daily quests in order to roll for my favorite characters because it’s so well-made.
Given that it remains one of the biggest titles on the planet, it was only a matter of time until similar games emerged. A copycat of a copycat if you will, and that’s not counting other games Mihoyo has in development that will likely put a spin on Genshin’s seemingly unstoppable formula. I’m talking about Tower of Fantasy, which has dominated my TikTok feed with garish advertisements and gameplay footage that at first glance the majority of people will mistake for a bootleg version of Mihoyo’s juggernaut. That’s kinda what it is.
I will give credit to its imaginative sci-fi aesthetic and characters, which have clearly had some effort poured into them, despite the obvious fan service, but the underlying game is Genshin Impact with guns. The above video is a damning comparison of how liberally Tower of Fantasy pulls from its contemporaries. Entire animations and attack patterns are recycled, while movement, platforming, exploration, and so much
more are almost identical. Heroes are ripped off too, with characters made to clearly represent ones from Mihoyo’s work because developer Perfect World knows exactly what audience it is pandering to.
Environments are hugely reminiscent of Genshin Impact’s opening area of Monstandt with its mixture of sprawling fields and large bodies of water, many of which are populated by chests to open and enemy outposts to conquer. Instead of a Traveller, the player is referred to as the Wanderer and is accompanied by a selection of warriors throughout the campaign, and the roster will seemingly grow with future updates if it can sustain an audience. It has taken Genshin Impact and lazily tried to adjust the underlying genre, but everything remains the same and it is so disgustingly obvious. Genshin Impact might have copied Breath of the Wild, but at least it did so with its own creative vision established alongside that.
Tower of Fantasy is Genshin Impact in all the most cynical ways. It has a roster filled with dreamy boys and sexy girls that it hopes we’ll be smitten enough with to spend money on rolling them as we surrender to its hamfisted gacha mechanics. You can dress up the characters and environments in a different coat of paint, but when the designs have been so clearly ripped from another game there is no defending yourself.
The sad thing is that comments across social media are so indifferent. Some are excited about this game because it’s like Genshin, and don’t mind the creative bankruptcy as long as they have another game to play with friends and grind for cute heroes. Like please don’t have this mindset, we should be throwing projects like this into the abyss because they’re rotten through their existence alone. Stand up and condemn this bullshit you stupid weebs.
I’m going to dig a little deeper and see how twisted this tunnel really is. Tower of Fantasy has some good ideas hidden in it, but when the surface is such a blatant copycat of something that came before I can’t help but feel so dirty about it all.
Next: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Can’t Just Be More Of The Same