Wuthering Waves After Patch Updates: Genshin Would Never

When the open-world RPG Genshin Impact launched in September 2020, gamers and journalists alike were furiously quick to dismiss HoYoverse (MiHoYo in China) for “copying” the 2017 title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And while the grassy hills of Monstadt bear a superficial resemblance to the plains of Hyrule, the rich lore of Genshin Impact, its constant updates, new characters, and engaging team-building have more in common with an MMO than even Hoyoverse’s top other gacha game, Honkai Impact 3rd. Anybody who’s played Genshin Impact knows it’s more than the sum of its influences.

Genshin Impact | Download and Play for Free - Epic Games Store

And with Genshin’s success—at one point even outperforming giants like EA—have come a litany of other mobile games inspired by Genshin Impact, or perhaps looking to take a bite at the ever-growing pie that is high-quality mobile games. HoYoverse has expanded the Honkai universe to the turn-based Honkai: Star Rail, and their latest urban-inspired action RPG, Zenless Zone Zero is set for a July 2024 release.

AAA-quality mobile RPGs are an immensely successful idea—Korean developer SHIFT UP went from the ecchi third-person shooter NIKKE to becoming a 2nd party studio at Sony, producing the highly-praised Stellar Blade. Meanwhile, Yostar Games are set to release an open-world game based on their beloved Azur Lane property, titled Azure Promilia, which follows on from their 2022 ARPG, Aether Gaze.

Kuro Games is no stranger to the ARPG formula either, with Punishing: Gray Raven launching in 2019. Now, their latest open-world title, Wuthering Waves has hit the app store worldwide after years of anticipation, with a PlayStation release scheduled for later. With Wuthering Waves gathering attention online for its slick visuals and Genshin Impact-inspired gameplay, we’ve set out to answer the question: is Wuthering Waves worth the hype?

Wuthering Waves Release Date Officially Announced

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Waves – Captured on iPad Pro 4th Gen

Enter the world of SOL-3 as the nameless ‘Rover’, an amnesiac protagonist with the ability to—along with a bunch of your allies—interact with various enemies, artifacts, and domains throughout the world through the nature of ‘Resonance.’ Everything in Wuthering Waves is themed around sound, with the world having suffered a calamity that mutates human and animal life into monstrous versions of themselves. ‘Resonators’ like yourself are capable of harnessing skills and weapons to combat this threat and hold back the encroaching waves of ‘Tacet Discords.’

From a lore perspective, there’s a lot to unpack here—more than we can get into with a single review—but suffice it to say the world and its background lean heavily into post-apocalypse with some absurdism elements. Fans of Xenoblade Chronicles and Scarlet Nexus will definitely appreciate the alien monsters, military bases, burned-out villages, and destroyed cities. Truly, the opening nation of Huanglong feels like a country—and a people—on the brink of collapse.

Gameplay follows a nearly identical pattern to Genshin Impact, with main quests split into separate ‘acts’; world quests and side quests available from NPCs, daily quests that contribute to free materials, and a large number of collectibles and puzzles out in the wild. All of these feed your ever-growing inventory of weapons and materials, which in turn level up your characters, their abilities, and their echoes.

Echoes are one area where Wuthering Waves stands out from the pack. After defeating an enemy in the wild, there’s a chance it’ll leave behind a ghostly after-image called an ‘Echo.’ These Echoes are then equipped much like Artifacts in Genshin Impact, working together in sets to provide you with greater bonuses. Uniquely, the first Echo in your slot will grant you a transformative ability on the battlefield, briefly allowing you to become that monster and dish out some extreme damage or pull off a healing move.

It’s in the combat where Kuro Games pulls some of Punishing: Gray Raven into the fold, with perfectly-timed dodges earning you bullet-time that slows combat down momentarily. Attacking at just the right moment will counterattack and reduce an enemy’s stamina bar, eventually stunning them to allow a punishment window where you can spam your best attacks. This way, even enemies that are much higher-leveled than you can be challenged and defeated; and your reward for beating tougher enemies is usually a better, rarer Echo.

Team-based combat also plays an important role, as you’ll be switching between the three characters in your roster. In Wuthering Waves, characters have ‘Intro’ and ‘Outro’ skills, triggered when they switch into and out of their active position, respectively. This usually boils down to extra damage or healing, but some abilities—like Rover pausing combat for a few seconds—give you a chance to breathe and reassess the battle. Having a tactical lock-on button also allows you to strafe around enemies and fire off those all-important dodges and counterattacks.

Unfortunately, Wuthering Waves struggles in a few areas technically. Despite running Unreal Engine 4—an industry-standard games engine—the game looks quite rough even on high-end devices. We played on an older iPad Pro 4th Generation along with a brand-new iPhone 15 Pro, and even on the newer device, the textures looked quite washed out and muddy. Dialogue lines often glitched out, along with incorrect subtitles, and the character models swing between expressive and completely deadpan.

Who Xerox’d My Homework?

And now we come to the elephant in the room—when, exactly, does “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” go too far?

It’s not uncommon for innovative franchises to spawn numerous imitators that elevate the original concept to new heights. The immense success of side-scrolling exploration titles like Castlevania and Metroid led to the widespread “Metroidvania” genre seen in titles like Hollow Knight and Dead Cells. Similarly, the tough-as-nails Dark Souls franchise birthed the “Soulslike” concept, replicated and experimented with in titles such as NioH and Lies of P.

For better or worse, Wuthering Waves has dispensed with trappings from other gacha games and instead leaned into a “Genshin-like” aspect, copying nearly mechanic from its source. Instead of Constellations, there are Resonance Chains; Friendship becomes Intimacy; Refinement is “Syntonize.” Even the world terms are simply renamed—World Level is SOL-3 Phase, Adventure Rank is Union Level, and Wishing is Convening. Not even the gacha bonuses are left untouched, with Masterless Stardust appearing as Oscillate Coral, Resin becoming Waveplate—even Fragile Resin gets a straight copy to Crystal Solvent.

A casual look at Wuthering Waves might leave you wondering if the game is also produced by HoYoverse. After all, Honkai: Star Rail followed the same route, rebranding quite literally everything in Genshin Impact—but that’s the same developer. We can hardly fault From Software for having similar concepts between Dark Souls and Elden Ring. The problem is that Wuthering Waves feels like it’s straight-up stealing someone else’s homework in a mechanical aspect, without any attempt to innovate. Sure, the fantastical underwater adventure of Another Crab’s Treasure might have rebranded Bonfires to Moon Snail Shells, but you’re also a hermit crab that can equip a gun on its shell.

This shameless design-copying is so blatantly obvious that it’s impossible not to feel insulted as a player. Are Wuthering Waves hoping that people will simply fall into their Genshin patterns with a different game that has a more urban look and feel? Or did Kuro Games feel so unconfident in creating an open-world experience that they felt the need to take everything from their competitor? If you’ve played Genshin Impact, then Wuthering Waves feels like a cruel prank on HoYoverse’s excellent design and effort; and if you’re new to both games, then Wuthering Waves looks like Pepsi to Coca-Cola: a poor man’s imitation of a much finer product.

Wuthering Waves Developer Offering Compensation for Rough Launch

Ultimately, Wuthering Waves launches in a very mixed state. Noticing the elephant in the room, Kuro Games, the developer of Wuthering Waves, is offering compensation to players due to various technical issues the game has presented since its launch. The problems in Wuthering Waves range from glitches and clunky animations to localization issues and even freezes, crashes, and force quits that prevent players from enjoying the game.

Kuro Games quickly acknowledged the technical issues in Wuthering Waves and committed to compensating the players for this turbulent launch while it worked on fixing the major problems. Starting May 24, players will receive 10 Lustrous Tides, a resource used to pull characters in Wuthering Waves' standard banner. 10 Radiant Tides, a resource used to pull characters in Wuthering Waves' limited banner & 2 Standard 5* Characters Banner of player's choosing named "5-Star Standard Resonator voucher". However, this compensation will only be given to Rovers who reach Union Level 2 by July 3.

Even so, Kuro Games' offers are far superior than Genshin has ever done in their entire cycle of the game to this day. Considering the gesture of goodwill from Kuro Games' and the game being playable after maintenance, this can be a turn in the right direction of what Wuthering Waves can differentiate itself from its predecessor and ultimately becomes the unstoppable competitor that rivals Genshin in the far near future.

But for AccGamer, we're all here to help you achieve the best account to set you up for your journey ahead. We're hereby welcoming Wuthering Waves into our games' accounts arsenal. You can check out our latest Wuthering Waves product here

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