Big news for fans of Genshin Impact: developer miHoYo has released a full-on trailer for a brand new trading card game (TCG) feature for the much-beloved RPG.
Set to arrive in patch 3.3, Genius Invokation will allow players to get stuck into a brand-new TCG experience. Though the trailer doesn't tell us much about game mechanics, it's full of the distinctive art style and familiar character designs that you might expect from a Genshin Impact card game.
Originally teased back in late October, Genius Invokation TCG was pitched by miHoYo as "a light-hearted, casual gameplay mode with PvE at its core" where "all" of the cards could be "obtained in-game" (via Twitter). This is a breath of fresh air, given how hard it can be to get characters in Genshin Impact. Though PvP is possible, the announcement made it clear that "no reward system" is "tied to PvP". However, this brand new trailer gives us a far better indication as to the look and feel of the game than last month's furtive announcement.
Is this your card?
Though the trailer only hints at the TCG's mechanics, developer live streams have already revealed a great deal about what the game has to offer.
Both the streams and the trailer suggest that this game will be far more than just a clone of any existing TCG titles. Rather than using a more static resource system like lands in Magic: Arena or mana in Hearthstone, Genius Invokation opts instead for an Elemental Dice system, adding a degree of variation to the resource-management aspects of the game (via IGN).
Livestreams also teased Elemental Reactions in the TCG, allowing for powerful synergy reminiscent of mechanics in the wider Genshin Impact RPG. As you might expect, players will build custom, constructed decks composed of character chards, equipment cards, event cards, and support cards. Though we don't know much about the specific card mechanics yet, it seems likely that Genius Invokation will have more than enough depth to keep players satisfied.
As a TCG fan of many years, it's certainly interesting to see miHoYo take a stride into this new space. Given that Genius Invokation is nestled within Genshin Impact itself, rather than any sort of standalone client, it seems unlikely that the game is set up to directly compete with the likes of Magic: Arena, Hearthstone, and Gwent.
However, both prior materials have shown that the game will be far more sophisticated than your typical RPG minigame. Should Genius Invokation do well for itself, it'll be fascinating to see if miHoYo decides to take a deeper plunge into the TCG world, perhaps with more sets of cards, or, potentially, even a standalone game of its own, just like we saw with Gwent taking on a life of its own after success in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt did before it.
Though miHoYo has made no announcements to that effect so far, it'll certainly be interesting to see if Genius Invokation's release is able to shake up the TCG gaming space.
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Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.