Genshin Impact: free Zelda clone to play while you wait for Breath of the Wild 2

(Image credit: Mihoyo)

Can’t wait for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 to land? A new free-to-play game called Genshin Impact might be just the thing to tide you over while you wait for Nintendo’s hotly-anticipated sequel to hit your console.

Clearly inspired by the Nintendo Switch epic (if not a total rip-off in places), Genshin Impact is a free-to-play open world RPG that puts you in the heart of a gigantic save-the-world anime adventure.

From the video below, you can see the obvious likeness visually between Genshin Impact and Breath of the Wild

Free to play fairness

But the two play quite differently. For starters, Genshin Impact offers online co-op play for up to four players, and a gameplay loop that has more in common with an MMO – think character levelling, multiple currencies and materials.

The free to play nature of the game is very transparent too. Made by developer Mihoyo, loot box law in its native China is very different than in the west, meaning that it’s very up front with the nature and likelihood of its rare item drops. This means you can better plan how to spend your hard-grinded currencies to maximise your chances of a better, randomise reward.

Despite its ‘gacha’ game roots, combat is free-flowing and relatively deep, with a combo system that makes it play more like the recent Final Fantasy games than the autobattlers the genre usually churns out.

It’s available to download for free on PS4, iOS, Android and PC now (via its own launcher), and is definitely intriguing. It also features crossplay across those platforms, with cross save across PC and mobile, making it a really ambitious free to play Zelda clone. Give it a whirl. 

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.