The moment Genshin Impact fans have been waiting for practically since the game came out is finally here. Inazuma, an oft-rumoured, much-anticipated in-game area inspired by Japan, is launching on July 21. Not only that, it’s arriving alongside an update so large that Chinese developer Mihoyo has seen fit to jump the game’s version from 1.6 to 2.0.
Inazuma is the centrepiece of the upcoming update — an entire new region similar in size to the game’s previous two main areas, Mondstadt and Liyue. Where the former has a sort of Breath of the Wild-meets-high-fantasy vibe and the latter pays homage to many elements of Chinese culture, Inazuma is the anime-inspired game’s first stab at a region overtly inspired by Japanese traditions.
The trailer is not subtle about this, with architecture and archetypes (shogun, samurai, ninja) that scream Japan about as loudly as possible, as well as a multitude of cherry blossoms. That said, it all looks gorgeous in Genshin Impact’s lush art style, to the point that fans are basically losing their minds right now. The new region’s soundtrack, meanwhile, was recorded in collaboration with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, to give it an authentic flavour.
A new region means plenty of new stuff to do, including a “massive” number of new Archon quests and side quests. There will also be three new playable characters: Ayaka, who wields a katana and ice powers, Yoimiya, who uses a bow and fire (and who will hopefully be better than fellow fire/bow character Amber, notoriously the game’s worst), and Sayu, a wind ninja.
On top of all of that, Genshin Impact is adding cross-progression between the PS5, PS4, PC, Android, and iOS versions of the game. Also: gardening! Once version 2.0 launches, you’ll be able to collect and plant seeds in the fields of the realm located in your Serenitea Pot, which is basically the game’s player housing system.
The update will arrive — alongside new events and a bunch of systemic tweaks — in less than two weeks. I guess this means I should probably start doing my daily quests again, huh.