Honkai: Star Rail Has Taken Over My Entire Life

Honkai: Star Rail Has Taken Over My Entire Life

As somebody that got into Genshin Impact very late, I was more than excited to find out that developer HoYoverse had another title on the way — Honkai: Star Rail. What I wasn’t expecting was how much I was going to love it.

Honkai: Star Rail is the newest action role-playing title from HoYoverse. As the player character, you are obviously Very Special And Important and Unlike Anybody Else, as is the way of things in these kinds of games. You’re thrust into the Herta Space Station, where the Genius Society (lol) does research on the unexplained existences of the galaxy and the horrors that exist within these existences. From there, you obviously have to save humanity. Obviously.

The story of Honkai: Star Rail, similarly to Genshin Impact, is hopelessly dense and told through main quests, side quests, character quests, pieces of paper you find throughout the game, the laptops of strangers, lovesick poems, and all that. Therefore, it’s hard to really pinpoint what I like about it other than it’s exactly what I expect from the crew at HoYoverse. It hasn’t entirely grabbed be yet, but it’s keeping me entertained. However, it’s not the story itself that stuck to me. It’s the dialogue. It’s the characters.

Fuck, this game is funny. Your character is bizarrely bitchy to everybody. It’s hilarious. I found myself in conversation with one character who had something that they needed me to do, and realistically it was a task that said character could easily have done themselves. In saying that, my character’s dialogue options were essentially all different variations of ‘Why can’t you do this? Why are you being so lazy? What’s your deal, dude?’. It rocked.

The characters are all special in their own way. As much as Paimon has kinda grown on me over time, I still find her painfully annoying. Thankfully, there is no Paimon-esque character here unless you count Herta the robot girl, but that’s a stretch. Herta isn’t annoying, she’s just a bit rude, and even then she’s endearing. A gacha game like this has to have good character design both inside and outside, and they’ve definitely done well with the bubbly March 7th and cool Dan Heng. That being said, my current favourites have to be Clara and Hook.

Then there’s the world itself. While Genshin Impact is open-world, Honkai: Star-Rail is a bit more broken up due to you being in space and all. Different areas are accessible via the Astral Express, or as I like to call it, “Da Space Train”. So far, I’m only up to the world of Jarilo-VI which is an ice land cursed with the Eternal Freeze. The world is naturally very well-designed and nice to look at, and I love the juxtaposition between the bright and beautiful city of Belobog and the cold, dark mining area of the Underground.

And then there’s the battle system, which is probably where Honkai: Star Rail sets itself apart from HoYoverse’s previous title the most. The battles in Honkai: Star Rail are turn-based, with players able to choose from two main moves, one is a basic attack and the other is an energy-using attack, as well as an ultimate move. In this case, elemental matching is key, with each character having an element they control. So it’s very much sci-fi Genshin Impact with a turn-based battle system.

And y’know what? I’m really, really liking it! It’s a delightfully charming game that looks great and runs fantastically on my iPad mini, which is great considering I had a fair bit of stuttering when it came to playing Genshin Impact on iPad. I’m yet to spend any money in it and I’ve already got a good amount of characters, and it’s become a part of my natural game rotation.

Of course, I can’t say I’ve played enough of it to give a full review, so simply consider this a first impression. Honkai: Star Rail is a whole lot of fun and I can understand its grand success thus far. I wake up and I want to play it. I go on my lunch break and I play it. I finish work and I play it. I’m playing it in bed. I wish I was playing it right now. I can’t get enough of this freakin’ game.

Have you been playing it? How are you liking it? If you’re reading this and are keen on giving it a go, try it out and then come back here and let me know how you feel about it!

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