The nebulous versions in-between major patches in Genshin Impact are always an interesting time, and 3.7 is no different. This is a time of reflection and of re-runs. It’s also a chance to have fun with existing characters before we start a new adventure and meet more people. Unfortunately, despite the all-star cast in Genshin Impact’s Duel: The Summoner’s Summit, it falls flat in its delivery and in generating interest for Fontaine.
Let’s start with a quick recap of the event’s storyline. There’s a TCG tournament that’s taking place all around Teyvat. Though the Traveler is a bit too late to participate, they meet a bunch of familiar faces who have made it to the finals. For some reason, the tournament takes place all around the continent, so they travel from country to country alongside Charlotte. She is here to write a story for the Steambird, which is a newspaper. During this whole tournament, they discover someone stealing card backs, so they try to solve the mystery along with Kirara, a delivery girl from Inazuma. There is also a more minor subplot about the inventors of Genius Invokation TCG.
First of all, the story is very shallow. There are three different plots and none of them receive much attention. The most egregious is the inventor one, where there is barely any mention of it until the very end. The tournament taking place in different regions doesn’t make sense, and it’s detrimental to the overall experience. Your interactions with the characters are way too short. So for some of them, like Kaeya or Kazuha’s sections, they add no value to the story. A more centralized tournament in Sumeru where all of the characters are there at the same time, much like the Irodori Festival, would have been better. For a story centered around a TCG tournament, we barely saw any games happening. So I wish we got to see the whole tournament and not just the finals in each region.
The second thing is Charlotte. She’s not very interesting. Kirara is very funny and her job as a delivery girl plays a really important part in the event’s story. But Charlotte’s personality is flat, and her contributions to the story are fairly minimal. Most of the time she says something, it’s to comment on how many famous people the Traveler knows. When Kazuha appeared as our first Inazuman, he gave us a lot of information about Inazuma and what’s going on there. Comparatively, Charlotte doesn’t give us much. Now, I’m not saying I want her to give us plot-heavy exposition in a time-limited event, of course. But something more substantial about Fontaine or herself would have been nice, since she’s the first (future) playable Fontaine character we’re interacting with.
The minigames for Duel: The Summoner’s Summit in Genshin Impact were a bit more interesting. I liked Zero Hour Invokation the most. It was a good way to introduce the new cards and force players to change up their strategies. Since this is an event about the TCG, it’s great that the Genius Invokation section was the strongest point. Heart of the Dice was fun, but it could have used some adjusting. Even without using the dice mechanic, it was very easy to get a high score. A Tour of Wonders and Evermotion Mechanical Painting were alright, but not exactly my cup of tea. They both felt a little bit divorced from the whole TCG theme, but then again, Heart of the Dice was too.
Despite its promising premise, Duel: The Summoner’s Summit in Genshin Impact Version 3.7 failed to live up to expectations. Compared to last year’s Chasm event and similar ones such as the Irodori Festival, its lack of a centralized and cohesive story or setting held it back. The three plots (the tournament, the thieves, and the story about the inventors of Genius Invokation TCG) could all work in the same event. But without ample time and development, they ultimately felt forgettable. Hopefully, Charlotte and other Fontaine characters will get another chance to shine in the future.
Genshin Impact is readily available on the PS4, PS5, Windows PC, and mobile devices. Genshin Impact Version 3.7 will later add Alhaitham and Kazuha to the banners, and Duel! The Summoner’s Summit will be available until June 12, 2023.