The Inazuma region is finally in Genshin Impact, marking the first new permanent location to join the game since it launched. It’s something people looked forward to, as it means the story can advance and new characters can join our rosters. There are places to go and people to see. And, for the most part, we get to see a lot of growth. The Electro element seems better integrated than Anemo and Geo were in Mondstadt and Liyue, and this being an island nation means new opportunities when exploring.
One of the first things I noticed and appreciated is how different the enemies feel in Inazuma. Yes, there are some Electro Fatui Cicin Mages, Hilichurls, Slimes, and Treasure Hoarders around. But we also have new Cryo Fatui Cicin Mages, Mirror Maidens, and both Kairagi and Nobushi samurai roaming about. Each one involves new sorts of tactics. Especially when you come across Sacred Sakura questline minibuses. You have to deal with enemies that might actually guard your attacks. You must consider when they’ll strike and be ready to dodge efficiently. This is all happening while some great new enemy music plays.
The array of Electro-centric elements is great too. Around Mondstadt, where the Anemo Archon is in “charge,” we’d see occasional gusts of winds to give us a lift. But in Inazuma, electricity is everywhere. Some spaces are covered by it, forcing you to collect Electrogranums to get past their barriers and access new spaces or items. The Sakura Blooms you’ll see in the air can only be collected (and then used to ascend Ayaka) by using an Electro skill. The Traveler, of course, can gain the Electro element and corresponding abilities by visiting an Inazuma Statue of the Seven. MiHoYo really ran with the theme in this region, and I appreciate it.
What’s also fun is that Inazuma brings back the Genshin Impact Waverider on a permanent basis. Since this is an island nation, many of the places are too far apart to reach otherwise. (I mean, you could take a Cryo character like Kaeya and brute force your way to some of the landmasses, but the boat is quicker.) Using it this time around isn’t as exciting as the Golden Apple Archipelago affair, given there really aren’t random opponents on towers in the water to attack. But it is a nice change of pace and suits the area and overall experience.
The one complaint I have about the Inazuma region in Genshin Impact is that a rather important gadget is hidden behind an optional world quest. Someone needs to take A Strange Story in Kondo and at least start the Sacrificial Offering quest to get the Memento Lens. Which you then need to gain access to the underwater Araumi area in Inazuma, more Electroculus, another Domain and the Perpetual Mechanical Array boss. (Which anyone who pulls and gets Ayaka will need to unlock if they want her ascension materials.) The first part of the quest is vague about talking to villagers, only offering the general “check within this yellow circle’s location” on the map. And once Sacrificial Offering is unlocked, it only mentions an abandoned shrine Northeast of Konda. When really, that shrine is closer to the Forest of Protection. As a positive, you can go to unlock the Perpetual Mechanical Array immediately after getting the Memento Lens without completing Sacrificial Offering or triggering the Cleansing Defilement quest.
I think what I like best about Inazuma is how it feels different than the other places in Genshin Impact. Not just because Inazuma itself is inspired by a different real-world country, just like Mondstadt and Liyue. But because the landscape is feels even more influenced by its element than some other spaces and involves mechanics that embrace its island nature. We have underwater spaces and boats. We’re dealing with Electro elements in a way that isn’t as frustrating as Dragonspine’s cold. It seems like an entertaining space to explore.
Genshin Impact is available for the PS4, PS5, PC, and mobile devices, and the 2.0 Inazuma update is out now. It will also eventually appear on the Nintendo Switch.