When Jinshin effectThe annual update finally arrived last week, I was expecting slight tweaks to the open world formula. Instead, Sumero looks like an entirely different game. As I wandered around the forest canopy in every direction, I began to forget the main task and daily routine of planting. HoYoverse eliminates the frustrations of its former territories while rewarding players who have a keen attention to environmental detail. This is it JinshinOpen world formula at its best. Sumeru relies on the element of plant life, yet it feels the most vibrant and vibrant of any I’ve discovered so far.
Before delving into what makes a good Sumero exploration, I need to explain what made the previous areas an exercise in patience and rationality. Mondstadt was the school district, and the various sub-districts felt too categorical and nondescript. Liyue was outstanding in its tall mountains, but climbing it meant you spent a lot of time watching the stamina bar with your nose pressed against an ugly gray slope. Inazuma gave us seven completely distinct regions, but constant danger And the hard puzzles It made it difficult for me to fully enjoy it. Until you unlock the Quick Travel Points, exploring was a chore that you had to pass before the real fun could begin.
In turn, Sumeru invites players on a pleasant “outing”. The four-leaf models scattered throughout Sumeru allow players to instantly zoom in on their position from great distances. Not only does this make travel incredibly efficient, but it also becomes easy to enjoy the great scenery when I’m not trying to figure out how to overcome a physical obstacle. Sigils were also present for puzzles and challenges. When I needed to climb a mountain, I was looking for flowers that refill my stamina dotted on some cliff faces. I didn’t always feel the need to use them, but this was the first time an area felt like it was trying to guide me rather than being unintentional about open world design. In fact, Apam Woods has become my favorite spot in Sumeru. I loved being able to walk around the forest canopy in any possible direction I chose. Usually, falling from a high-rise area in Jinshin It means having to quickly get back to the top. Here, I find my four-leaf sigil and go back to my platform again.
When there is no fast travel point nearby, I often have to make calculated decisions about where to go next. These decisions are usually shaped by local resources in the area, and I had no reason to go anywhere else. There are whole parts of the Tutorial area (Mondstadt) that I don’t remember anymore because they don’t have any exclusive resources. But since the sigil removed a lot of friction about travel, I would always end up somewhere I wasn’t planning on going. This completely reshaped the way I went through Jinshinopen world. The changes are so stark that I get even more frustrated when I go back to the old areas.
Usually, I end up all over the area on a quest to finish my to-do list. Once I’m done with everything, I’ll search for areas with certain types of flowers and fruits, as they are essential for breeding future characters. I will only visit those specific areas every few days. Once I have a large inventory, I will finally look for treasure chests and puzzles for special types of coins that I can use to redeem material and furniture blueprints. Somero gets so excited about exploring it that I’ll find myself in a completely different area, far from where I was looking for a certain mushroom. Sumeru proves that the best player experiences are not guaranteed by the laissez-faire design philosophy. Sometimes a game just needs a little more resourcefulness to get us out of our comfort zones.
Sumeru also brings back element-based puzzles. By charging a green mushroom with Electro power, you can use it to bounce to even greater heights than if you simply jumped on it normally. Certain puzzles only respond to the new Dendro element. And if you want to fight certain Ruin Guards for chests, then you have to set their binding seals on fire. Genshin has always used elemental powers as the basis for many of its puzzles, but their use feels more prevalent in Sumeru. I was constantly rotating my traveling party, whose type elements are more varied than what I usually travel with (doubling up on elements confers certain combat bonuses).
The new Dendro element is also a fascinating and complex element. Previously, applying Pyro to Dendro would simply set an enemy on fire. Now, applying Hydro to Dendro causes a seed pod to spawn, which can be further triggered into a Hyperbloom (Electro) and Burgeon (Pyro) reaction for AoE damage. Applying Electro to Dendro causes the enemy to take additional damage from Electro and Dendro attacks. For years, Genshin players have complained that Electro is the weakest element. But the elemental additions have revitalized an element that most theorycrafters considered to be non-viable. Rejoice, Yae mains. Your time has come.
Before Sumeru released, I felt Genshin was undergoing a bit of an identity crisis as an open world game. Accusations of “Breath of the wild cloning“He dominated the game’s early coverage, mostly watered down by the game’s visual style and engaging narrative. Inazuma felt like an overcompensation. The area was hostile, hard to traverse, and filled with puzzles that were challenging with no apparent narrative reason. Jinshin Fun first: being able to see great sights no matter which direction you look.
“Alcohol maven. Evil bacon lover. Wannabe social media geek. Travel guru. Amateur introvert. Pop culture nerd.”