Genshin Impact vs Tower of Fantasy

I remember talking to one of my friends a year back when we were discussing games that’ll come in the future with a mix of anime and open-world, and Tower of Fantasy was one on the list. When Tower of Fantasy launched, I got my hands on it on the very first day and even registered pre-launch; I did the same for Genshin Impact as well. I remember spending quite some time in the queue because I was in the 3000th position! But I soldiered on because I wanted to give Tower of Fantasy a chance and not fall prey to clickbaity Youtube videos.

Since their respective launches, I’ve been playing both Genshin Impact and Tower of Fantasy and have invested quite a lot of time into both these games. You can say that a sizable part of my life’s been dedicated to these games. Yet, I’m still playing them, and that’s a testament to how good each game is and how addictive Gacha Models are. 

I’d be straight to the point; I’m not going to make a judgment that you shouldn’t play Tower of Fantasy or Genshin Impact just to cater to one community’s side. But rather, shed light on both of these games, compare, contrast, and give my experience with them to present a thorough, to-the-point comparison for players who are new to both of these games and their respective genres.

Here, in Genshin Impact vs Tower of Fantasy, I’ll put these games under the microscope and discuss their strengths and weakness while maintaining professional neutrality. Without wasting any time, whether you are a Wanderer or an Adventurer or yet to become one of them, let’s dive straight into the heart of these games!

Before I profoundly analyze and compare both games’ general gaming characteristics, let me run down the fundamental differences that set these games apart.

Main Differences Between Genshin Impact vs Tower of Fantasy

The Main Differences Between Genshin Impact vs Tower of Fantasy are:

  • Genshin Impact is a rather mature game with a massive company backing it that has experience developing games like Honkai Impact and is about to feature two new titles, Zenless Zone Zero and Honkai Star Rail, soon, whereas Hotta recently launched Tower of Fantasy a few months ago to a global audience and is still in the process of hot-fixing bugs. Honestly, Genshin Impact was way more polished on its launch than Tower of Fantasy, which feels like a rushed release.
  • Technically, both games belong to different genres. Genshin Impact is an open-world RPG game that focuses more on single-player adventure elements while also maintaining the essence of multiplayer options, whereas Tower of Fantasy is an open-world MMORPG game that abundantly focuses on multiplayer game modes featuring a single-player story as well.
  • While you can stack up your progression (EXP) in Genshin Impact, there’s no such case in Tower Of Fantasy. Simply put, the extra experience in Tower of Fantasy gets wasted, and the overall exploration may be time-gated with level caps for further content. But, Genshin Impact gives you access to a world without restrictions once the region becomes available.
  • Exploration is easier in Tower of Fantasy with the help of equipment and vehicles, whereas you don’t even have a cycle in Genshin to travel. Not even a horse!
  • The main characters are fully voice-acted in Tower of Fantasy, whereas in Genshin Impact, Paimon is always advocating the silent protagonist.
  • You can customize the character to your liking in Tower of Fantasy, which isn’t available in Genshin Impact at all. You can even import character designs made by other players and further customize or use them at your will.
  • Accounting for the number of hours you can put into the game that scales with level, Tower of Fantasy is more challenging than Genshin Impact. End-game content in Tower of Fantasy is tougher and distinguishable than in Genshin Impact, where once you reach the end-game, there’s not much to do besides Daily commissions, spending resin, and Spiral abyss. Also, in Tower of Fantasy, you can challenge Bygone Phantasm and PvP matches to climb leaderboards, which feature a blend of PvE and PvP experiences.

The Journey So Far – My Expertise

Before I move on to the games, lets’ take a short detour to my experience in these games. I believe that we should take advice from people who have experience, and that’s why I consider it important to showcase my credibility.

Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact
A glimpse of my Genshin experience so far. I’m still grinding! Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

Genshin’s second anniversary came a few days back, and the new update dropped brand new archon quests. This also marks two years of playing Genshin Impact for me, and I had an awesome experience going through new archon quests.

I’ve been playing this game since the launch, with some off-and-on days, obviously, but I’ve poured thousands of hours into the game to complete some of the toughest challenges the game has thrown at me. I wouldn’t say that I’ve completed everything in this game, but at the same time, I’m far from mediocre.

I’m a veteran player who spends his time optimizing character builds and polishes team rotations to get the maximum of his characters. Whether it’s about creating content, writing guides, participating in events, or talking to well-established members of the community, you name it; I’ve been there. 

Tower of Fantasy

Tower of Fantasy
My progress so far in Tower of Fantasy. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

Tower of Fantasy recently launched and was quite hyped within the community. I pre-registered for the game, and as soon as it launched, I hopped onto the servers. I played for a long time, and by the next day, many reviews, inflammatory opinions, and misleading titles were up on the internet. Well, I wasn’t discouraged and kept on playing to level up and experience all TOF had in store.

Currently, I’m caught up with the game’s current progression and stand at a decent level compared to some players. But the game has a Combat Score system where your weapons, equipment, and other gear contribute to a number that depicts your overall power level. That is a level check you have to pass when clearing the game’s content, as it relies on the character’s power level to an extent.

Battle of the Gacha Titans

I would say this section is where I’ll dive into the core concepts of both games to compare them on a variety of parameters. Visuals, Sound, Plot, you name it, I’ll cover it. However, I won’t cover EVERYTHING that goes into games but enough to give you an idea so that you can make an informed decision whether to play these games or not. Without further ado, let’s dive into various aspects of these games.

The Visuals – Fantasy vs Futuristic

Genshin Impact

I remember watching a short video of Genshin Impact in its pre-registration phase on Google play store and thought, ‘hmm, it seems like another RPG game’. I’m looking at you Breath of the Wild! However, I put that to one side and booted up this vast open-world RPG on launch day, and right then I had that ‘wow’ moment.

The first cutscene where I had to choose one of the twins, I inherently knew I had to stick with this game. Since then I have grinded, intent on seeing all that MiHoYo has to offer me, and with each new update I’m further impressed with the scope and creativity of the devs over there. 

Genshin’s graphics are top-tier because of the sheer amount of detail and attention to detail that is clear to see in every nook and cranny of Teyvat. You will notice the minutest details on character outfits, an abundance of plants with vibrant colors, intimidating enemy models, and a series of standout landmarks, regions and points of interest that tie the world together.

Whether you are visiting Amakumo peak, The Chasm’s underground mines, or Dragonspine’s snowy mountains, you are welcomed with a fresh environment that showcases all varieties of rare flora and Fauna.

Electro cloud Genshin Impact
Amakumo peak has an Electro cloud hovering over it. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

So far, in my experience, I’ve not been disappointed with Genshin’s graphics because of how detailed, beautiful and stunning they are. And, if the world design doesn’t pique your interest, then the animation and cutscenes definitely will. They are so impressive that Genshin has been picked up for an upcoming anime series from the makers of Demon Slayer.

This isn’t something we can expect for quite some time as this studio isn’t known to put out rushed, mediocre content, but if nothing else, it showcases just how respected Genshin’s overall visual offerings are. 

Are the graphics perfect? No, not totally. I would say that personally, I feel that the game is very bright, to the point that it feels like saturation and contrast have been dialed up to eleven. Plus, there are some immersion-breaking moments where enemies will pummel you while a cut scene plays out. Overall though, these are small complaints and as a whole, Genshin is one of the most pretty games around. 

Tower of Fantasy

I’ll be up front here, Tower of Fantasy’s graphics don’t even come close to matching Genshin’s charm or refinement, but that’s not to say that they are bad, just different. Tower of Fantasy is what I imagined Honkai Impact would be if fused with a game like Borderlands or another cel-shaded adventure of this ilk. However, I won’t compare Honkai Impact’s animation style with Tower of Fantasy’s.

I feel the game lacks a touch of polish, and some of the areas look a bit rough around the edges. Whether it be low-poly textures, sub-par animation, or a lack of ingenuity regarding character and world design, it just feels like TOF will never move out from the large shadow that Genshin casts.

That being said,  I really love the Cyber-anime fusion that this game boasts and love and exploration is rewarding, but some things look like a beta release. A prime example is the Hyena Queen (Sweetie) boss in Joint Operation; when the animation triggers in, she has no facial features, aside from that unsettling smirk right there. It’s like her body is independent from her head, and it’s small details like that which drag the game down visually. 

tower of fantasy visuals
There isn’t enough detailing on facial features, making characters feel like lifeless NPCs. Whereas bosses like Chiron have great design features. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.
tower of fantasy hykros area
Hykros area is my favorite; it gives Cyberpunk vibes. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

Regarding the world in general, I would say it gives cyberpunk vibes, especially the Tower of Fantasy area and Hykros area, both of which are futuristic locations. Honestly, at the start of the game.

These areas serve as the highlights when it comes to TOF’s world design, but this is a blessing and a curse, as with the peaks come the valleys in the form of the more noteworthy areas.

Teyvat curbs this issue by being a holistically well-designed and interesting locale. Whereas TOF has cool points of interest but little of substance in between.  

tower of fantasy cutscenes re watch
You can re-watch the cutscenes from Chronicles in the Terminal menu option. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

Overall, you have to say that Genshin is visually the much more well-rounded of the two. Whether you compare world design, character models, animation, or performance, Genshin always comes away the victor. The only small victory I can award to TOF is that the title does offer cutscene playback, a feature that Genshin lacks. The only issue is, once you witness the cut-scenes TOF has to offer, chances are once will be more than enough. 

Sound Effects and Voice-Acting – Hitting The Right Notes

Genshin Impact

Yu-peng Chen. A prodigy, a master of his art, Genshin Impact’s composer is one of the most well-renowned names in the industry who’s certified musical mage. I’m not exaggerating when I make a claim that his skills are prodigal. If you let the soothing melodies and tones of Genshin wash over you as you play, you will notice the music changing with each new region you explore, with each playlist curated and composed with razor-like precision to guarantee an immersive experience. Composition, voice acting, SFX effects, or background themes, everything culminates to offer a truly cohesive overworld. 

It feels like every single track has been hand-picked for each encounter or moment you experience within this wonderful RPG. As if Yu-Peng Chen himself is watching a live stream and pumping in the music manually for your gaming pleasure.

This isn’t a coincidence as the developers and composers have clearly worked in tandem to anticipate player engagement, and then by using music, Genshin marries these actions with emotive music, creating a holistic gaming experience.

This is also clear to see in the Character demos, where the meticulously crafted cut scenes are accompanied by a score of incredible tracks and sound effects, making for viewing bliss. 

Then Genshin maintains that high-quality audio through a strong cast of voice actors, with the Japanese assortment providing some members of Anime royalty. I use English most of the time, but when I have to hear Bouken da Bouken, you bet I turn up that Japanese voice! However, credit where it’s due to the English voice actors, there are a lot of strong performances in their ranks too!

On the other hand, a potential flaw many will find in Genshin is that the main character’s voice isn’t featured much. Most of the time, Paimon will be conversing on your behalf and rarely get to listen to Zach Aguilar’s voice. Silent protagonists aren’t a new thing, Gordon Freeman showed us that it can work a treat.

However, in game of this size and stature, I don’t see why these lines couldn’t have been recorded. Plus, I love Zach’s voice acting because he’s also featured in Demon Slayer’s dub! Yes, I prefer a sub but will reluctantly agree to swap if friends pick dub.

Tower of Fantasy

Tower of Fantasy’s audio assortment is more of a mix bag. There are some really enjoyable tracks and vocal performances, but the game suffers from a lack of consistency, often missing the mark when it comes to marrying the actions on screen with the score in the background.

Sometimes, the vibe is completely off, and although being a futuristic-themed game, it doesn’t give that kind of rush you need for high-octane cyber-battles. It’s a game that would have benefitted from a EDM/techno tracklist, not unlike Furi or Hotline Miami.

I think Carpenter Brut would have had a field day with this game, to be honest. However, the game tries to be a jack-of-all-trades, offering a few standout tracks, but overall, offering a full soundtrack that feels lackluster. 

The auditory USP that TOF offers is that the protagonist has recorded lines, and for that reason, the player can get to know their playable character more intimately. There is the argument that the silent protagonist approach allows you to project more of your own self onto the playable character, and each has its merit, but it’s clear that TOF has made more of an effort on this front.

However, this selling point is often dragged down by poor sound mixing, sound effects, and foley that feels out of sync with the action on screen and occasional performance issues that need to be addressed in future patches. Once again, Genshin has a leg up in this category. 

The Narrative Nuances Explored

One of the most important aspects of a game is its story, where spectacular events unfold and secrets are revealed in spectacular fashion. In short, a narrative can make or break or make a game. I’ll go over a general overview of what you can expect from these games and not delve into the storyline too meticulously, as to avoid potential spoilers.

Genshin Impact

Your Genshin adventure begins with a bang, as you are immediately thrown into a brawl with an unknown god, and you are given the choice of which Traveller you wish to play as. I have always been a fan of interactive cutscenes and this was a nice touch that immediately caught my attention.

However, the battle turns on its head and before you know it, your sister/brother is captured and you awake in a new, unfamiliar world, Teyvat. From here, the player must team up with cute companion/ emergency food, Paimon, and work out how to find your sibling, and how to get home. 

genshin traveler twins
You can choose the Traveler while fighting the Unknown god. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

This ambiguous opening cut-scene is soon all but forgotten as the sprawling world of Teyvat gradually opens up to you, and before you know it, you’ll be inducted into the Monsdtat community, head of to Liyue, and beyond. The world of Teyvat is rich with lore, full of interesting quests and characters, and all feel very cohesive by design.

Everything has its place, makes sense within the world, and no matter what you fins yourself doing in-game, it always feels like exciting times are just a cut-scene away. 

genshin impact hangouts characters
Hangouts in Genshin Impact focus on characters’ personalities. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

The best thing about Genshin is that every single item in the game has significance to the lore. Whether it’s a book you picked up from the library or a stone tablet from a ruin in Enkanomiya, you will get to know about something new and mysterious. I spend a decent amount of my time watching theory videos on Youtube, and there’s always something new to discover.

I find Wei’s Youtube channel to be quite funny and interesting, and I hop on whenever a new video comes out. I would say Genshin has a very solid story that will keep you interested.

Tower Of Fantasy

Truth be told, I skipped TOF’s story content a lot. I tried my best to keep up, but it didn’t do much for me. If you have watched a couple of anime and played a few narrative-driven games, you can easily read between the lines and predict what’s coming next. The game begins with a scene where twins are traveling together and are suddenly attacked by unusual animals, and eventually, you split from your sibling. Feels pretty familiar, right? It’s Genshin’s opening but much less grand and eye-catching.

Eventually, after losing these beasts, you are rescued by Zeke and Shirli after enemies attack you out of the blue. Then from here, the game throws a cavalcade of stories and exposition your way, to the point that it can feel a little overwhelming at times. I definitely tuned in and out at times.

However, the biggest issue I had with TOF was, within the story, the protagonist never shows any interest in trying to find their sibling after they split. This only cements my view that this game tries to copy Genshin for the sake of it, rather than doing smart things to try and compete. 

In general, the game just lacks that same narrative hook that Genshin has. There is a lack of world-building, and character depth, but above all else, there is a lack of unique ideas, and even the established good ideas borrowed from Genshin feel like regurgitated rubbish. It’s a narrative that does just enough to remain moderately interesting, but when compared to Genshin, it’s really no contest. 

Team Builds, Gacha, & Grinding – The Gameplay

Genshin Impact

Genshin excels in one particular area with regards to gameplay and that is team compositions, character building, and overall combat strategy, simply because of a plethora of options we get in the game and all sorts of reactions to play around with. You can couple all sorts of characters and build the whole team around, Freeze, Bloom, Vaporize, the list goes on.

However, the caveat here, which nearly exists in all games, is the meta. Challenging content like Spiral abyss may require you to use meta team arrangements that focus on special reactions to pass heavy DPS checks and avoid running less potent characters.

Matter of fact, I had Razor in my team way back when Physical damage was feasible, but now he’s just not viable. That’s the nature of an ever-changing meta. Overall though, Genshin’s combat is fast-paced, satisfying, easy to grasp, and hard to truly master. Exactly what you want from a title such as this.

Next, we move on to traversal within Genshin and this is actually an area where I believe that TOF outshines the Gacha juggernaut. You see, in TOF, you have a series of vehicles to help you get around and get you from point A to point B in record time. Genshin on the other hand will have you walk on foot, glide, or climb mountain-faces at a snail’s pace.

Plus, the teleport points dotted across the map are usually pretty spaced out, meaning that no matter where you start from, you’ll almost always have a trek ahead of you to get where you need to go. It’s not to the detriment of the game, as the scenery is lush and the music is upbeat, making every stroll a pleasant one, but it certainly is a potential area for improvement.

As for the Gacha, there is no Pity counter, and it may take you more than 150+ pulls to get a character if the RNG doesn’t trigger. There are no 5-star characters or weapons in the shop in the game that you can exchange for Starglitter. But, in Tower of Fantasy, you do have a pity counter and a lot of sources to obtain standard SSR characters in the game, even from the shop!

Frankly speaking, Gacha in Genshin Impact is more vicious than Tower of Fantasy. Especially when you are a new player, you want to collect primogems, but without the help of online maps, walkthroughs, or guides, it’s a tedious chore. That only leaves you with in-game events, spiral abyss, and quest rewards. I would say, Grinding is tough in Genshin because of less flexibility in exploration, but If we get a sort of vehicle in the future, it may be easier.

Tower Of Fantasy

Tower of Fantasy has a similar elemental combat concept; however, the reaction system isn’t available at all. Sure, you do have elemental resonance, as you see in Genshin Impact, where you get additional buffs if you have two characters of the same element. But, for now, the game doesn’t have complex combat mechanics.

The one upside is that within TOF, all characters can use all categories of weapons, but it doesn’t do anywhere near enough to bridge the gap in quality between Genshin’s ultra-refined reactions system, and TOF’s subpar elemental combat attempt. 

As mentioned, exploration is quite easy in the game, all thanks to Relics and Vehicles that make your life easier. I would say that you can easily achieve 100 % exploration in Tower of Fantasy without referring to Interactive maps a lot. Puzzles, Nuclei or challenges, you name it, you can easily find them on the map.

Still, the map doesn’t have the fluidity that you see in Genshin, and the navigation interface is incoherent. Overall, you can get things done faster, but it doesn’t feel quite as fun, rewarding, or fluid as it’s counterpart. 

exploration objectives
You can check exploration objectives on the map. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.
Challenging game modes Tower of Fantasy
Challenging game modes in Tower of Fantasy. Photo by Himanshu Verkiya.

Besides that, there are plenty of game modes that you can challenge, and the overall multiplayer experience is better than Genshin. There are modes where you need to have strong teammates and a well-defined team role strategy to ace through the content.

Unless you have a whale player in your team who spends a lot of money on the game to get the best builds and max out characters, you need to have good cooperation in slaying bosses.

That was all, and one thing we all can agree upon is memes! No matter which game you play, memes are always there for us to enjoy our time! I found this awesome MMD on Reddit and took the creator’s permission to feature it!

Want Some More?

Here are a few titles that you can play if you’ve played these games

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Honkai Impact 3rd
  • Dragon Raja
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising
  • Punishing Gray Raven
  • Tales of Arise
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Destiny 2
  • Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom
  • Borderlands Franchise

Beep, Bop, I Have Questions

Question: So far, in your experience, which game’s Gacha is more rewarding, Genshin Impact or Tower of Fantasy?

Answer: I’d say it totally depends from person to person. I have a lot of characters in both games. There are a few characters I don’t have in Genshin Impact, but in Tower of Fantasy, besides Claudia, I have all the characters. But I would disclose that I’ve grinded both games. I have 100% exploration in Tower of Fantasy, which gave me a lot of pulls, and similarly, I have 100 % exploration in many areas in Genshin Impact. In the end, it’s all luck when it comes to Gacha.

Question: I want to play a game where I can be assured of the game’s survival in the future. Should I go with Tower of Fantasy or Genshin Impact?

Answer: Specifically, for this, I’d say go with Genshin Impact if you want to play a game that will endure the test of time. I love Tower of Fantasy equally, but logically, the best bet is Genshin Impact unless they do something that backfires on them. Well, which in fact, happened during the first anniversary.

Question: What’s the most common feature among these games?

Answer: Resin system or Vitality system. It doesn’t matter which way you put it; it’s a core feature of these games besides the Gacha model and Open world environment. You cannot progress in one go but must consistently put effort into reaching a higher level and unlocking challenging content.

Genshin Impact vs Tower of Fantasy, Conclusive Remarks

Game development ain’t easy. Having worked on software like Unity and Unreal Engine, I can say it takes serious hours of work to produce a AAA title that can sustain the test of time. Animations, sound effects, voice acting, character design, world design, and the list goes on. Game development is a field that tests the peak concepts to craft a magical experience for the players.

There’s no doubt that Hoyoverse has mastered the art of Game development and set the bar really high for other studios to compete with. Genshin has become a game that’s featured in testing the limits of graphics in modern devices and portrays an intriguing experience for a player.

But, just because some other game came into the market and was judged by harsh standards isn’t fair either. Tower of Fantasy is a game that needs time to mature however the global launch did have severe bugs that made many players leave. Neither can we ignore the fact that this game was launched in China a year back and still carried the bugs to the Global launch?

All I can say is that it is what it is for the time being. I’m a player in Genshin Impact and Tower of Fantasy, where I enjoy both worlds. Genshin fills what Tower of Fantasy lacks for me, and Tower of Fantasy fills what Genshin lacks. That’s how I see it. My best advice to you would be to try both games and judge yourself whether you like them or not. A game should make you happy and content and give a memorable experience to its players, who can cherish that for years.

Time has come to say byes for now, but worry not Wanderer; this Adventurer will meet you soon enough. And don’t forget to check our Tower of Fantasy guides on RPGInformer, where we cover some of the best RPGs in the industry, and for Genshin, you are at the correct place already *wink*

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