Honkai Star Rail Is Genshin Devs’ Space Fantasy Take On Persona

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Honkai Star Rail Is Genshin Devs' Space Fantasy Take On Persona

Image: HoYover

After watching Honkai: Star Rail for a few minutes during a live media preview, I mostly liked what I saw. HoYovere’s “space fantasy” RPG doesn’t reinvent turn-based combat, but the performance was smooth. The combat animations were some of the best I’ve seen in anime games in recent years. The battle turn tracking, team combos, type clashes, and battle animations were reminiscent of games like Shin Megami Tensei and Persona 5. But HoYoverse definitely doesn’t want you to think of it as one of those games. . Besides the apparent identity confusion, my conversation with the developer left me with little optimism about racial inclusion in Star Rail’s space fantasy.

Here’s how Star Rail works: Although you start with a protagonist character, the bulk of your roster will come from rotating wives and husbands through the gacha system. You use them to explore maps filled with enemy encounters (rather than real-time combat like in HoYovers current mainstay Genshin Impact).

Once you have encountered an enemy, you will begin a turn-based battle. Each of the four members of your party will have two skills. Some will be offensive, while others will be support or healing based. Each attack matches an element, and effectively using elemental type matches will allow you to break shield bars. Once an enemy is vulnerable, you can use team combo attacks to kick them while they’re down.

Four characters are engaged in a fight.

Screenshot: HoYovere/Kotaku

Despite the relatively simple combat, the game will feature an auto-combat mechanic. This should make daily battles for resources easier, which is an essential feature that some modern gacha use to keep games alive.

Star Rail will have a main story campaign and regular side quests. Although it shares similar characters from Honkai Impact 3rd, Fish Ling, a representative of HoYoverse, assured me that there would be no story crossover with their insanely heavy real-time action game.

According to Michalel Lin, another developer representative, the driving force behind Honkai: Star Rail’s development was HoYoverse’s desire to diversify its portfolio from the usual action games it publishes. Second, HoYoverse felt that the turn-based combat was conducive to “the story we want to tell”. Its design philosophy was driven by a desire to make turn-based combat accessible to newcomers.

Things got murkier, however, when I tried to ask who the target audience was. The Star Rail presentation mentioned that the game would feature different cultures. Remembering how bad Genshin Impact flubbed representing darker-skinned people and Southwest Asians in the Sumeru update I asked how the devs intended to improve representation in Star Rail. What lessons have they learned from the overseas community?

“The game takes place in a fictional world,” Lin said. “What we do depends on the growth of intellectual property. As a combination of cultures in our world, there is no specific culture that we are targeting. We’ll continue to listen to fan feedback, but how the world will be built, we can’t say for sure.

A Chinese-inspired city in Star Rail.

Screenshot: HoYovere

It’s 2023 and Asian RPGs continue to drop diversity. This hugely disappointing response reminded me of Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida. answer as to whether or not this game would include people of color. Their response was that their world was fantastic, so it couldn’t be held to diversity standards at all. Star Rail includes characters that are culturally Chinese, so it’s really shit that his launch characters seem to be even clearer than those in Genshin Impact. Once again, we need to start keeping asian RPGs to higher standards.

I got similarly vague answers when I asked where Star Rail got its inspiration from. “We think turn-based RPGs are very appealing and have an active audience in the market,” Lin said. It took me a few minutes to remember that the The Persona series has sold 16.8 million units worldwide and was probably at least one of the games alluded to. When pressed on the studio’s creative inspiration, Lin told me that the Star Rail team consists of 500 individual developers. Therefore, it would be impossible to reduce the specific influences.

I can guess why HoYoverse is so coy about its Persona 5 game in space. It’s probably because the the Internet torn in Genshin Impact during launch for its similarities to Breath of the Wild, to the point that the developer had to reassure the players that the game was more than a clone. But Star Rail will will probably come out this yearand people will be able to see Persona DNA embedded in the way the game plays.

So here’s the honest summary of Star Rail: It’s a space fantasy game that you’ll probably enjoy if you’re a fan of the Persona or Shin Megami Tensei series. Pay attention to the gacha system and don’t hold your breath on the improved diversity over what we’ve seen so far.

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Article source https://kotaku.com/honkai-star-rail-genshin-impact-hoyoverse-persona-rpg-1850129636

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