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Genshin Impact 2022 Year in Review: Looking back at the year at a glance

Looking over at the all-round highlights of Genshin Impact in 2022!

It has been quite a busy and fulfilling year for Genshin Impact in 2022 regarding the developers and the community as a whole. Bringing in such a global audience and attention around them, miHoYo, now known as HoYoVerse, has re-branded itself as a result to expand its business into reaching more diversified creations than just gaming. Regardless of their decisions, the year proved to be another fulfilling year on their part, with all the good and the bad included. In this year-end review, we will look back at some notable highlights that the game of Genshin Impact has experienced during the year 2022. We will discuss the various controversies, new characters involved, and brand-new announcements which have kept the community in buzz throughout the whole year.

Genshin Impact 2022 Year-in-Review: Highlights

The Amazing Cultural Significance of 2.4’s Lantern Rite

After giving players, especially lore enthusiasts, another fruitful Dragonspine event, Genshin Impact starts off 2022 with their Annual Lantern Rite Event. Introducing some new Characters such as Shenhe and Yun Jin. As Genshin Impact is originally made by Chinese developers, HoYoverse wanted to showcase their culture in a significant way through Yun Jin’s whole character.

Genshin Impact 2022 Year Review
Image via HoYoverse

Yun Jin is a playable 4-star character and a famous opera singer in Liyue. Her design and character have been inspired by Chinese Opera Singers, adding cultural attributes to her clothing and even hiring a Chinese opera singer as Yun Jin’s Chinese Voice Actor. Suffice it to say, it was indeed lovely to see such an amazing display of art showcased when Yun Jin started to sing during the Archon Quest Interlude Chapter ACT I cutscene.

Attempts of saving Inazuma’s writing and the delay of Patch Updates

There is no easier or more digestible way to say this up-front, Inazuma’s whole Archon storyline was undeniably bad. A majority of the fan community has agreed on this and in some ways, the Genshin developers probably regret their story direction too judging by the way we immediately got Raiden Shogun’s second story quest as a means to salvage her character. Although Genshin Impact takes meticulous time in crafting and world-building the story of Teyvat and beyond, they do not capture that essence and showcase them through their main story quests.

Genshin Impact Briden Shogun
Image via HoYoverse

It’s a matter of ‘show, doesn’t tell’ and it seems that the backlash of poor writing choices did not fall on deaf ears as the Raiden Shogun 2nd story quest is now dubbed to be one of the best story quests yet. Although it did not ‘fix’ the already damaged Inazuma Plot, it did showcase Raiden Ei’s character and her means of Eternity. Additionally, Version 2.5 also introduced a new sub-region in Inazuma called ‘Enkanomiya’ and is an absolute treat for Lore theorists, as we finally delve into some unanswered questions of the people of Watatsumi Island and their God Orobashi and the events that transpired.

With new content pumping up, it all soon comes to a stop during the 2.5 Version when news spread that the Covid-19 situation in Shanghai was becoming worse as the city went into a serious lockdown. As such, Genshin Impact announced its first-ever Patch update delay as the game went on a content drought for 2 weeks and Kamisato Ayaka’s banner ended up being the longest-running banner in the game.

End-Game content and what it entails

Seems like the Genshin Impact developers have sealed the deal on the age-old question that many veteran players have been dying to know, which asks whether there is any end-game content in store for Genshin Impact. The answer is a resounding no. A Gamespot Interview revealed the plans of the developers, which is to say there have not made any.

In the interview, they explained how the Spiral Abyss is a sufficient enough gameplay activity that players can partake in if they wish to do so, and that anything beyond that may give ‘anxiety’ to the players. Of course, this does not put a strain on any casual players or any players, who just play Genshin Impact without the fuss of making the strongest teams, but it has angered many of the ‘Whale’ or ‘Meta’ players who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in the Gacha game.

Pre-Sumeru Version Controversy: Orientalism and Racism pertaining to Sumeru

The biggest highlight of Genshin Impact’s 2022 timeline is indeed not something memorable to remember. Many players have long been dreading the Sumeru update when it was revealed long ago that the region is inspired by a mixture of the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa, three whole separate places with various cultures lumped into one singular region.

Image via HoYoverse

Unfortunately, the fears have come true when the 3.0 Version leaks spread all across the community as the beta client dropped. The apparent stereotypical and orientalist character designs of the Sumeru characters are disrespectful to many of the people whose cultures the region is supposedly inspired by. For example, Nilou’s design is reduced to a typical orientalist ‘belly-dancer’ outfit and Dori is blatantly depicted as a racist caricature of a scheming merchant. Let’s not forget the pure pale complexion that 90% of Sumeru cast is designed on, with Dehya, Cyno, and Candace barely falling into the bare minimum of the ‘dark-skinned’ category.

This is utterly disappointing to see on HoYoverse’s end, seeing how they publicized and prided themselves on wanting the attention of a global audience. How can they expand globally if they cannot respect and put care in the cultures of their global audience that isn’t from East Asia or a Caucasian-dominated country? Seeing such meticulous care and love put in Yunjin’s whole character to see the state of Sumeru indeed gave many players whiplash because of the glaring difference.

Introducing Sumeru: A game-changer in both writing and meta

All controversy aside, Sumeru introduced a great many things in terms of both the improved writing of the Archon Quests and the introduction of Dendro, being the game changer of reactions and meta. After the disastrous storyline of Inazuma, the community has had their expectations lowered for Sumeru’s plot line. With the growing controversy about Orientalism and Racism looming above Genshin Impact, the hype for Sumeru was considerably less than what Inazuma has had.

Genshin Impact Sumeru hidden exploration objectives
Image via HoYoverse

Still, it seemed as though playing through the story with low expectations proved to be useful as the Archon Quests has blown all doubts under the bridge and delivered an amazing plot filled with an assortment of great characters, and good antagonists and giving us relevant information about future lore and information on the Abyss Sibling. The Sumeru Archon Quest proved to be a huge turning point from the previous ones and it seems as though Genshin Impact is finally building the climax of the serious plot-line between Celestia and the Gods.

Dendro has also been finally introduced in the game and with it came some interesting and fun Elemental Reactions. Dendro has many dynamic reactions mainly involving Electro, Hydro, and a bit of Pyro. Electro indirectly has gotten a buff of sorts due to the Elemental Reaction of Quicken, Aggravate, and Hyperbloom. As such the Electro characters advanced high in the Tier lists such as Kuki Shinobu who was deemed useless back before Dendro’s release. With the introduction of Dendro came about many Enemies that are weakened by Dendro and its Elemental Reaction which altered the current meta of the game.

Genshin Impact Anime Announcement

During the 3.1 Livestream, the devs from HoYoverse teased a little snippet of an upcoming project they have been working on for a while. That said project is no other but a teaser of an upcoming Genshin Impact anime in the making in collaboration with Ufotable. Ufotable is a well-known and loved Animation Studio in Japan and has produced many popular works, one of which is notably known for animating Demon Slayer.

They only teased a little bit of animation and an announcement of said collaboration. We have yet to know any details regarding the anime such as the release date or the story plot. Many of the fans are hopeful for a story-line that revolves around unsaid stories that aren’t about the re-telling of the Archon Quests such as the story of the Yakshas, the series of the Archon War, Khaenri’ahs fall, the False God, etc.

The Game Awards and the accusations of bribery

Just like every year, Genshin Impact being such a fan-favorite and popular game keep on getting nominated for various Award Shows. Although there is one particular category that they have sparked many controversies and accusations, particularly a one-sided beef with the Sonic fan community.

Genshin Impact Dendro Traveller Guide
Image via HoYoverse

Many people, including non-Genshin players, have knowledge about HoYoverse sending Primogems by any means whether as an apology or as a thank you. Using that knowledge many non-Genshin fans accused Genshin Impact of bribing their player base with the Gacha currency in exchange for votes in the Player’s Choice Award, while others are accused of voting with bot spams. Nonetheless, the accusations did not stop the game from winning the award in the end.

The long-awaited character Scaramouche or ‘Wanderer’ released

To wrap up our year-in-review, Genshin Impact has released around 50 Playable Characters so far in 2022, and as such many characters have resonated with the players enough to garner a sense of fascination and love for them. With saying that, it is still mind-boggling to see such hype and sheer rabid obsession that fans have over our resident former Fatui Harbinger and antagonist, Scaramouche.

First shown back in Version 1.1 during a limited-time Event, fans have been dying to see him be playable and have relevance in the main story. After almost two whole years of waiting, Scaramouche, or ‘Wanderer’ have just become a playable character in Version 3.3. It is truly admirable to see such dedication and loyalty for Wanderer, seeing as how fans have been saving since the dawn of time and have made his character reveal post on Twitter the most liked Tweet there.

Final Thoughts

As said before in our year-in-review, Genshin Impact has had another ‘impactful’ year in 2022 with ups and downs, despite Sumeru receiving a lot less hype on the socials, it seems to not be such a case, judging by the overwhelming high sales each banner got, especially Nahida.

Players must look out for future content such as Fontaine, as it will be released next in 2023 and will seem to be quite a ride. Content aside, Genshin Impact developers should be more considerate of their global player base and listen to their opinions about certain issues regarding the game, if they boldly state about wanting to reach a global audience.

What are your thoughts on the 2022 highlights of Genshin Impact in the year in review? Let us know in the comments below.

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