Honkai: Star Rail Review – Lives Up To The Genshin Hype

A new Gacha game you can expect to lose years to.

Honkai: Star Rail Review
Overall
4
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Honkai: Star Rail’s captivating visuals, engaging combat, and expansive roster sets the stage for an extremely engaging new experience.

Pros

  • Interesting Narrative
  • Immersive game world
  • Engaging Turn-Based Combat
  • Unique Characters
  • Well Optimized

Cons

  • Lack of Jump Mechanic
  • Pay-To-Win Aspects

Dive into the cosmic realm with our comprehensive Honkai: Star Rail Review, the latest free-to-play space fantasy RPG from HoYoverse, who many might recognize as the masterminds behind Genshin Impact. In this article, we’ll take you through the mesmerizing story and setting, engaging gameplay mechanics, and stunning visuals of the game, and tell you exactly what to expect from this brand-new sensation.

Key Takeaways
  • Developers: miHoYo
  • Publishers: miHoYo, HoYoverse, COGNOSPHERE PTE. LTD.
  • Release Date: April 26, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, iOS, Android
  • Game Length: 23 Hours
  • Time Played: 200+ Hours
  • Editor’s Note: We thoroughly tested Honkai: Star Rail on PC, putting almost 200 hours into the campaign.

Whether you’re an ardent fan of the Honkai series or a newcomer looking for your next gaming obsession, buckle up and get ready to explore the universe of Honkai: Star Rail.

Story And Setting

Honkai: Star Rail Review Story And Setting
Setting. (Image by eXputer)

Honkai: Star Rail takes players on an incredible journey through a vibrant and imaginative universe filled with excitement and adventure. The setting is undeniably captivating, and it’s clear that the developers have put in a great deal of effort to create an immersive world that will engage players for hours on end.

The story is set in a separate universe from the previous game in the Honkai series, Honkai Impact 3rd, and this new entry follows the adventures of a brand new protagonist known as the Trailblazer. As you progress through the game, you’ll uncover a thrilling narrative that not only introduces fresh faces to the universe but also features familiar characters from the franchise.

Honkai: Star Rail takes players on an incredible journey through a vibrant and imaginative universe filled with excitement and adventure.

But what good is a story if there isn’t an equally appealing setting to complement it? Well, the developers have not shied away from flexing their creating muscles in this department either. So the setting is a vast cosmos filled with diverse planets that players can explore, and the game begins by allowing players to venture through three starter planets, including the icy Jarilo-VI.

As you explore the different planets, you’ll encounter destructible items and hidden chests that not only hold valuable in-game resources but also help flesh out the world’s backstory. Moreover, the mini-map assists players in navigating these expansive levels, ensuring that every nook and cranny is accessible for exploration.

A whopping 26 new characters are available at the start, each with unique roles within the game. These characters add depth and intrigue to the narrative as players strive to unlock and understand their individual backstories, which can be explored via several side activities to breathe life into the world.

I can safely state that Honkai: Star Rail offers a captivating story and a vibrant world that will undoubtedly draw players into its vast, imaginative universe. But HoYoverse’s creative magic extends beyond the story and setting to other aspects of the game, especially the gameplay.

Gameplay

Honkai: Star Rail Review Gameplay
Gameplay. (Image by eXputer)

Honkai: Star Rail introduces a unique blend of turn-based combat, exploration, and character progression. Designed with both new players and fans of the series in mind, the game provides a fresh and engaging new experience.

In contrast to the action-oriented gameplay of Genshin Impact, a turn-based combat system is employed here where players are required to strategize and plan their moves carefully in battles. The combat mechanics are well-balanced and intuitive, allowing players to utilize their party of four characters to unleash a variety of Basic Moves, Skill Attacks, and Ultimate Abilities against foes.

The turn-based system also places an emphasis on the use of character elements and roles, adding more depth to the whole ordeal.

In contrast to the action-oriented gameplay of Genshin Impact, a turn-based combat system is employed here where players are required to strategize and plan their moves carefully in battles.

Character progression, which was briefly mentioned in the previous section of our Honkai: Star Rail Review, is both diverse and enjoyable, with 26 characters available to unlock and develop. Each character has a unique set of stats, making it essential for players to assemble a balanced and strategic team. 

Like its popular cousin, Gacha mechanics are also implemented in this title for unlocking characters and items. The mention of such a system might trigger some skepticism, but as of right now, it is not too invasive. The game offers several characters who automatically unlock as you progress through the story, which is a relief for free-to-play players who don’t want to spend money to obtain certain characters.

Exploration
Master Control Zone. (Image by eXputer)

Exploration is vital as players venture across different planets, uncover hidden passageways, and solve puzzles. The game world is beautifully rendered, with detailed environments that beckon players to delve deeper into the intricacies of the world.

One drawback players will face is the limited mobility of characters due to the lack of a jumping mechanic. This constraint can restrict exploration, particularly for players accustomed to more open-ended games. However, this issue is somewhat mitigated by the fast-travel system and the lack of a stamina wheel, which allows players to sprint without limitation.

Visuals And Performance

Honkai Star Rail Review Visuals
Visuals. (Image by eXputer)

From the moment players embark on their journey, they are greeted with breathtaking visuals that showcase the game’s unique setting. The diverse planets and environments are intricately designed, featuring detailed textures and vibrant colors that bring the different locations to life.

Character models are equally impressive, boasting a high level of detail and fluid animations that make combat and exploration dynamic and engaging. The game’s vast roster of characters showcases various designs, with each character possessing a distinct visual style and personality reflecting their elemental affinity and role.

In addition to its stunning visuals, Honkai: Star Rail excels in performance. The game is well-optimized for both PC and mobile devices, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for players across both platforms.

From the moment players embark on their journey, they are greeted with breathtaking visuals that showcase the game’s unique setting.

The framerate remains consistently high, even during intense combat sequences, allowing players to fully appreciate the game’s intricate animations and visual effects without any hindrance. This level of optimization is particularly commendable given the game’s high-quality graphics.

One minor caveat regarding the game’s visuals is the occasional difficulty in locating chests, which can blend into the background and be easily missed. However, this issue is somewhat mitigated by the in-game chest counter, which appears when players pull up the map and helps them keep track of undiscovered treasures.

Verdict

Verdict
Verdict. (Image by eXputer)

Honkai: Star Rail, the latest free-to-play space fantasy RPG from HoYoverse, is shaping up to be a compelling addition to the developer’s lineup of games. Its captivating visuals, engaging turn-based combat system, and expansive roster of diverse characters set the stage for an immersive and enjoyable gaming experience.

While there are some minor challenges in locating hidden treasures, and limited traversal due to a lack of jumping mechanics, the game’s well-designed user interface and smooth performance across platforms make it accessible and enjoyable for both newcomers and long-time fans of the Honkai series.

The only major red flag is the potential addition of pay-to-win mechanics which might give an unfair advantage to certain players. But, in its current state, nothing is stopping you from jumping into this game and having a blast.

This has been our Honkai: Star Rail Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

This is box title
Get This Game
If you’re a fan of turn-based combat with dynamic characters and that anime-style art.
Dont Get This Game
If you’re not into turn-based combat or are expecting a replica of Genshin Impact.
Do I Need To Get This Game
Depends, while it is a joy for players looking for fresh gameplay, I feel like the title is focused too much on grinding and demands you put in tons of hours to reach a decent level.
Alternative Games
  • Honkai Impact 3rd
  • Dislyte
  • Persona
  • Legend of Heroes
  • Epic Seven
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Haddi is a Senior Writer & Editor at eXputer who loves to play games and talk about them like a fanatic. Hadi's years of experience in this industry let him provide a unique and critical perspective on games to share with his audience. His work is also featured on several other websites. You can hit him up on his gaming profile at Steam!

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At Gamepur, Gear Siege, GearNuke

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