Honkai: Star Rail – The Game That Captured The Hearts of Millions of Players

  “You won’t remember a thing except me.”

 On April 26, Honkai: Star Rail released worldwide, and it quickly became popular with millions of downloads surging in. Later on, on Oct. 11, the Playstation 5 version of the game was released.

  As someone who has played Honkai: Star Rail for about a month and a half, there are so many things that I love about the game: the attention to detail, the storyline, the endless gacha possibilities and the turn-based combat system all take part in making the game so unique.

  The game begins with the awakening of the Trailblazer–the main character of the game–by the hands of Stellaron Hunters. The Trailblazer is then found by a group known as The Nameless and joins them in their voyages on the Astral Express. Under the watch of “Aeons,” the Astral Express crew travels to worlds that are suffering under the influence of the “Stellaron crisis,” caused by the phenomenon known as a “Stellaron.” Stellarons are mainly unknown since their origins are quite mysterious, but they spread across the universe at an extremely fast rate, bringing disaster to the worlds they settle in. There is no way to destroy a Stellaron, but the best solution to keep the universe safe from them is by containing its energy.

  In case the summary of the game does not interest you, then the gameplay might as well draw you in. Honkai: Star Rail is a space-fantasy-themed game with an open-world environment, which allows for roleplay. This means that as the Trailblazer, you can choose different dialogue options during cutscenes or conversations with other characters. As you level up in the game, the enemies’ levels will also increase as a result, keeping the game balanced yet challenging enough to retain players’ interest.

  The combat system in the game is turn-based, and it is just what it says: players and enemies take turns attacking the other side until one side is defeated. As someone who prefers turn-based combat because of its simplicity, this is something I enjoy because of how easy it is to understand, with a tutorial that explains each element of the combat.

  Here is how the combat works: the players choose four characters to use in their fight, and combat begins by attacking the enemy or getting ambushed. They also have the choice to choose a support character or end up with a trial character, depending on the situation. The player can either use the character’s basic attack or skill to gain Energy for their Ultimate attack, which can be unleashed upon reaching the maximum amount of energy needed. Characters also have one of seven elements attached to them: Quantum, Imaginary, Ice, Fire, Wind, Lightning and Physical. Based on the element of the character, you can attack enemies that are weak to it, reducing their toughness and providing them with a break effect when it is depleted.

  Of course, players would not be able to earn new characters without a gacha system in place. In some cases, you get characters for free if you complete a mission or a prerequisite for an event, which makes collecting new characters much easier. However, that takes out all the fun in anticipating a surprise, compared to when you do a Draw 10 for a banner. When warping, you get the chance to obtain either a Light Cone or a character, both of which occur on different rarities: 3-stars, 4-stars, and 5-stars for Light Cones; 4-stars and 5-stars for characters.

  If you do not understand what a Light Cone is, just think of it like a card that enhances a character’s main stats. When equipped onto a character, the base statistics for HP, attack, and defense are increased, and if the character’s Path matches with the Light Cone, a passive ability for the character will be activated. Light Cones can be obtained from the standard banner or a character’s specialized Light Cone banner.

  The voice acting in the game is also very unique and interesting, as it fits with the character designs and each character’s own personality. I love the fact that both playable and unplayable characters have their own voice actors, which means that I can interact with as many characters as I like. However these voice lines are not limited to English only. Depending on the language you choose to play in, the voiceovers will automatically be set to that same language. But you can also choose to change the language from the settings in case you do not enjoy the voice acting as much as another one.

  Although it has only been about 8 months since the game’s release, it is rather shocking to know that Honkai: Star Rail has managed to win the iPhone Game of the Year category for this year’s App Store Rewards. This comes to prove just how captivating the game itself is: with beautiful scenery in the worlds visited, complex characters that can be upgraded to their highest potential, Light Cones with exquisite detail, and missions that keep the story going, it’s no wonder a player can get drawn into the game so fast.

  The game is currently on the 1.5 patch but will update to Version 1.6 on Dec. 27. Expect to see a new character banner for the first phase of the patch and two more new character banners for the second phase!

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