Earlier this year, Genshin Impact from Chinese developer miHoYo started making waves among players for its serious similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game was on display at Sony’s booth during the ChinaJoy gaming convention, and the cross-promotion with Sony was a step too far for many Zelda fans.
At the convention, one man pulled a PlayStation 4 from a backpack and smashed it on the ground in protest the Genshin Impact promotion, and Daniel Ahmad posted photos of the display on Twitter. Other protests were a bit less spectacular, but similar in sentiment, including a whole lot of middle fingers raised at the game’s display.
In trailers, Genshin Impact’s Zelda influences look more like inspirations than outright plagiarism, but there are plenty of oddly specific similarities to Breath of the Wild, from the visual look and world design to the giant robot enemies that shoot lasers – even the music draws from the same sparse, piano-driven cues, as Twitter user Vivian.Ysy notes (via Kotaku).
When Genshin Impact first started gaining notoriety a few months ago, some Chinese developers joined fans in criticising its similarities to Zelda, arguing that the Chinese game industry needs to build its own, true originals.
You can see a whole bunch of gameplay footage above.
Genshin Impact will, at a minimum, bring Breath of the Wild-style action to a whole bunch of non-Nintendo platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, and mobile. Currently in beta testing, it is scheduled for worldwide release.