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Wuthering Waves Beta Test Review: Can It Truly Be The Genshin Killer? (1)

By Cecil Gao
Apr. 27, 2023 updated 05:30

When the open-world Action RPG Wuthering Waves was first announced, many players quickly saw it as the strongest competitor to Genshin Impact thus far. Not without reason - the developer behind Wuthering Waves, Kuro Games, is an expert in the anime-style action game genre and has years of experience from their previous title, Punishing: Gray Raven. So when Kuro Games announced the first beta test would be on April 20th, a wave of excitement swept through the gaming community. The so-called "Genshin Killer" has finally arrived - but how does it fare? Will it be able to compete with the current king of the genre, or even surpass it?

After playing through all the main story chapters and experiencing most of the playable characters, my biggest impression of Wuthering Waves is that it's simply exhilarating. Imagine playing a Devil May Cry-style anime action RPG, equipping power gauntlets to unleash combos and skills to send monsters flying, continuing the aerial combo, countering the enemy's attack with a well-timed strike causing a stun, then finishing them off with a heavy hit to the ground.

This is just a taste of the thrilling combat you can expect from Wuthering Waves. Kuro Games' combat system is the driving force that propels the rest of the game forward, and every exploration and story segment is designed to lead up to more exciting battles.

The available weapons in Wuthering Waves include not only powerful gauntlets but also nimble one-handed swords, hefty claymores, and long-range pistols that can turn the tide of battle. Even if two characters use the same weapon type, their attack animations are distinctly different, with unique ability effects and core gameplay mechanics that are thoughtfully designed. Each character can be played like a fully-realized action game protagonist in their own right.

Similar to Genshin Impact, in Wuthering Waves, characters possess unique elemental attributes. Players can stack elemental energy by attacking, and then trigger an elemental fusion bonus between two characters. During the elemental fusion bonus, both the currently active character and the character in the party can gain damage bonuses and other buffs. Abilities are the core of damage output, designed specifically for each character, so proper elemental fusion can dramatically increase damage output and greatly enhance combat efficiency and fluidity.

As for the combat experience, the enemy design in Wuthering Waves is also outstanding. In this test, there are five bosses and over twenty different enemies available for players to challenge. The bosses are no different from those in hardcore action games in terms of artistic and combat design. You can enjoy intense and challenging battles while being impressed by the bosses' cool appearance and fighting style.

Some bosses include a second phase, which changes their initial attack patterns and frequently switches up their moves. Players have great flexibility in their choices during combat, whether it's evading attacks or performing aggressive counterattacks for greater rewards.

As for the ordinary enemies, Wuthering Waves also provides a solution to reduce the repetitive nature of open-world enemies. Enemies are scattered in different areas of the game based on their appearance, race, and living habits. For example, mischievous monkeys will frequently appear in the forests, while giant lizards that spit fire will appear in the Flameflower region.

Every time players encounter a new enemy; they can absorb the enemy’s "resonance elements" into a special device by defeating them. Players can then summon them to assist in future battles. Players can also train them, improve their rarity, and enhance their attack power. The summoned creatures not only attack automatically, but some can also be directly controlled by players for more complex actions such as defense, counterattacks, or releasing long-range abilities. This Pokémon-like gameplay greatly enhances the fun factor for players exploring the world of Wuthering Waves.

The combat system is just the tip of the iceberg. In the second half of our review, we'll explore the game's open world, quests and dive into the game's storyline. Stay tuned!