Honkai Impact 3rd
Honkai Impact 3rd is a gacha, free-to-play 3D action role-playing mobile game developed by miHoYo. It is the third entry in the Honkai series and spiritual successor to Honkai Gakuen, using many characters from the previous title in a separate story. The game is notable for incorporating a variety of genres from hack and slash and social simulation to elements of bullet hell, platforming, shoot 'em up and dungeon crawling across multiple single and multiplayer modes.
In addition to the mobile game, the storyline of Honkai Impact 3rd spans multiple supplementary media including an anime series, multiple manhua series, and promotional videos.
GameplayHonkai Impact 3rd has players control a team of up to three characters, known as "Valkyries", in real-time combat against various enemies. During battle, players may freely move their character around the battlefield and switch between their three deployed Valkyries to adapt to various enemy types. Each Valkyrie has unique attack, evasion, switch, and ultimate skills, as well as a rock-paper-scissors-based character type to fulfill different team roles. Valkyrie stats and skills can be customized with various weapons and equipment, which can be improved by using in-game resources. New equipment, weapons, and Valkyries can obtained either through in-game crafting or through a gacha system.
Single-player game modes include the "Story" campaign, consisting of short stages punctuated by dialogue in cutscenes and full motion videos, "Chronicles", a series of brief side stories that explore Valkyries' backstories, and "Open World", allowing exploration of a large open-ended field to gather materials and complete various challenge tasks, coupled with its own storyline. The game features various multiplayer cooperative and competitive modes such as "Co-Op Raid", where players team up to unlock legendary weapons; "Memorial Arena", where players compete against a set of bosses for the highest score; and "Dirac Sea", where players attempt to progress as far as possible through a gauntlet of battles to compete for high scores. Players are able to join groups of other players, called "Armadas", which allow for more opportunities for events and rewards. Armadas allow for limited requesting of materials and resources from other players in the Armada.
Outside of battles, Honkai Impact 3rd allows players to interact with the Valkyrie and Stigmata characters through the "Dorm" mode. Upon completing character specific tasks, different characters may be able to move into the dorms, whereupon new character information and dialogues between those characters can be seen. Players can craft various pieces of furniture and design the layout of the dorm rooms to increase the "comfort" of the Valkyries and Stigmata therein. Greater comfort levels allow players to level up their dorm limits for more elaborate decoration. Players are able to visit and view each other's decorated dorm layouts.
Secondary gameplay mechanics include various minigames incorporating bullet hell, platforming, and shoot 'em up elements that allow players to gather various crafting and experience materials. Limited-time seasonal events may also include gameplay styles such as dungeon crawling and battle royale which are not normally seen in the main gameplay modes.
WeaponsEach Valkyrie can equip one type of weapon. The weapon types in the game include artillery, gun, sword, sickle, Samurai sword, cross, etc. Players can obtain weapons through shop purchases, collection of weapon fragments, the gacha, part of daily activity, and other ways. After players obtain weapons, they can upgrade and upgrade the weapons to improve their attribute effect.
StigmataEach Valkyrie can wear three Stigmata. Players can increase their characters' attack, health, defense, critical chance, and other attribute effects while those characters wear various Stigmata.
The Stigmata system can be divided into three types: upper, middle and lower, which correspond to the attributes of attack, defense, and auxiliary. Players can also activate a hidden suit effect when wearing two or three Stigmata of the same suit. Players can obtain Stigmata through the gacha and game stage completions. After players obtain Stigmata, they can strengthen, upgrade, cultivate and other operations to improve the Stigmata
Item EnhancementPlayers can enhance Valkyrie stats by "enhancing" weapons and Stigmata. Stigmata level up requires a different exp item type than weapons. Upon "enhancement", the equipment can get a better attribute effect bonus.
Item UpgradingPlayers can improve the attribute effect of equipment by upgrading weapons and Stigmata. All weapons or Stigmata can upgrade the star level through "upgrade"-ing. After upgrading, maximum level limit increases, allowing better effects from the weapon. More advanced weapons and Stigmata require more advanced upgrade materials. Players can obtain upgrade materials by challenging all kinds of scenario copies, extracting from supplies, purchasing in stores, etc.
CurrencyThe main currency is crystals, which has various non-premium obtaining methods.
SettingHonkai Impact 3rd is set in an alternate version of Earth, plagued by catastrophes resulting from "Honkai". Honkai is largely viewed as a malevolent force with a will of its own, able to corrupt humans into undead creatures, manifest itself in the form of various monsters, and select various individuals known as "Herrschers" to imbue with god-like powers able to trigger apocalyptic events. The Honkai is a cyclic phenomenon, returning to end civilization on Earth each time it gets too advanced - the Previous Era ended 50,000 years prior to the game's start, after the 14th Herrscher defeated humanity.
In the present day, various global factions exist to combat or take advantage of the power of Honkai. These include "Schicksal", a European-based peace keeping organization that deploys human warriors known as Valkyries to combat the Honkai; "Anti-Entropy", formerly the North American branch of Schicksal that objected to the use of human soldiers in favor of mechanized robots; and "World Serpent", a shadow organization manipulating events since the end of the Previous Era.
Prior to the story's start, three Herrscher awakenings have occurred in the Current Era: the Herrscher of Reason who became the leader of Anti-Entropy instead of fighting humanity, the Herrscher of the Void who was sealed away by Schicksal under mysterious circumstances, and the Herrscher of Lightning who was prevented from fully awakening and sent to train her powers as a Valkyrie at Schicksal's St.Freya school.
StoryThe storyline of Honkai Impact 3rd spans multiple supplementary media including an anime series, multiple manhua series, and promotional videos.
The game's story starts with three Valkyries-in-training boarding the Selene, a hostile flying battleship. The three take control of the battleship, then subdue Bronya when she is abruptly controlled malevolently. Following the successful mission, the girls take a graduation exam, during which a mysterious voice contacts Kiana and informs her of her lost parents, Siegfried Kaslana and Cecilia Schariac.
The Valkyries then dispatch to Schicksal's Oceania Branch to recover the Gem of Desire following a local Honkai Eruption that decimated the area. The trio discovers Wendy, who was implanted with the Gem of Desire, and learn that Wendy triggered the Honkai Eruption due to a hatred of Schicksal, which had crippled Wendy. Bronya is controlled again and attacks, causing Wendy to transform into a Herrscher. Although Mei and Kiana are able to subdue both girls, Anti-Entropy forces appear and Bronya kidnaps Wendy and Mei. The Valkyries subsequently track Anti-Entropy to the hijacked ME Corp with Bronya's assistance. There, Bronya destroys the biochip in her brain to free herself from Cocolia's control and enable the Valkyries to escape, but leaving Wendy behind.
Searching for a way to revive Bronya, Theresa Apocalypse creates a virtual datascape to find data on the biochip. Kiana is transported to a recreation of Siberia during the year 2000 in the midst of the 2nd Honkai War. Kiana meets virtual recreations of her parents, Siegfried and Cecilia, and while Siegfried is badly injured, Kiana and Cecilia team up and successfully defeat a recreation of 2nd Herrscher, Sirin. Upon Sirin's defeat, it is revealed that the events that Kiana experienced were a hallucination created from Kiana's desires by Sirin. Fu Hua captures Kiana and takes her to Schicksal HQ.
Theresa, Mei, and Himeko ally with Anti-Entropy forces and storm Schicksal HQ to save Kiana, breaching its defenses with the Selene and the Hyperion. While the Valkyries are successful in infiltrating Schicksal HQ, Rita Rossweisse and Fu Hua captures Himeko and Tesla. Otto Apocalypse successfully reawakens Sirin using Kiana's body as a host. Sirin dispatches Mei, Theresa, and the Anti-Entropy forces and engages Fu Hua in combat, stealing the 3rd Herrscher's power in the process. Himeko and Tesla, with Fu Hua's help, obtain a vial of anti-Honkai serum and a prototype battlesuit imbued with the Herrscher of Flames' power. Himeko dons the battlesuit and engages Sirin, fighting her to a standstill. Einstein uses the Selene
Four months after Sirin's attack, Mei, Theresa, and Bronya attempt to meet with an intel dealer named Gray Serpent in Arc City who claims to have seen the Herrscher of the Void, unaware that Otto Apocalypse had dispatched Rita to obtain his information as well. Rita seems to kill Gray Serpent and steals his cybernetic implants, leading the Valkyries to capture a cyborg girl called the Ningyo. Before they can extract the Ningyo's information, Rita intercepts the Valkyries, steals the data, and formats the Ningyo's memory. While Einstein and Tesla attempt to retrieve the Ningyo's lost memories, the team is contacted by Cocolia, who convinces them to help find the Gem of Desire. Gray Serpent, seeking payment for the Valkyrie's theft of the Ningyo, hacks into the Selene. When Bronya follows Gray Serpent into virtual space, he traps Bronya in a data labyrinth formed from her memories to deter her. Bronya is able to escape, though she witnesses a record of the 1st Herrscher, Welt Young, and Einstein battling the World Serpent, who is sealed within the Sea of Quanta.
Bronya, Theresa, and Einstein travel to The Deep, where Bronya is reunited with Cocolia and childhood friends Rosalia and Liliya. Cocolia informs the trio that the Gem of Desire was lost in the Sea of Quanta, and must be retrieved. While Einstein prepares to enter the Eye of the Deep, a portal leading to the Sea of Quanta, Bronya attempts to reconcile with Cocolia. When Einstein discovers Cocolia scheming with Gray Serpent, Gray Serpent attacks Einstein and she vanishes. A swarm of Honkai emerges from the Eye of the Deep and attacks, leading Bronya to dive into the Sea of Quanta alone. In the Sea, Bronya is greeted by Joachim, a fragment of Welt Young. Joachim sends Bronya to multiple pocket universes as a test, during which Bronya is reunited with Seele Vollerei. In efforts to guide Seele out of the quanta, they resolve to escape together.
After clearing some honkai beasts and being separated, Seele and Bronya reunite and try to escape the labyrinth. The two girls reach the edge of the Quanta but are caught by tentacles. Bronya makes a sacrifice and cuts the tentacles binding Seele, succumbing to the tentacles herself. However, Seele dislikes her powerlessness and the Dark Seele finally agrees to lend her power to Seele, and they use their combined power to rescue Bronya.
Back to Kiana; after recapturing control of her body, she has been living in exile alone in the Arc City in order not to hurt others with the Herrscher personality. One night, she is fighting with Honkai beasts when Sirin seeks the opportunity to torment and brainwash Kiana, attempting to reawake the Herrscher. Fortunately, Fu Hua reaches Kiana's mind and drive Sirin away. Kiana holds hatred towards Fu Hua at first, but Fu Hua tells Kiana that their spirits are combined forever due to the power of Key of Deity, and that Kiana must learn to control the Herrscher power by herself. Under Fu Hua's training, Kiana finally succeeds, and returns to fighting against Honkai in Arc City.
DevelopmentThe production team for Honkai Impact 3rd grew from a 7-person start to employing over 200 employees in 2018. Mihoyo offers small amounts of in-game currency to users that fill out surveys about their experience in the game, allowing the game's developers to adjust future events and tweak the game. As a result, Honkai Impact 3rd is under a continuous-update system, patching bug fixes and changing or adding content multiple times per year. The game has had many significant changes since launch, including rewriting the entire first two chapters of the story in a December 2018 update. The developers stated that their decision to make Honkai Impact 3rd be in the free-to-play monetization system with the purpose of making the game more available to players. Devil May Cry and Bayonetta significantly affected the game makers' ideas for the fight system of Honkai Impact 3rd.
After a few years of users emulating Honkai Impact 3rd on computers and an update making emulation more difficult, the game's official PC version was developed, releasing to the public on December 26, 2019.
ManhuaHonkai Impact 3rd features an ongoing serialized manhua of the same name in Chinese and in English. The manhua begins before Chapter 1 of the main game story arc that aims to supplement and flesh out the in-game plot, and often includes character origins. Several in-game battlesuits worn by the Valkyries are illustrated in the manhua as well. The manhua has three prequel titles and one main title.
ReceptionThe game first attracted a large fanbase in Asia before spreading globally: first released in China in late 2016, it reached 1 million downloads in Japan 11 days after release, and IGN reported that Honkai Impact 3rd gathered a total of 35 million downloads worldwide as of March 28, 2018. The game has been released in Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe, and supports multiple languages including Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, French, German, and Indonesian.
Besides when it released and when the official PC version was created, little media focus has been on Honkai Impact 3rd. The continual updates and overhauls to Honkai Impact 3rd's events and mechanics make many of the reviews written inaccurate representations of the gameplay and quality of the game presently. Reviews say that the game has changed through ups and downs as it tweaked its system and tested in-game events to be ultimately more engaging and enjoyable. Similarly, many article guides exist for gameplay elements that no longer exist within the game, such as the base. The majority of recent articles concerning or mentioning Honkai Impact 3rd either announce its PC release, or mention it while featuring Genshin Impact, Mihoyo's upcoming release.
In an article from 2017, Ungeek.com says that the game has some later-game systems that are unintuitive, and cites the large download size for a mobile game as a negative. The review praised the game's visual quality and the ease of learning to play the game, as well as the overall quality of the game, and positively recommended it. The article mentioned that the quality of the game was comparable to console games.