Honkai: Star Rail – Informative Review


Honkai: Star Rail Official Art

Kevin Han

On April 26th, 2023, Honkai: Star Rail was released on Windows and mobile devices by miHoYo, also known as Hoyoverse, a Chinese game development company. The game was teased in October of 2021 at the end of the Starfire Sonorant, Honkai Impact 3rd’s online concert, then later on the game’s official YouTube channel. Honkai: Star Rail currently has a 4.5 star rating and is the #1 in the Role Playing game  dcategory in the App Store.

Honkai: Star Rail is a free-to-play gacha RPG with a turn-based combat system. The game draws on characters from Honkai Impact 3rd and controls/gameplay elements from Genshin Impact, both of which are games also created by Hoyoverse, to create a stunning game where the visuals and animation perfectly intertwine with each other. 

The main story of the game follows the Trailblazer, who travels from planet to planet on the Astral Express, a train-like spaceship, along with many other side characters. Honkai: Star Rail delves deep into each character’s backstory, no matter if they are a minor character in the plot or one of the key characters that the story revolves around. 

When players first start the game, they are placed in a space station being blown up, where they get to choose the Trailblazer’s appearance. Players experience the combat system mere minutes into the game, where they can then move on to explore the world around them. Although the combat in Star Rail is a turn based system, most of the gameplay is similar to Genshin Impact. Players can move their character around the different planets and spaceships, although they are still limited by the fact that this game isn’t an Open World RPG. However, the worlds that players can navigate through are hidden with funny remarks that “reference pop culture or RPG cliches,” as stated by IGN (Imaginary Games Network). 

As a former Genshin Impact player, I found Honkai: Star Rail very easy to get accustomed to. The gacha system is nearly identical, and the controls are very similar. The characters are unique with their own personality with great design. Honkai: Star Rail is visually appealing, as the game visuals look very similar to Genshin Impact, just with a different setting and characters. The inspection comments that pop up when you inspect an object add a hint of humor into the game. I thought that the fact that the main character (the Trailblazer) was narrarating as opposed to Paimon from Genshin Impact was a great change. It allows players to interact with the story more through dialogue options. I also found the fact that the currency for summoning new characters and light cones very easy to get used to because both the summoning and summoning shop use the same amount of Stellar Jade (Primogems in Genshin Impact). Overall, I enjoyed that Hoyoverse made another RPG that I can delve myself into, as it has an interesting story and fun gameplay.