In this article:
- Get a first impressions review of Tower of Fantasy, a recently released open-world MMORPG, with relatively minimal spoilers for only the opening scene of the game.
- Learn what makes Tower of Fantasy good including how it compares to Genshin Impact, the gacha it’s often been compared to.
- Get an idea of what to expect with Tower of Fantasy. Including its flaws.
Tower of Fantasy is a recently released open-world action RPG with MMO elements. Or, if you wanna be really crude about it, that one game that looks like Genshin Impact with guns. Much like the release of Genshin Impact — which was relentlessly compared to Breath of the Wild — Tower of Fantasy‘s release has been packed with comparisons between it and the older mobile gacha darling.
Just like Genshin, though, Tower of Fantasy is more than a clone. In fact, the game does a few things better than Genshin Impact, letting it stand on its own feet despite the clear inspirations it drew from Genshin.
What Is Tower of Fantasy?
Tower of Fantasy is an open-world MMORPG that plops your character into a server/world shared with other users. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not a game from Hoyoverse/MiHoyo but from Hotta Studio, a China-based developer. But the game’s visual similarities to Genshin Impact helped it gain traction as one of the most anticipated games of 2022.
Unlike Genshin, which lets you keep your world to yourself, you have to share your world with other Wanderers.
Speaking of Wanderers, that’s what the game calls its players. When you start the game, you get to choose between a female Wanderer and a male Wanderer. They look alike, both having a white and green color palette, and are separated in the opening scene by a monster attacking them.
If you’ve seen Rooster Teeth’s RWBY, you’re going to notice some similarities between the monsters’ lore in this universe and the lore of monsters in the world of Remnant. To be clear, these comparisons aren’t to insinuate anything against Tower of Fantasy (we already saw how that panned out with Genshin) but are just there to give you an idea of what to expect.
Other than these, the introduction scene is completely original and gives players an idea of what to expect from cutscenes.
There are quick-time events in Tower of Fantasy and the game knows how to make them fun. You get a proper sense of urgency as you play through the opening scene without the frustration that typically comes with quick time events.
Oh, and your Wanderers are voiced.
Of course, you can’t win because of plot reasons, but the opening chase scene will give you enough of an adrenaline rush to want to keep playing.
You’ll see a mysterious character as your Wanderer is about to pass out. This person orders their minions to wipe your memory. After this, you wake up in a “sanctuary.” The characters you meet will remark that you must be quite tough because you were able to survive in the “outside world.”
A quick stroll of the first base will introduce you to a lot of worldbuilding elements in Tower of Fantasy, giving you an idea of the world’s lore.
One of the things that caught my eye was this massive monument, clearly to dead characters, located a few meters away from where you first meet Zeke and Shirli. It makes you wonder right away who these people are and how they died.
Another thing you’ll notice as you walk around is how different NPCs look from each other. Body types and skin colors are very varied in Tower of Fantasy which goes a long way to making the game look more occupied.
That said, you might be wondering why my player character looks different from the advertised Wanderer which brings us to the next part.
Tower of Fantasy’s Character Creation Screen Lets You Play the Sims 4 With Genshin Aesthetics
Sims 4 players, back me up here. We know that The Sims 4, for all its flaws, has one of the most detailed and customizable character creation screens in gaming and Tower of Fantasy uses the exact same system. Heck, there’s even a color wheel, multiple skin color options, and a height adjuster. Genshin and the Sims have been gagged.
Tower of Fantasy‘s presets menu lets you create a customized player character with different outfits, outfit colors, accessories, genetic features, and hairstyles to choose from.
You even get a whole wheel for adjusting your character’s facial features so you can make your Tower of Fantasy look like yourself or literally any character from your favorite fictional franchise.
ToF players have already made popular presets based on Genshin characters and Hatsune Miku.
That said, you might want to take as much time as you can in the character creation screen. I’m not too certain about this one, but it seems there’s no easy way to change your Wanderer’s appearance after you set it for the first time.
That, or the interactable object for character customization is bugging. ToF‘s developers did admit that the game was going to be a bit buggy due to time constraints.
Tower of Fantasy Only Looks Like Genshin Impact, but It Has Its Own Unique Features
Let’s start with the most important one: You can pet the dogs in Tower of Fantasy. It’s relatively minor, but come on, look at that good boy. With that many cute baby floofs running around the game, you’re gonna want to pet them. Genshin Impact hasn’t given us that, so that’s one thing Tower of Fantasy already does better than its major competitor.
Okay, jokes aside, Tower of Fantasy has a much faster, more fluid combat system. Fighting in this game feels incredibly smooth, allowing you to relive your playground fantasies of being a monster-killing badass.
There are dedicated dodge commands and attack commands that you can use to skirt around higher-level enemies and land hits when an opportunity presents itself. And the starter sword? Absolutely cool. It’s giving Musou no Hitotachi realness and the burnt-out Genshin player in me is living for it.
Another thing to write home about regarding Tower of Fantasy is the plunge attack mechanic. Unlike Genshin, where you better have a Xiao or Kazuha to make proper use of plunge attacks, your characters can double jump and plunge attack as they fall to deal more damage against enemies.
You also start out with a more or less sufficient stamina bar so it never feels like the game is actively holding you back.
Speaking of the stamina bar, your stamina can be regenerated by quickly eating a snack displayed near your stamina bar while you’re swimming or climbing. Instead of dropping, dying, and starting from the nearest save point/fast travel point, your character just loses health when they run out of stamina.
Overall, it’s super convenient to explore and fight in Tower of Fantasy. The accessibility of food boosts without having to open a separate menu is just an added cherry on top of the perfection sundae.
Tower of Fantasy Has Problems, Namely the Queue
Look, no game is perfect. If you’ve played video games for a long time, you likely know better than to expect an asbolutely flawless release from a live service game.
Tower of Fantasy is no different.
Many of the servers are full and will take an eternity to queue up for. Just have a look at the screenshot above of the queue status for the Asia-Pacific Sushi server. It’s the same story for the North American and European servers. The only relatively free servers were in Southeast Asia.
Eternal queues aside, there are just so many good and promising things about this game that have definitely cemented it as one of 2022’s top games to keep up with in the coming months.
Or years. We’ll see.
If you choose to play Tower of Fantasy, you might also want to keep an eye on yourself and how much you get invested. Just like Genshin Impact, Tower of Fantasy is a gacha game.
Do you want to read more Tower of Fantasy content from us? Let us know in the comments and what you’d be interested in reading about.