When Genshin Impact launched in 2020, it became one of the most successful free-to-play titles of its kind. Tower of Fantasy, created by Hotta Studio, has its sights set on challenging Genshin Impact for the gacha throne; however, this sci-fi MMO is a little too derivative for its own good, and the few new ideas it introduces fail to make a compelling argument for why fans should spend the time and money on such an unpolished game.
Tower of Fantasy isn’t a new game; in fact, this title first launched in China late last year before finding its footing in the West just a few weeks ago. With games like Genshin Impact already approaching the two-year mark and players likely searching for a new shared world gacha game to sink their teeth into, Tower of Fantasy could not have come at a better time. On paper, Hotta Studio’s debut title looks like it should be everything miHoYo’s hit F2P game is and more–adding in mounts and featuring a distinct focus on MMO elements like PvP. However, in practice, none of its core components ever amount to anything exciting or worthwhile.
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Starting with the story, players take on the role of The Wanderer: an adventurer who finds themselves separated from their twin at the start of the game before ending up at a small colony on the planet Aida. Already the Genshin parallels start to creep up. Aida is in the stage of a post-apocalypse where humans were almost eradicated after their exploitation of the resource Omnium nearly devastated the planet. The surviving humans and factions on Aida fight over the use of Omnium, with some believing it is evil, while others find it a necessity for survival. The main character finds themselves in a friendship with siblings Zeke and Shirili before disaster strikes, and the player dives into the politics of Aida’s warring factions firsthand.
Tower of Fantasy’s premise is interesting and unique enough to turn…