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Genshin Impact-like Wuthering Waves looks like it’s going to be the next must-play PC game

It launches later this May, and it's lined up to be the next big PC hit.

Wuthering Wave image where one character stands looking edgy in water, while a big monster leaps towards him with its claw out.
Image credit: Kuro Game Studio

Heads up folks, another massive PC release is almost here. No, it's not some out-of-nowhere FPS, or a gigantic narrative RPG. It's a game called Wuthering Waves, a Genshin Impact style open world action game. If you've got any hunger at all for fast-paced combat, sweeping planes filled with various creatures and critters, or slick sci-fi aesthetics, it's a game you should be keeping in mind.

We already previewed the game following GDC 2024 and came away excited for the eventual public release. It is looking to be a banger - save for the possibility of late game problems, launch technical issues, and other as-of-yet unforeseeable roadbumps. With over 30 million players pre-registered across all platforms, a tidal wave of interest will crash down upon it all at once. You'll see the usual gacha-focused crowd diving in obviously, but Wuthering Waves may even have potential to break out of that bubble.

The reason being is simple - it's the first real contender that's battling for Genshin Impact's spot. Great gacha games have come up since its rocket-powered release at the start of the COVID lockdowns, and they've all managed to cut out their own respectable audiences. Honkai Star Rail, Fate Grand Order, Nikke... But none have that same scope or the perhaps shameless, uh, let's call it "inspiration" from Breath of the Wild. Genshin Impact launched at the perfect time - it gave millions stuck inside a vast open world to explore and cool characters to gamble on. No game has been in a position to hit such a high since.

Wuthering Waves isn't launching at the sombre start of a global pandemic (I hope), but nonetheless it's positioned well. Genshin has been out for a while now, its problems laid bare alongside its many strengths. People are hungry for a new spin, a game with more bite, a different approach to similar problems. From the moment you see Wuthering Waves, the comparisons are inescapable, yet look a little further and you begin to see aspects that come across as clear improvements. Some, subjective and down to taste like the combat, or the echo system. Others, purely objective. Wuthering Waves has a kinder pity system in regard to the gacha itself. A bone thrown to all players - both the casual non-spenders and the biggest, whitest whales on the seven seas.

This, ultimately, brings competition. Competition leads to improvement, and encourages developers to win players over. It's good ol' fashion Market Capitalism folks, and while I'm by no means the Monopoly Man and have felt the burn of the market here and there, it does have its perks. This is one of them. If Wuthering Waves offers a good competitor with better gacha odds, then there is a real incentive for HoYoVerse to follow suit. Even if you're a gacha player and look at Wuthering Waves with genuine disinterest, its success is to your benefit.

Wuthering Waves character with guns
It helps that some of these designs are killer, by the way. | Image credit: Kuro Games

It's also worth noting that, well, Genshin is old now. Not Warframe old, or World of Warcraft old, but y'know, it has been around the block a bit. This is great for Genshin players mind you, as it has allowed them to envelop themselves in a whirling narrative that spans various continents and distinct biomes, meet all manner of unique characters and blow a few hundred dollars on them if they so choose. But, it also means that many will have fallen off. Not due to anything Genshin did wrong, just due to real life stuff. A returning player may boot it up and ponder the following, "Damn, I totally missed Deyha and she looks like the coolest character I've ever seen. I'd really like to play her for a bit," only to find out her banner was in March 2023 and shows no sign of showing up again. Such is life with this sort of game.

Wuthering Waves offers a similar game style and a fresh start. It's got the gacha community keen on its launch, and absolutely has merit even if you're not familiar with the genre. If you're opposed to the gacha style monetisation then you're still out of luck - it is yet another shiny slot machine in the casino. But if you can move past that, or are okay with rolling a bit, Wuthering Waves has what it takes to roll over the PC gaming industry later this month.

Wuthering Waves launches on May 22 on the Epic Game Store, as well as its own client, and mobile. Will you be checking it out? Let us know below.

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