Genshin Impact Official Art Book Vol. 1 Review - A robust book that fails to justify itself
Few games need to justify their art style less than Genshin Impact.
The miHoYo giant made a name for itself by adopting its anime-themed art style with gusto, and even with its infectious gameplay aside, players fell head over heels for it. It's an acquired taste for some, but for others, there's nothing more stunning across mobile, console, and PC than Genshin Impact, from Monstadt to Mawtiyima Forest.
It's for this reason that a Genshin Impact art book makes perfect sense, giving players the chance to reflect on the art that came together to make the iconic title - but those expecting more about the game's origins may be left a little disappointed.
A book with no insight and an unceremonious end, Genshin Impact's Official Art Book Vol. 1 fails to establish any draw at all. The book itself is put together with love, but its contents don't offer anything to long-term or new fans at all. A lack of editor's notes, concept art, and any actual insight makes the book feel, frankly, pointless. There's no doubt that the art on show here is truly beautiful, but as none of it is new or even compelling on reflection, it fails to justify its lofty price of entry.
Genshin Impact's first art book is a hefty tome
At first glance, there's little to be done to deny that the first volume of Genshin Impact art book is put together with love. The packaging helps to make sense of the admittedly hefty retail price of the collection - the cardboard sleeve of the book fits the book so snugly that to remove the book itself is a fight, and the quality of the paper is as high as the art of Genshin Impact deserves.
Along with this, the first chapter of the book which features every main character we've met over the life of Genshin Impact is compelling evidence of just how massive the game itself is - it feels like a true celebration of the additions that have made Genshin Impact feel so sprawling and varied, and the high-quality key art for these fighters helps to support claims that there's something in Genshin Impact for everyone.
The tangibility of the book and the recounting of characters is perhaps the biggest draw of the game that lacks any highlights away from the digital realm, and it certainly delivers on that front - but that's perhaps the only thing about it that makes it feel valuable to fans.
Art book's beauty is skin deep
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the first instance of Genshin Impact's art books is how inessential it feels for players.
The art book, typically, offers something that players have never seen before, namely concept art, insights from developers into the creation of characters and locations, and a peek behind the curtain that illuminates what makes the game so special. Genshin Impact's first attempt doesn't do any of this, rather opting to show off pieces of art that have already been revealed to players via social media posts and in-game events, with many pages showing only a single piece of art with a line of text that tells you when the reader already saw it.
There is little here that dedicated fans haven't seen before, and no real explanation of how the now iconic art style was shaped throughout development.
Even the most adoring fans of Genshin Impact will only find twenty minutes of enjoyment from the book before it's relegated to a reader-less fate on the coffee table, and for a £30 price tag in the UK, not even super-fans could justifiably pick it up. It's a fun trip down memory lane while it lasts, but it doesn't last long at all.
A book with no extra insight and an unceremonious end, Genshin Impact's Official Art Book Vol. 1 fails to establish any draw at all outside of nostalgia for our journey through the game.
The book itself is assembled with love, but its contents don't offer anything to long-term or new fans at all. A lack of editor's notes, concept art, and any actual insight makes the book feel more than a little hollow.
It's a treat to have on the coffee table for super-fans providing they bought it to live on the coffee table in the first place. Peeling open the pages the first time is charming, but its experience doesn't lend itself to repeat visits.
Review copy provided by the publisher. GGRecon uses affiliate links, if you purchase any products from our links we may earn a commission.