Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”

Honkai-Star-Rail-HSR-1-687x500 Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”

Developer HoYoverse might not ring any bells right away but if we told you about their parent company, that would raise some ears. Developer miHoYo creators of Honkai Impact 3rd and the very loved Genshin Impact—that took a lot of our hours and paychecks—created another subsidiary in the form of HoYoverse! That didn’t stop most Genshin Impact fans from watching their latest project from start to finish and we can’t blame them, unlike their fantasy-themed title this one was destined for space!

Honkai: Star Rail is HoYoverse’s creation and the minute we could pre-register for it, we slammed our little wings on the button! Finally, the time has come and our phones downloaded Honkai: Star Rail and we’ve played several hours of this newest Honkai title. Is it the next big Genshin Impact game or have HoYoverse traveled too far and now are heading for the sun? We find out in our first impression of Honkai: Star Rail!

With This Bat! I’ll Beat Evil!

Honkai-Star-Rail-HSR-1-687x500 Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”

Honkai: Star Rail stars an amnesiac dubbed the Trailblazer who is created to hold a power called the Stellaron. Found by two individuals, Trailblazer quickly learns they hold a powerful force within them that could alter the fate of the galaxy. With a desire to learn what’s happening and what power they have, the Trailblazer—your MC by the way—joins the Astral Express and goes on an adventure aboard the literal flying train.

We can’t deny, Honkai: Star Rail definitely is reminiscent of Honkai Impact 3rd for having a story that spews anime energy and is just as chaotic. Honestly, we’re happy there is a big lore section in Honkai: Star Rail as we needed to quickly learn what all these terms being thrown at us meant and why we should care. Maybe they did this on purpose to really immerse us in the world of amnesia having Trailblazer.

A Departure From the Action, A Stop at the Turn-Based Express

Honkai-Star-Rail-HSR-1-687x500 Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”

What might disappoint many of you lovers of Genshin Impact and its open-world gameplay similar to Zelda: Breath of the Wild is that Honkai: Star Rail is a turn-based JRPG. Gone is the co-op gameplay experience and the third-person combat is replaced with very traditional turn-based gameplay but with some cool touches nevertheless. When you battle, you have a party of 4—more on how you get those characters in a second—and must beat various baddies. You have three forms of attacks, a single focused attack, either an AOE—area of effect—attack or a defensive attack, and an ultimate attack.

Each turn you can use either of the two main attacks but the defense/AOE can’t be abused as you need to perform regular attacks to use them. As you battle, you’ll then be able to unleash an ultimate attack that differs per each character for some rather stylish visual flairs and they do a decent amount of damage or cause effects. Enemies though won’t go down easy as they have a main health bar and a defensive bar. If you do enough damage, their defense falls causing them to break and you can then do more damage and stun them briefly. Again, this isn’t gameplay we haven’t seen before in a turn-based title but it is fun and means battles usually take some focus, especially when bosses enter the ring.

When you aren’t in battle, you’ll be exploring various locals and talking with NPCs to perform quests and gain items. These items will help level your characters and can even boost their various abilities. Exploration feels like Genshin Impact but there is less freedom in terms of movement. Don’t expect to fly around or climb mountains…you’ll be running around a lot. There are plenty of areas to explore and Honkai: Star Rail rewards those who like to scour areas dry but we noticed that the lack of free movement worries us in the longevity of exploring areas in future updates.

Your Credit Cards Will Feel Pain

Honkai-Star-Rail-HSR-1-687x500 Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”

Did you like the wish system of Genshin Impact and spending an obscene amount of money and in-game currency to net characters…occasionally? If you say yes, which concerns you a bit, you’ll feel at home with Honkai: Star Rail. Called Warp, this is your primary way to obtain equipment for your characters and new party members. There is a kinder gacha system in play here as you’ll often get characters after every 50 Warps but we still see a worrying trend as we’ve only gotten one character so far from Warps and most were earned via story sequences. Still, for a free game, we fully understand the reliance on the gacha element and think it makes sense for the amount of content you’re getting.

Visually, Honkai: Star Rail Is Stunning

Honkai-Star-Rail-HSR-1-687x500 Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”

Honkai: Star Rail is absolutely breathtaking in that we often find ourselves shoving our phones in our faces just to see every little detail when we’re on the go. From the ultimate attacks to the character models and the various locations…Honkai: Star Rail is why we think mobile gaming can sometimes mirror the big consoles when done well. Obviously, don’t expect these visuals do not come at a cost. Playing on a Samsung Fold 3—not the newest one, sorry—our batteries didn’t last at full charge for more than three hours before we saw our status entering less than 30%. You can reduce the visuals and run the game on lesser settings for better performance but why would you?!

Final Thoughts

We are only several hours into Honkai: Star Rail and we are loving every second with this world! Yes, we do worry Honkai: Star Rail may not have the longevity of Genshin Impact but only time will tell as we know the developers love their fans and love to only push themselves further! If you loved Genshin Impact/Honkai Impact 3rd, then you’re going to no doubt want to try out Honkai: Star Rail!

Are any of you playing Honkai: Star Rail? Who are your favorite characters and what has been your best draw so far from a Warp? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to keep stuck to our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more gaming articles and all things anime/otaku!

Honkai-Star-Rail-HSR-1-687x500 Honkai: Star Rail Preview - “All Aboard the Space Train!”


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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