Honkai: Star Rail is an upcoming mobile RPG set in the Honkai universe, and follows 2016’s Honkai Impact 3rd. The latest release from Genshin Impact developer HoYoverse (formerly miHoYo), this new mobile experience looks to build on the massive success of Genshin Impact, providing players with turn-based gameplay and the high quality that the studio is known for. Here is everything we know so far.
What is Honkai: Star Rail?
Honkai: Star Rail is the latest entry in the Honkai series, with HoYoverse positioning the game as a standalone story, though some characters are returning from previous game Honkai Impact 3rd. New characters will also appear, making the title appeal to newcomers, as well as established Honkai fans.
Players can expect HoYoverse’s brand of exploration present in the game, with a blend of fantasy and sci-fi. The official website for the game also talks of strategic turn-based combat, and a focus on high quality audio and visual fidelity.
What’s the Story?
Story details are currently vague, but we do know that Honkai: Star Rail focuses on the protagonist’s journey of discovery aboard the Astral Express. Players will be in pursuit of Aeons; mysterious beings that preside over the galaxy, able to travel between infinite worlds.
The protagonist, known as The Trailblazer, will travel through some of these worlds throughout the game. Jarilo-VI is a barren ice planet with its last city, Belobog, being one location able to be visited in-game. The player will also interact with the Herta Space Station, a starship full of researchers dedicated to solving the mysteries of the galaxy.
The protagonist will be joined on the Astral Express by a crew of companions, with the player encountering new characters as they progress through the game. These companions are also on a mission to follow the Aeons, attempting to explore the universe. Everyone's working to stop conflicts caused by the villainous Destruction, an entity that casts seeds of ruin known as "Stellarons" across the galaxy.
A story trailer revealed at Gamescom 2022, entitled "Nightmare," depicts a character from the game, Dan Heng, experiencing a strange vision while onboard the Astral Express. While the trailer doesn't reveal too much of what players can expect from the story, we do get a glimpse of two characters, Jing Yuan and Blade. It is clear that Dan Heng is in danger, with the antagonistic Blade appearing to tell him that he is a target.
Who are the characters?
There are quite a few characters found in the game that have been announced so far, found in multiple locations. Four of The Astral Express crew have been announced, with the spear-wielding guard Dan Heng, and the experienced former Anti-Entropy Sovereign Welt, being two of them. Himeko is an adventurous scientist, while a girl named March 7th is particularly notable.
There are many characters that can be found in Belobog, including a salesman by the name of Sampo, and Natasha, a doctor. Arlan, Asta, and Herta man the Herta Space Station, while characters Silver Wolf and Kafka form a separate group called the Stellaron Hunters. Character bios can be found on the official website.
A new Gamescom 2022 trailer has revealed two characters that players will encounter in the game. Blade appears to be an antagonistic figure in the story of Honkai: Star Rail, while the white haired Jing Yuan also makes a brief appearance.
What’s the gameplay like?
In Honkai: Star Rail, players can expect turn-based gameplay (a first for a HoYoverse title) with a similar general style to Genshin Impact. Gameplay footage has shown that up to four characters can be used in battle, with each possessing a powerful special attack. Classes also appear to be a part of the game, with certain types of characters and their attacks having advantages and disadvantages against certain enemies.
Aside from combat, the game looks to have a focus on exploration, with a large number of cutscenes breaking up play, and fleshing out the story. There will also be dungeons to explore, with the official website stating the inclusion of mazes to tackle with your team of characters.
When’s the closed beta?
Honkai: Star Rail has already had its first closed beta, with the second beta closing its sign-up period in May 2022. We’ll update this if a third beta is announced.
We recently experienced the beta for ourselves, describing it as a game that "Genshin Impact players should feel right at home with."
Is it free-to-play?
As with previous HoYoverse games, Honkai: Star Rail is a free-to-play title that will have in-game purchases. Like Genshin Impact, the game will implement these purchases in the form of a gacha model, with the acquiring of characters and abilities tied to this system.
Release date and platforms
The release date is currently unknown, but considering the game is in its second closed beta, a 2023 release seems likely.
Honkai: Star Rail is planned to release on Android, iOS, and PC. Console support could be a possibility in the future, however, especially considering the success that Genshin Impact has experienced on these platforms.
Honkai: Star Rail
Honkai: Star Rail looks to follow the success of Genshin Impact with promising turn-based combat and a varied cast of characters.
Play From: hsr.hoyoverse.com (opens in new tab)
Turn-based RPG goodness
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Honkai fans look to be well-catered for with the upcoming release of Honkai: Star Rail, as do those that enjoy a mobile RPG. It’s also likely that many newcomers will check out the game when it releases, with HoYoverse gaining legions of new fans through the massive success of their previous game, Genshin Impact. Gameplay footage so far looks solid, with some well-designed turn-based combat, and a slew of interesting characters to interact with.
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