The latest event in Genshin Impact includes a series of activities to celebrate the Lantern Rite Festival which happens to coincide with the Chinese New Year celebrations in the real world.
There’s plenty of cute little quests in which you help the residents of Liyue harbour build lanterns and otherwise help with the festivities. But the main addition is the new tower defence game, Theatre Mechanicus, and it kicks ass.
Participating in Theatre Mechanicus sees players transported to a domain type environment. Purple portals represent where enemies will spawn while blue portals usually on the other side of the arena are their goal. Your job, like in most tower defence games is to stop them reaching it.
But it’s not as simple as your typical Genshin Impact combat. Instead, to damage the enemies at all you’ll need to construct towers. These can only be placed in predesignated positions and will have specific elemental affects depending on what you choose to build.
How you place these towers actually can have a fair amount of strategy. I like to put water and ice towers near each other, so they freeze enemies in place giving them more time to take damage. Fire towers, on the other hand, have a lot of range so I tend to use them in more remote positions while wind based towers are best near an edge so they can knock some enemies off.
Defeating enemies and clearing levels awards you points, which can be used to permanently upgrade the strength and type of towers you can put down. These upgrades are very noticeable and feel like good powerful rewards for your effort. Creaming through earlier levels with overpowered towers is very fun.
But it’s not just cheesing levels with your OP artillery that makes Theatre Mechanicus so great. It’s cheesing levels with everything.
Some of the characters abilities are just wonderfully broken in this scenario. The Geo variant of the standard traveller character, which everyone has access to, can put down barriers which significantly slow the moving horde. Others have abilities which can knock enemies straight off the map.
You can play through the levels as duos too. Joining a friend’s game and using your own already levelled towers to help them while you both cause havoc with your characters is a good time.
This tower defence mode was already pretty interesting when I first started. Levelling the towers felt satisfying and learning the mechanics was a nice taste of something new. Even when it was somewhat challenging I was really enjoying Theatre Mechanicus.
However, it’s when it’s not challenging at all that this new game mode gets hilariously good. It’s still so satisfying just messing with the onslaught of enemies, especially with a friend to back you up. Plus the ending rewards feature a tonne of sorely needed level up items.
Theatre Mechanicus has been one of my favourite new additions to Genshin Impact yet. I sincerely hope they keep it around, or at least bring it back for future events so I can continue cheesing it in new and fun ways for as long as possible.