The Clash of Lone Blades event featured in Genshin Impact’s new Irodori festival could almost pass for a Sekiro fan game.
Developer Hoyoverse recently shared (opens in new tab) a more detailed write-up on the rules of Clash of Lone Blades after first teasing it during the reveal stream for update 2.6. This event forces you to play as the Traveler and disables their elemental skill and burst, replacing them with a parry stance which is central to one-on-one duels against different sword masters.
Stop us if this sounds familiar. Holding your parry stance reduces incoming damage, and parrying right as an enemy attack lands will perform a perfect parry which gives you a stack of Valor. You can get up to three stacks of Valor, with each stack buffing the damage of your next attack while guaranteeing a critical hit. Enemy sword masters can also perform stronger “honed techniques” signaled by a brief flash of light, and perfect parrying one of these special moves will instantly grant you max Valor stacks and launch a powerful counterattack.
In other words, parrying lets you access devastating critical hits, and special moves hone the risk-reward balance even further with unique animations and counters. FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is far from the only game with mechanics like this – you could reasonably argue that it also smacks of Ghost of Tsushima’s cinematic duels – but it’s hard not to see it as a modern touchstone for this kind of combat.
Genshin Impact has a history of integrating ideas, mechanics, and even entire other genres into wild events. Just last patch, it gave players a Mario Maker-style toolbox which they immediately used to recreate Squid Game challenges. Clash of Lone Blades is a cool evolution of the parry mechanics established with Genshin characters like Beidou and Yun Jin, and it’s also one of the few events that gives the Traveler some well-deserved limelight, making it another solid contender in Genshin’s unofficial “please make this event a permanent thing” vote.
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