The new Genshin Impact country, Fontaine dropped last week. Like many players, I am also exploring the land of water.  

With a new country, there comes the expected new mechanics, enemies, allies, and quests

This particular country, Fontaine, the nation of Hydro, treats the courtroom like daytime drama TV. It is up to players to see through the nonsense of the court and its baseless accusations to bring true justice to Fontaine. 

Throughout these trials, we learn of a sinister prophecy that lurks in the back of everyone’s mind: the citizens of Fontaine will turn into water, and only the hydro archon will be left to cry. As water levels rise, we see there is not much time left before the country drowns. The rest of this story will unravel throughout the year, but this is one crazy introduction.

I’ve struggled with caring about Genshin’s mainline story quests due to a lack of immersion. However, the first two parts of the still-developing story had me on the edge of my seat. 

In the courtroom, we play attorney and present our timeline of events with evidence through a series of minigames. Out of the courtroom, we explore Fontaine to piece together our defense to make holes in the opposition’s argument. In the past, the player sat on the sidelines until it came time to fight. However, this added component to the story made me focus on the unfolding story because now I had skin in the game.

Fontaine, Fontaine, and Fontaines?

Fontaine’s landscape takes inspiration from France and steampunk. With its high buildings with art nouveau decor mixed with the many, many fountains around the cities filled with steampunk robots patrolling the streets, it brings forth an oddly rustic but modern reinvention of France. 

If you noticed the link between Fontaine and Bioshock’s Frank Fontaine, you’re not alone. On the surface, Fontaine is chic, clean, and modern. However, an underground city built on rusting buildings, pipes, and lighting lies underneath the clean streets. This little nod to Bioshock is pretty cool. I just hope we don’t have to fight Big Daddies to save Little Sisters. 

A new feature for this region is that we can finally swim underwater. While some find the underwater combat a bit clunky, I appreciate that the developers are taking chances to expand gameplay. If your PS5 has drift issues, you’re going to struggle like I currently am. 

Overall, Fontaine has shown growth in the game. From what I’d consider a rather generic beginning, to this kind of storytelling, there has been significant growth. I am excited to see what’s coming in the next year for this region.