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What's Blue Protocol And is it a Better Online Anime JRPG Than Genshin Impact?

How does Blue Protocol compares to Genshin Impact as an online JRPG?

By Iyane Agossah

May 31, 2021

Many Genshin Impact players, but also Japanese games fans in general, have been wondering about what happened to Blue Protocol,another anime stylized JRPG – we’ll be explaining the gameplay, release date details revealed so far about Blue Protocol, while taking a look at its similarities but most importantly its differences with Genshin Impact.

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Blue Protocol or Genshin Impact ? – introduction

Blue Protocol was first announced by Bandai Namco in June 2019, and is developed by an internal studio, Bandai Namco Online. Blue Protocol was announced for PC in Japan, and already had multiple Alpha and Beta Tests. The last large-scale Beta Test was held in April 2020, and a very short experiment to test the Party Matching system was held in November 7, 2020. However, Blue Protocol has no no release date yet.

Blue Protocol is also an online JRPG, with an action battle system. Moreover, Blue Protocol is an open-world RPG, clearly inspired from the work of Nintendo and Monolith Soft on Zelda Breath of the Wild and the Xenoblade series. Which makes Blue Protocol quite similar to Genshin Impact in theory. However, both games are also completely different.

Theme song by L’arc en Ciel (May 31, 2021 Update)

Bandai Namco revealed on May 31 a sample of the opening anime for Blue Protocol, announcing popular Japanese band L’Arc~en~Ciel is handling the theme song, titled Mirai.

Blue Protocol – New gameplay, Heavy Smasher class, opening theme coming soon, Q&A (May 27, 2021 stream update)

Here are the details from the May 27, 2021 Blue Protocol stream. As it was the first stream since October 2020, developers stressed out Blue Protocol wasn’t canceled or anything, it’s just taking time to be finished, and they don’t have a roadmap or release date to announce yet.

However, we’ll get more information soon, most notably the theme song and composer of Blue Protocol will be officially revealed by the end of May 2021, along an anime opening. A screenshot of the opening was shared:

  • MORE GAMEPLAY – October 2020 stream details, Beta test gameplay

Next, the developers went through more player feedback with a new Q&A, explaining some of the new gameplay changes they implemented for the game’s launch. In particular:

  • A set function was added so you can register different sets of equipment for each Class
  • You’ll be able to keep riding your Mount even after its Stamina reaches zero
  • The developers confirmed characters in Blue Protocol will not be able to activate Skills from a different Class than the one they currently use. They cited game balance concerns.
  • Each Dungeon and Field will have unique elements to avoid monotony
  • Dungeons will have a map now so players don’t get lost. The developers previously explained they did not include maps in dungeons to increase the feeling of exploration, but they backtracked due to player’s feedback
  • We’ll be able to pick between six different voices during character creation. (This might seem like a low amount, but remember our character is actually voiced during cutscenes, so it’s a lot of work for each voice)
  • You’ll be able to customize your character’s underwear. This is the second time this was confirmed.
  • A training dummy with infinite HP was added, so you can check your builds and DPS
  • The inventory limit for materials is now unlimited, so you won’t have to go back to a city whenever you can’t carry any more

Next, at the 22:14 timestamp of the stream, we got to see new gameplay showing four of the classes, and how they each use Elemental powers differently. The Blast Archer class now also has buff and debuff skills.

Blue Protocol – Emotes, gestures, dances

Unlike Genshin Impact, Blue Protocol has several gestures, poses and dances you can do with your character. The May 27 stream revealed how we’ll be able to play Rock Paper Scissors with our characters. In Blue Protocol‘s version of the game, the characters raise their hands so it’s easier to see who won.

Characters will be able to hold hands as well. The development team spent a lot of time on this feature to make it look natural even if each character’s height is very different. The characters will automatically switch hands depending on how you move. And if you match your speeds, you can walk together while holding hands. Six screenshots were shared:

Companion NPC

In Blue Protocol, you can take an NPC with you so they help you out in battle. The last stream revealed Jake as one of these NPCs. In this May 27 stream, Feste, the horned character who accompanies the protagonist in the main story, was also revealed to be a Companion NPC.

Fest is a long range fighter, who uses buffs and debuffs. Some gameplay with Fste was shown at the 54:22 timestamp of the stream:

Fifth Class in Blue Protocol at launch: Heavy Smasher

After teasing it in the previous stream, the May 27 stream revealed the new class that will be available in Blue Protocol at lanuch. The Heavy Smasher Class is a mix between tank and DPS, and fights with a huge wrecking ball. Heavy Smasher characters can launch the ball, or use the ball’s momentum to launch themselves.

Despite its name, the Heavy Smasher Class has the same movement speed as the other classes. Its attack speed is a bit slow, but it has a lot of super armor, so you won’t get interrupted. Overall, Heavy Smasher is a DPS class, with tank capabilities, and abilities to stun and delay enemies.

Gameplay for the Heavy Smasher class was shown starting the 57:23 timetamp of the stream, linked below:

Genshin Impact is mainly a single player experience, while Blue Protocol focuses on online co-op as an MMORPG

The biggest difference between Blue Protocol and Genshin Impact is how Genshin Impact mainly focuses on a single player experience. In Genshin Impact, players can join another player’s world, or invite players into their own world to play in co-op. Most notably to farm bosses or materials together. However, there’s no decisive merit to doing so. Besides making things easier and simply hanging out with your friends. You’ll be spending most of your time exploring Teyvat, the world of Genshin Impact, alone, like in a single player JRPG.

Meanwhile, Blue Protocol is an MMORPG, where all players are constantly evolving in same world. Though the game will be divided into servers called Channels. Blue Protocol is a classic online RPG, where running quests, dungeons, and raids with other players will constantly be more gratifying than playing solo.

Protagonists and playable characters of Genshin Impact and Blue Protocol

Another major difference is how playable characters are handled. Again, Blue Protocol is a classic online RPG, and features a character creator. Blue Protocol lets you create and customize your own characters, and freely switch between different classes:

  • Aegis Striker, a tank who fights with a sword and shield
  • Twin Striker, a DPS who dual wields axes
  • Blast Archer, who is also the healer class
  • Spell Caster, a long-ranged class with magic attacks
  • Heavy Smasher, a DPS, tank class (reveled on the May 27, 2021 stream)

Meanwhile, Genshin Impact is again more akin to a single player JRPG, where you play and follow the story of a single dedicated protagonist and main characters.

Moreover, the other big difference is how Genshin Impact uses a gacha system, where players spend Primogems, which is slowly earned in-game, or can be bought with real money, to randomly pull new characters.

English, global release date and platforms

Genshin Impact was released worldwide by miHoYo on September 28, 2020, on PC, but also PS4 and mobile, and was announced on Switch. Meanwhile Blue Protocol has yet to be released and was only announced for PC, only in Japan.

However, the developers of Blue Protocol already teased the game will be coming outside Japan, and job listings also pointed out to that direction.

Lastly, the Blue Protocol developers have stressed out they will take all the time they need to finish the game, and will only announce a release date when it’s ready. It’s possibly another Beta Test will be held too.

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Overall, those are the biggest differences between the two games and what you should keep in mind. This is a broad comparison, and to keep things short, I did not go into the finest details, like how the Equipment system works in each game.

At the end of the day, both games are shaping up to be quite different, and playing both Genshin Impact and Blue Protocol definitely seems like a viable solution. Personally speaking, this is what I’ll be doing if time permits. What do you think of Genshin Impact so far, and are you looking forward to Blue Protocol? You can reach out to me directly on Twitter @A_iyane07.

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Iyane Agossah
@A_iyane07

Living near Paris, Iyane is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He plays Genshin Impact for the story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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