When Genshin Impact was first revealed, developer miHoYo was very firm on the idea that the visuals were inspired by Zelda: Breath of the Wild. That mere fact, plus the news that it was being ported to Switch [eventually], was enough to turn heads and get the game on the map in the west. But now that it's actually here (having been in a testing period for some time), folks are able to see just how influential Breath of the Wild was on development.
Before you come to your own conclusions though, FreeMMOStation caught up with miHoYo to get their perspective. The studio says that they still hold Breath of the Wild "in high regard," and reiterate that they have been clear about the inspiration from the Nintendo title since the start.
But miHoYo goes a step further, stating: "That said, it is important to note that once you actually pick up the game, you will find the experience of Genshin Impact to be very different from that of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Genshin Impact features a fully original story and characters, and the core gameplay revolves around assembling a party of multiple characters and engaging in a combat system based on interactions between different elements. As we go from closed beta to official release, players will soon be able to discover the unique features and joy that Genshin Impact delivers."
Genshin Impact is out today on PC, PS4 and mobile devices for free: so you can give it a go and try it out for yourself. Grab it here, but note that the PC version is currently being hammered, leading to very slow installations. If you do opt for the PS4 version, just know that it will not allow data transfer between the other editions. Everything else is safe, though.