Yostar’s Arknights is the Most Interesting and Unique Mobile Release of 2020

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Photo courtesy of ArtStation.com

Joshua Akers, FCHS Journalist

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Developed by Hyperglyph and Studio Montagne, and having been published as a free-to-play game by Yostar, Arknights was released worldwide in early 2020 as a mobile, tower defense, gacha game filled with cute, animated characters and decent in-game mechanics that keep the game changing as you play. The story of Arknights takes place in another world where essentially all of the human population—having been forced to live in large, moving cities—is ravaged by a horrific disease called oripathy, as well as terrible, randomly-occurring natural events called catastrophes. The player, having awoken from a coma after being seriously wounded, is forced to fight off waves of an organized group of infected individuals known as Reunion.

The player is referred to only as “doctor” by other characters, and you are, alongside the game’s bunny girl mascot, Amiya, leading figures of an organization known as Rhodes Island. The player is described as an incredible tactician by others, and you take these cute characters and place them around the level to defend your position.

At your disposal are many stylized characters, called operators, with unique abilities and effects to make the battle more interesting. On top of that, there are different classes for these abilities to base around. You can have operators with the following classes: Caster, Guard, Defender, Medic, Sniper, Specialist, Supporter and Vanguard. However, you can’t just throw out all your strongest operators first, as each of them requires a certain amount of Defense Points (which regenerate over time) to place on the level. 

If you dislike this mechanic, then there is a temporary, early-level solution. Vanguards are a class of operators that are often much cheaper than others, have similar defense and attack stats, and revolve around abilities that increase the current amount of DP the player has over short periods of time. Additionally, if you are having issues with too many enemies getting through your defense, then you should acquire a few defenders. Defenders have very high defense and can typically block more enemies than the Guard class, and their abilities often revolve around increasing their defense for a short amount of time. 

Of course, with such a wide variety of operators, that’s not always true. One operator that widens the range of this trend is Gravel, a unique defender who can only block one enemy. However, that’s her only downside, as Gravel’s abilities allow her to increase her defense by a rather substantial amount for a very short time and be redeployed very quickly after dying or being removed from the level.

Next up is microtransactions. Microtransactions have sadly become a part of gaming culture at this point, but whether you hate or love them, they’re integral in free-to-play games everywhere. After all, these are companies making these games, so they have to gain profit somehow.

The microtransactions are very fair in price compared to other games in the sense that it feels like you get what you’re paying for. The microtransactions in Arknights are fair and the $10 you paid feels like $10 of in-game content. Most microtransactions are relatively cheap, too. The most you can pay is around $100, which may seem like a lot, but when you consider that you’re paying for an absurdly large amount of the game’s premium currency, orundum, then it makes sense.

Overall, Arknights is an amazing, free-to-play, gacha game with a huge amount of voice-acted and interesting characters to choose from. It’s not often that you see a mobile game that’s so well-designed with developers that are proactive towards their community. In fact, it’s a rarity. That’s the reason why Arknights is one of the best mobile games of early 2020.