The region's sprawling rainforests are teeming with a mystical quality where everything seems to live and breathe, making Sumeru’s ecosystem a breath-taking place of wonder.
Just because of that, I'd say Sumeru is the best-designed region in Genshin Impact yet, simply because it actually looks and feels like a place that exists and where creatures live their lives — not just because the game placed them there for players to farm materials for.
The massive trees, sprawling roots, and interconnecting waterways are home to a number of new creatures exclusive only to the region.
The new creatures are inspired from animals commonly found in jungles and forests, and are a great addition to the map compared to the almost bare landscapes of Liyue and Mondstadt — whose fauna mostly consist of pigeons, boars, weasels, and fennec foxes.
Considering that Sumeru is the nation of Dendro, it's only fitting for wildlife to be abundant within its borders, as Dendro is the element most attuned with nature and life.
Teeming with life
Exploring the map for the first time, you will be amazed at how the animals interact with their surroundings and each other.
Birds pick at the teeth of open-mouthed Spinocrocodiles, Shroomboars graze in the grass with their young, Rishboland Tigers prowl on branches and trunks of the trees in small groups, and the Shaggy Sumpter Beasts sleep in fields, plopped under the shade.
There are even toucan-like birds called Dusk Birds, who act as aviary messengers for the scholars at Sumeru Academia.
If it weren’t for the fantastical design, you would think you’re in a VR of a forest for a wildlife documentary.
You can clearly see how HoYoverse's developers and designers paid attention to their inspirations, as even the animals’ idle animations make sense in real life.
A perfect example of this is the idle animation where the Spinocrocodiles have their mouths wide open, and little birds pick at their teeth, reflecting the real-life symbiotic relationship crocodiles have with birds.
The preference of tigers to laze on trunks and higher ground is also mimicked in the game.
More often than not, you can encounter the Rishboland Tigers perched on a low-lying branch near a body of water, grooming themselves, napping, or even on the prowl when they notice your presence.
The Shaggy Sumpter Beasts look like a mix between a massive Water Buffalo and a Tibetan Mastiff.
They’re the friendliest of the new animals, and are typically beasts of burden accompanying merchants, mercenaries, and even the Fatui, though you can also find them out in the wild.
The massive flora in Sumeru also echoes the layout of an Amazonian rainforest.
The mountainsides are layered with a texture of moss, the trees are gargantuan and are home to a variety of mushrooms, and the waterways are littered with aquatic plants and algae that move with the flow of the water.
And much like in real life, rain is also a pretty common occurrence.
The atmosphere is so humid you could almost feel it through your screen, and through the dense foliage sunlight barely peeks through when exploring the forest.
Going through the map is like a whole other experience when compared to the three earlier nations.
Sumeru is the testament of the amazing dedication of Genshin Impact’s designers, animators, and developers.
We've only seen maybe half the region, as its deserts will be released in future versions, and already it's safe to say that Sumeru is the game's best-designed region.
Yan Ku is a full-time dog parent, part-time (gacha) gamer, and part-time writer.
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