A new region arriving in Genshin Impact is a rare event. The open-world RPG has been out for around a year and a half now, but we've only visited three of the eight realms that make up the entirety of Teyvat. I've kind of resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably be dipping into Genshin five years from now just to explore somewhere new.
Back in version 1.2, we got to visit Dragonspine for the first time, and it was as recently as January that the doors to the submerged realm of Enkanomiya were thrown open. Though nowhere near as expansive as Mondstadt or Liyue, these areas feature their own special mechanics, puzzles, and questlines where you work to uncover the mystery that lies at their heart.
In Dragonspine, it was the mountain itself. After overcoming obstacles and puzzles on the arduous path to the summit, we were rewarded with a floating ancient relic, and a spectacular view of Teyvat. But by comparison, Enkanomiya felt far weaker to me. It did have some secrets and I liked its Sky: Children of the Light vibes with islands floating in fog, but I wasn't as invested in its main quest, and the area itself felt kind of lifeless. Maybe that's understandable in a region inhabited by ghosts? Either way, it left me a little unsure of what to expect from The Chasm.
Though inaccessible until now, The Chasm is a mining region that’s been on Genshin's map for ages, and is mentioned in several NPC questlines. Zhongli refers to it as the place where he fought his earth dragon buddy Azhdaha, which is why the area is filled with Geo constructs and the remnants of an ancient battle. The mine itself was created by a meteorite that crashed during the Archon War, leaving a crater in its wake.
Into the unknown
While Enkanomiya feels fairly straightforward in terms of map design, The Chasm is a winding network of tracks, secret routes, and has some excellent vertical exploration. The Millennial Mountains quest is a great way to get your bearings as it requires you to scale the highest points in search of ancient relics. The crater also contains some pretty smart puzzles, where you can use your characters’ own Geo constructs to resonate with others to reveal treasure, which allows you to open the Lost Valley domain.
That's just the entrance. The Chasm's central questline takes you down into the sprawling mine alongside a stubborn adventurer and mapmaker called Zhiqiong. As you progress and breakthrough into new areas, Zhiqiong expands your map until you eventually find your way to the deepest point. It's a really fun quest progression that ties into the new Lumenstone Adjuvant gadget. This torch-like device is a handy aid in exploration, and as you upgrade it with Lumenspar, it'll let you solve harder puzzles and open previously blocked passages into secret areas.
It's rare that a Genshin gadget feels this vital, and while the torch itself isn't all that useful, it creates some tricky puzzles, and even plays a part in the Ruin Serpent boss fight. As you push deeper and deeper into the mine, you'll uncover underground gardens, ancient ruins, and caves lit by mushrooms. At a certain point, you'll also encounter Dainsleif and his quest, but even after you've finished it (and made a few revelations), The Chasm keeps going, sprawling into the dark with more secrets to uncover.
Secrets to unlock
Secrets like the giant talking mushroom from Sumeru who wants you to help save her fungal friends, the mini-bosses scattered throughout the mine that drop mysterious treasures, or the stranded Fatui, who are so desperate they try to enlist your help. Even after the Chasm's main quests are complete, the area has more to give, and it's hard to say that of Dragonspine or Enkanomiya. Though both are distinctive in their own way, there aren't many reasons to go back to Dragonspine. That's something that The Chasm does really well.
You can check back with Zhiqiong a few times after the main quest is over, finding a well-deserved epilogue for one of the best NPCs we've seen so far. I don't usually get invested in Genshin’s quest characters, but exploring alongside Zhiqiong felt like a well-paced journey, and she develops throughout — both as someone who grew up in The Chasm, and who’s trying to achieve something as a normal person in a world filled with superpowered vision-users.
While big new regions are certainly fun, I love Genshin's smaller areas, and The Chasm represents them at their best. It's got secrets, puzzles, a great NPC and gadget, and a well-paced central quest progression that ties into the mystery at the heart of the mine. It's compact and won't take you weeks to explore, making it perfect to dip in and out of. We may only get one big area every year, but if we get a couple of Chasms in between, I’ll certainly have a reason to keep playing.