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Warframe

by Jacob Giddens (@JacobGiddens)

I discovered Warframe while I was searching the Free-to-Play section on Steam for a new game to play.  I saw it, I downloaded it, I played it, and I really liked it.  When I try to describe it to others, I find it slightly difficult. It’s very much its own game.  The best simple description I can come up with is “cooperative space ninja game with guns”. If that’s not enough to wet your whistle, then you are very sad. Or it’s not your thing. Whatever.

Warframe is a massively multiplayer online third-person shooter (MMOTPS) in the “Free-to-Play” genre, which means there is literally no excuse for you to not at least try it.  t’s one of the few FTP games where it doesn’t feel like purchasing the game’s currency is a necessity to catch up to other players. I never once felt like being a comparable player was so far out of reach that I had to pay to fast-track my progress. And that’s probably a good thing, because the exchange rate for real money to the in-game currency called “platinum” is pretty poor. But now let’s go through some basic information.

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In Warframe, you play one of many legendary warriors known as the Tenno (AKA Space ninjas).  s a Tenno, you will face off against a variety of different factions including the Grineer (heavily armored clone people), the Corpus (a militaristic merchant faction), and the Infested (just imagine every sci-fi infestation you’ve ever heard of and you’ll get it).

To aid you in your fight, you’ll have access to a variety of equipment. The most important weapon in your disposal is your Warframe. In the game, a Warframe is essentially a class archetype.  There are currently 20 different Warframes from which you can choose, and each one has a different set of abilities. As this is a team-based PvE game, you are encouraged to diversify your “Frames” so that you can fill different needs of different teams.

Other weapons in your Tenno arsenal include a variety of weapons from ballistic weapons, projectile weapons like bows and crossbows, laser rifles, explosive launchers, space revolvers, dual-wielded machine pistols, scythes, swords, and much more. The game excels at its weapon variety, offering a multitude of options to suit individual playstyles. My own loadout of choice includes the Rhino, a tanky Warframe that has the ability to become invincible for a time; the Dread, a bow that can fire through a line of enemies and pin them to walls; the Akbolto, a pair of pistols that fire bolts that can also pin people to walls; and the Galatine, which is an enormous sword that can cleave through multiple enemies at once.

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The game functions extremely well from a mechanical standpoint.  Movement is extremely fluid and enjoyable, as it should be for any ninja-based game. Components of movement include sprinting (duh), slide-dashing, wall-running, backflipping, and zip-lining. All of these come together for a wholly fun experience. Being able to flip and dash through a map to an objective while carefully hopping over hordes of enemies is enormously satisfying. Combat functions about as you’d expect.  It’s solid, it’s intuitive, it’s good.

As far as plot goes, there isn’t really much of one. The game feels more like an open-ended prolonged conflict than a narrative package. And given that it’s an MMO, this hardly comes as a surprise. You’re just setting out on mission after mission, completing one of a variety of objectives in order to earn rewards. It is very much a grinding-based game.  But that doesn’t mean it’s boring!

Most of the game’s replayability and sustainability relies on you, the player, enjoying its wide range of equipment. The developers want you to experiment with different weapons and Warframes and find a style that fits you. To encourage this, a ranking system is tied to levelling up equipment. Each piece of equipment can reach up to level 30, and each level awards a certain amount of points to what is called the Mastery Rank, or your overall rank as a player. Unlocking Mastery Ranks allows you to access more advanced equipment and game functions like player-to-player trading.

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If all this seems slightly convoluted, that’s because it can be at times. All Free-to-Play games have those caveats which remind you that they are free to play. You’re not paying the developers to play their game. So you get what you pay for.  With Warframe, you get quite a lot for paying nothing at all. But it has its share of bugs and issues. Convolution is one of them. Another is dealing with functions like the Foundry, which is the mechanic that allows players to construct items on their own rather than purchasing them with real-world money. The mechanic works fine, but it is a very time-consuming process.  And I’m not talking about in-game time, I’m talking real-world time. If you want to build a Warframe yourself, first you need to collect the necessary parts. Then you have to build the parts with resources that you have farmed. Building the three individual pieces of a Warframe takes 12 hours, each. Then, when you have completed these three parts, you can build the Warframe. But this process takes 72 hours. Thankfully, the clock runs even while you’re logged out. But like I said: it’s a caveat of a Free-to-Play game.

The graphics of the game are noteworthy for being rather stunning. Maybe it’s just me, but it still comes as a pleasant surprise when a free-to-play game has graphics as good as any AAA title (Side note: Planetside 2 at maxed settings is better than some AAA titles).The game’s voice-acting is very well done, though the repetitive nature of it may eventually become an annoyance.

ProCreate Warframe

Overall, I’ve recommended this game to every single one of my friends. For a random pick on the Steam store, it has turned out to be a major time-sink for the past couple of weeks. Warframe has its faults, but they are far outweighed by its strengths. And once again, it is FREE TO PLAY. If that isn’t enough of an incentive to at least give the game a shot, then you’re just being stubborn.

Grade: A-


Comments

Posted by AureasAetas on
The review is pretty correct but there is a huge mistake : Warframe isn't a MMO.
What's an MMO ? A game with 2 fundamental characteristics :
- a persistent world.
- the possibility to play with other players on a large scale.
Both are missing in Warframe.
So Warframe isn't a MMO. A F2P yes. A TPS yes. But not a MMO.
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Voltaire wrote in his novella Candide that “man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom".  Discontent with either of these possibilities, Jacob Giddens turned to a life of silliness and distraction.  An aspiring writer and improvisational comedian, Jacob is a lover of all things humorous and artistic.  His seasoned history as a video game hobbyist has earned him the right , nay, the privilege, nay, the SACRED DUTY to judge games on a regular basis—which incidentally gives him yet another reason to shirk his other responsibilities in favor of playing more games. 

http://www.twitter.com/JacobGiddens (@JacobGiddens)

Game Info

Title: Warframe

Release Date: March 25, 2013 (Windows), November 15, 2013 (PS4)

Developer/Publisher: Digital Extremes

Platforms: Windows, PS4

Purchase Link: Steam

Websitehttps://www.warframe.com/

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