Old But Gold
Warframe is developed by Digital Extremes for the PlayStation 4 since 2013. This game is made 90% purely for PvE experience as a 3rd person action mmorpg. There is a PvP counterpart known as the conclave which is not embraced by the community. It has its own separate load out, stats, weapons etc. Therefore, this review covers more on the PvE perspective. Think of it as a mix of futuristic guyver/kamen rider suit designs, looter like Diablo, fast movements as Vanquish, space combat like Zone of the Enders and trading like World of Warcraft segments.
This free to play game has a reason why it far exceeds lifetime expectations than any other triple A games. Like any fine wine in a winery, even without a publisher; it grew into something more complex in terms of gameplay, sophisticated storyline and at the same time adding more value to any players who chose to invest in it. Here is the following brief summary of what core aspects you would expect from starting out Warframe.
Platinum and credits currencies
Let me point this topic first before moving on; free to play modules has in game and paid for currencies. There are 2 types of currencies. Credits which can be earn in any in game activity, and a paid credit called platinum which is bought via PSN. Credit is used to buy blueprints and is part of resources to build almost all construction. Platinum is used to buy space; weapons; Warframes; resources and bundles.
But the major difference is after playing this game for 5 weeks, I realize they never prompt me to buy credits or resources much like any other free to play game modules. Since I enjoyed every complex situation of it, the move sets, and the depth of its story driven designs, I paid the game credits willingly from whichever bundle I find (yes you must find for it). This is a perfect business proposition concocted, and it does not need any pop up/force people to pay if it’s really that good. Over the span of 4 years, the loots in itself are vast and vary; therefore, certain loots is purchasable with the right buyer or seller.
The bundles add value to the type of purchase you want. It will come with weapons to compliment a certain Warframe you want with approximately 2000 – 3000 Platinums. This means you are buying the Platinums but will receive the Warframes and weapons as extra. Furthermore it is possible to play without paying; where you can earn all rare in game and possibly sell it in the marketplace to earn platinum’s as well.
In the beginning..
The story takes place as you wake up as a race called Tenno. An old race of warriors/soldiers from an ancient old war. Now this must be cliché storyline like Destiny. However, as you deep dive further, you only realize that the story tells more on loss in terms of genocide, war, hope, cult and darkness aka void. Unlike many games focusing on light, this game emphasis more on the void. Players will be surprised by the level of writing, depth, sounds and art direction poured deeply by the team solely to make this game lasting till date. You will also have your own ship to design, decorate interiors, research and explore. Some back stories are narrated in armor description to codex 3d presentable description in the ship to read. You can practically fill in the pieces together if you are keen on reading.
Firstly, this is an Action game, not solely on shooter. This means you can actually melee or sneak your way through the game depending on the build of your Warframe, weapons and mods. You can also run as a flash through the mission. The mission’s maps are procedurally generated; means it’s always random and feels fresh in every go.
You have only one character with roughly 39 Warframes to choose from; separately with its own prime versions as well. This bring the total to 51 Warframes and counting. Warframe primes are stronger versions of each Warframes. Each Warframe are different in terms of design, usage, skills, and passive skills. They even have very different sounds, combos and atmosphere as well. You will have to explore each one of them to find out which suits your playstyle the most.
Think of it as a class choice like paladins, assassins, clowns, fairy, pirates, samurai and magician but with a more futuristic design. This ranges from AoE style fire, ice, dps by cloning yourself, a rhino tank, a melee killer or a pure shooter style (McCree) or a necromancer. You may change Warframes at will depending on the situation, enemy types, mission preference, team composition at any time.
There are approximately 4 races of enemy types each with their different background story. From the robotic savvy Corpus, genetic enhance Grineer all the way to Infested of pure abominations. Each has its own reason of existence as it intertwines with the ancient old war mentioned above. Each enemy has its own armor type, health, shields, units, pets, bosses and attack type which you need to adjust your mods, warframes and weapons to adept. There are assassins which will warn you via emails if you kill too much certain bosses or types of enemies. They will try to chase and stop you during random times in a mission. The bosses here are mostly like the type you meet in Diablo. Some are large in sizes in both fields and space battles. Some even knows martial arts..
It will never hold your hand
Firstly, this is a linear mission based game with a recent update which is an open world in earth called Eidolon. There are potentially 18 planets and counting in total with different mission’s types, resources and a few with its own social spaces.
This is a warning; it will never ever hold your hands in progression systems in the beginning. However, this is where you will need to read Wikipedia or other sources to help you in progression later in the game. Once you get hold of the system and progression, you will be overwhelmed by it. The end game is superbly made and fresh every day.
There is just so much to do here to progress depending how you want it to be.
Much more, the community here is 90% strong and helpful because of its PvE nature. Joining a clan may help speed up your progress and understanding. There is a lot of clans in this game, be it Europe, Asia or America servers. You can change servers at will in the options menu at any time as well. This will help in both trading and party availability in a mission segments.
Unlike most MMO’s, the clan system here is actually a one storey building made by the owner of the clan like sims. It is a large, immersive dojo where you and your clanmates can enter to trade, spar,. You can even research weapons, Warframes, items and blueprints which are not available in normal missions. It is highly recommended to join a clan to get the full experience in this game. Sadly, clan wars is not implemented yet for the time being.
Weaponry at its best
There are 95 primary weapons types, with additional 80 secondary weapons and counting. Each weapon has its owns specs, design and application. It can be a normal assault rifle all the way to laser beams, and rocket launchers. No weapons are alike even if it’s a 2 type of shotgun with different elements such as status effects, fire rate, spread ratio and reload speed. Some of the weapons may compliment certain Warframes build as well.
There are 127 melee weapons of different types. From sticks, sword, nunchaku, all the way to a whip or Berserker Swords for an AoE melee build. Again each melee weapon has its own attack pattern, instant kill animation, speed and variety. Experimentation is key to understand which weapon suits certain situation and Warframe used.
For melee however adding mods may change its stance of any specific weapon type like from karate to a bushido stance; which not only alters a type of attack it does but also its attack combos as well. The list will be provided in game on how the combos work with its timing as well.
The bread and butter to this game. Mods are 3D cards like application that you will need to embed in your Warframe, pets and weapons. Other than enhancing health, energy, attack or reload speed; mods are mostly used to make you stronger and to help cover weaknesses. There are normal mods to highly rare mods in the game, which has 2-3 boost each stats.
Some mods are only applicable to certain Warframes and weapons alike(with limited slots). There are certain mods which is rare but attainable, be it random drops in the end game content or by trading with real people. Certain rare mods which is called riven mods are customizable and can be rerolled with certain resources. There are also mods which only could be obtain on different syndicates as well.
Unlike factions in other games, Warframe has the main 6 syndicates in the game; each with its own story, drive and preferences. From protector’s steel meridian to nature loving New Loka; they each not only have their own drive but certain dislikes towards one another as well. Meaning that solely dedicating your time with one syndicate may cause relationship problems with another. Other syndicates may cause mishaps such as sending assassins to disturb you during your missions.
Each syndicate has its own mods, weapons and items to purchase. Players may add syndicate symbols or sigil on their Warframes, be it back or front; to attain points in any missions. Adding more points will prompt you to level up that syndicate; maximizing its inventory available for you. There are also other 2-3 neutral syndicate in social spaces which ask you for very specific tasks such as capturing targets or taking pictures via camera.
Events, missions, Alerts and Etc
Now aside from fishing; there are multiple timed missions in the game. Ranging from timed alerts (one hour), invasions (daily assist to enemy type vs enemy type), daily syndicate missions, fissures (daily opening random generated loots), to sorties (daily nightmare mode level which ranges from 50-100). Missions usually consist of spying (hacking consoles), defending, capturing zones, assassination, extermination, excavation and rescue. Not to mention each enemy type has different type mini game if you are hacking into. These missions may drop loots of blueprints, weapon parts, Warframe parts, resources, mods and materials upon completion. This daily may be overwhelming for some. However, this makes it worthwhile to log in everyday to collect materials and loots. Potentially selling your loot to the market for platinums.
Eidolon the open world
Eidolon is the main update last November 2017 with its own factions to boot. Involving more on mining materials aka laser drill, fishing to its own mission based in an open earth world.
There is an ongoing discussion for other open worlds in other planets as well and Warframe development team respond quite positively to feedback via Reddit or Twitch.
From Warframes, weapons, ship, and clan dojo; everything is customizable from colors and decorations. Even the color of the arrows, aura or magic effects colors. There are some free color type palettes and other palettes colors are purchasable via platinum.
During events such as Halloween or Christmas, new cosmetic color palettes will be released to be purchased ingame.
Now here is the thing I love the most. Once a month, there is an open discussion video on questions the developers found in Reddit or Twitch on how to improve the game. The developer streams on their YouTube channel (Playwarframe) or Warframe’s Twitch channel the discussion. The also reveal how they make the Warframe designs, weapons and enemies alike.
Usually a Reddit post with the highest upvotes on good ideas will be discussed and might have a high chance of implementation. This is the main reason as to why they lasted for 4 years. Open debate, decide, deliver all in one video.
There are also occasional design contest from T-shirts, 3D modeling, videos and cosmetics; which if implemented; the user may get credits and sales compensation for each designs sold. This is why the community grew as developers work side by side with you and yours truly; the players.
The only few cons I ever experience in this game is certain lag or bugs founds; however it’s not game breaking or halt your gameplay progression in any way. The other problem is that some people (around 10 percent of the community) likes to troll people which is minor and forgiving.
-It will never ask you to pay even though it is free to play module
-Variety of weapons, Warframes (aka classes), combos and mods to be creative like an RPG.
-Excellent story which is both shocking and with memorable writing
-The updates is frequent, free and fast depending on feedback (mostly in a months’ time)
-End game events and mission are really enjoyable.
-Cosmetics all the way to the arrows and energy color.
-Fast paced movements without limits.
-Building sim for clans rather than just a menu with many construction, decorations and research options.
-Community feedback, if upvoted will be discussed and implemented almost immediately.
-Strong community, contests, with big prize (last prize was a USD 10,000). Incentives to the maker per sale.