ey there, it’s been a while, but I’m back! I’m Cecil, and this week I’m going to be telling you all about a game called Warframe. Warframe is a free to play game by Digital Extremes available for PC, Xbox One and PS4, and in short, it’s about space ninjas.
So let’s dig deeper into the game, and why I enjoy it and continue to play this beautiful, free marvel. The fact that it’s free is probably one of it’s big selling points, I’m not too sure that it would work as a full priced game, at least not the way that it is currently configured. Warframe has hundreds of things you can obtain through gameplay or just outright purchase, but I feel that paying real money for the things in the game defeats a lot of the point.
Warframe’s core progression comes from completing missions over and over to obtain materials to craft components and equipment, so purchasing things with real money is just for people that want to have the newest thing right away, or some small exclusive items that don’t throw the game out of balance, and another thing that is great about the game, is that while there is a PvP section, it’s not the meat and I don’t know personally anyone that actually takes part in the PvP.
Going into Warframe as a new player, the first thing you need to accept, is that gaining new equipment, especially new warframes (which are like the characters you can play as) takes a long time. You won’t be acquiring new frames in your first couple of days, even if you play non-stop, unless you spend real money. This is fine as long as you accept this beforehand, and focus on enjoying the gameplay first, and don’t just focus on trying to get specific equipment.
People have been turned off by the game because they saw something really cool and just wanted that one thing, so focused on getting it rather than enjoying the game itself. Speaking of which, it’s about time I started talking about the gameplay, now that we have the nasty business of microtransactions sorted out (although to be fair, warframe has a very agreeable model for microtransactions that don’t make me angry just looking at them).
The core of Warframe is a high speed third person action game, incorporating both melee and ranged combat, and not in a way that one is more important than the other, you can run into missions with just a sword or just an assault rifle and have just as much of a chance at doing well, or at least usually, it depends a fair amount on which warframe you have equipped and which mission it is. Each warframe has a set of abilities, similar to how characters in DOTA or League of Legends do. As examples, the two frames that I have had the most experience with are Excalibur and Frost Prime (a slightly enhanced version of Frost).
Excalibur’s abilities focus around melee combos and fast movement, dashing around and blinding enemies, Frost on the other hand, focuses more on controlling crowds of enemies and freezing things, as his name might suggest. So obviously Excalibur is more geared towards sword heavy combat, whereas Frost works well for slow heavy weapons, both melee and ranged.
Alongside the combat, Warframe sells itself on the ‘Space Ninja’ aesthetics, which include the ability for players to run on walls, jump at the speed of nonsense, and generally move really, really quickly. Some of the more unusual mechanics include aim gliding, where you fall slower while aiming down your weapons sights in midair while the rest of the world continues around you at full speed.
Graphically, Warframe is gorgeous, especially for a free game. The only game I’ve personally played that I found more graphically beautiful was Bloodborne for PS4, although to be fair, I’ve only recently gotten my hands on a PC graphics card that’s worth half a damn. But as you can tell from the screenshots, provided by the developers in the fansite kit, the game is a marvel to look at, even the console versions. Obviously, graphics aren’t everything in a game, but a if the game is already good, then good graphics can do nothing but help the game become even more appealing.
Sound design is another department that Digital Extremes excelled in, the music fits perfectly into the aesthetics and tone of the game, and all the sound effects for abilities, attacks, weapons and collisions all sound terrific, even through the cruddy speakers on my tv at home. The original score is enjoyable to relax to, and is one of my favourites, although nothing will beat DOOM in my opinion. The different enemy factions in the game each have their own speech patterns and languages, that together with the designs, really separate them and drive home the feeling of fighting a war on multiple fronts.
Progression through Warframe is enjoyable both solo and in teams, and some missions are a lot easier in a team, but not 100% necessary. A single mission can contain up to four players, and if you have the matchmaking set to public, players can drop in while you’re still in the mission, meaning that if you are in the middle of fighting a boss, and it’s proving rather difficult, then there is a chance that another player will join that mission, appear near the room the boss is in, and be able to help you out. There has been a number of occasions where I have joined a boss mission only to be halfway through the fight, so i didn’t have to struggle for ages to take them down, because the bosses are a bit of a struggle.
Lastly, in terms of endgame, it’s mostly just going through the missions over and over to get new and better equipment and mods, which are what you use to increase the potency of your gear. The game doesn’t do a great job explaining the mod system, so finding guides online will help greatly, but once you have a grasp of it, it makes sense and allows for a great deal of customisation alongside the hundreds of weapons and the tens of warframes available, so the game becomes playing and trying all the equipment you can, then when you find the one that clicks, just having fun with it.
The internet will be a trove of knowledge for all who wish to play, and it will help a great deal in wrapping your head around some of the more intricate systems within the game. I’m not sure what else there is to say about the game at this point other than go and play it for yourself. It’s free, so nothing is stopping you.
It’s been a couple of months since I last wrote a review, so thanks for sticking with me. I should be returning to more regular reviews in the coming weeks, and after Christmas I might even begin doing video reviews, who knows. In the meantime, I’ve been Cecil, and thanks for having me.
If this review has gotten you interested in playing, and you’re a pc gamer, make an account through my referral link and I'll love you forever. Probably.