Sitting down to write these first impressions of the loot based shooter Warframe, I felt the same as when I started the game – how the hell do I start? To say Warframe is a huge game with many different parts all joining together to create this online experience is doing a disservice to what Digital Extremes has created. Over the last four years, this game has evolved and blossomed into the behemoth that we know today, a game still ranked in the Top 10 games played on Steam.
For those who don’t know, Warframe is an online, third person shooting and melee combat game set in a sci-fi fantasy setting. Instead of players having multiples characters all with different skills or classes, in Warframe, you have one. This playable character then can earn and use different Warframes – suits or armour giving the player different abilities. Players can also earn and craft a huge number of weapons, both guns and swords, switching between them during combat.
Your Warframes and combat style is further enhanced with a multitude of different mods that can be attached to them. One great use of this compared to other games, is being able to stick with a particular weapon you like and make it more powerful and changing it to suit your play style. All weapons are of use depending on these mods at higher levels to. There is no need to move on from your favourite because a better one has come along.
One wouldn’t be short of things to do in this game. When the map is opened, the player is presented with a wealth of planets and areas to unlock as they venture through the story and other activities. Simply completing all of the missions and unlocking all the different planets and play areas will take some serious time investment. Due to the different Warframe’s a player can acquire, all these different areas can also be revisited repeatedly and played with a different play style depending on the Warframe equipped.
Only having put in around 10 hours into the game, I haven’t seen much in the way of story or character development. I know that there are some great missions and stories to engage in as I progress but nothing has stood out so far. If you begin playing Warframe, don’t expect for an engrossing storyline to pull you in at the start as it simply isn’t there.
With so much to take in, I found it easier to simply get stuck into the missions and quests presented for me without diving into all aspects of the game at once as they can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the smooth, fast paced and fun combat could see many players stick with it until they understand more about the game. Combat with all types of weapons is engaging and when stringing different moves together it makes you feel incredibly powerful. Like a super powerful space ninja…with guns!
As a loot based shooter it differs from the competition such as Destiny or The Division. Even though the game has a huge amount of different weapons and warframes to collect, these do not drop from enemies like in other games. Players will be travelling to different planets collecting all sorts of different items and resources and then using those to craft weapons. The loot is in crafting materials, not simply by enemies dropping weapons. Players will amass a wealth of weapons and gear but it needs to be earned by crafting it with your limited resources.
Apart from the mediocre story elements, lacklustre character development and less than stable framerates sometimes, I am thoroughly enjoying my times with Warframe so far. A warning though – this is a complete grind fest. Progression can be quickened by spending real money in the in game marketplace but the majority of all content and be earned in game if you have enough time. For a free game, it surpasses many full priced AAA titles both in fun and content.
The character may be quick, but Digital Extreme has taken a few years to get Warframe to where it needs to be. Check it out.