Two of the most popular games these days are the third person action shooter of Warframe and the recently released first person shooter Destiny 2. Following on from the commercial success of the original Destiny, Bungie set about righting the wrongs of the original game with a true sequel to please current fans and bring in new players. Before both of these games, a game by the name of Warframe was released in 2013. From a smaller developer and without the huge marketing budget, how could this game compete with the behemoth of Destiny?
Quite simple really: constantly add content to the game over the top of great combat mechanics, give gamers customisation and, oh yeh, make it free…
Having given each game 20+ hours game time, Warframe gives a great first impression by its level of customisation, not all of which is available at the start, but it’s great to know the game has it and that it applies to many areas. In contrast, Bungie has basically copied the poor character customisation from the first game. Destiny weapons now have shaders which can be collected and applied but it does not compete with choosing each individual colour for your loadout in Warframe. Making each Warframe or weapon look exactly how you like. Then there is the customisation of your personal ship which are still nothing more than loading screens in Destiny 2.
Combat in both games are of a very high standard and is the main reason to keep coming back to each game for me. The range of movement and speed in Warframe when chaining different moves together is impressive, made even more so when switching between melee weapons and firearms. Destiny has always had some of the most satisfying gunplay in the first person shooter genre and it is just as satisfying in the sequel. Switching between Kinetic and Energy weapons to take down enemies has never felt better.
Whilst both games are loot shooters, they are quite different as to how the player goes about collecting this loot. The Destiny series sees gamers acquiring loot by defeating enemies and bosses and ranking their character up. Enemies will cough up loot engrams quite regularly which will include a weapon or a piece of armour which the player can then equip. Warframe though sees players collecting the resources that will then be used to build their own weapons once they have the blueprint. Both ways do a good job of rewarding the player but I prefer how Destiny does the loot. I prefer being rewarded with a weapon or armour drop, not a certain type of resource I need. This is only one of several resources required to build the weapon I want to use. The benefit of the Warframe system though is that with enough time and effort you will be able to make those weapons you really want (or use real currency for in game purchases).
All the weapons in both games look great and the designers have crafted some truly memorable weapons for gamers to use. The armour and helmets in Destiny look amazing and the Warframes you collect in Warframe are downright impressive.
Both games provide a multitude of different activities to do in order to gather loot and progress your character forward. These of course are designed in a way where they will be played multiple times so first and foremost they need to be fun which they are.
The worlds that have been created in these games are some of the best out in gaming right now. With the next update for Warframe, Plains of Eidolon, players will see themselves play in the games first huge open area play space. Up until this point, Warframe has more confined areas, often indoors, and the new update is exactly what the game needs. So far I would say the worlds of Destiny 2 are more interesting to explore and are visually more pleasing.
What disappoints me about Destiny 2 though is that is still very much Destiny and feels like a huge expansion to the first game – albeit one definitely worth playing. When you open up the galaxy (solar system) map of Warframe, there are just more planets, more places to visit and it generally just feels like a much larger game and a much larger area of space that you are playing in. In contrast to Destiny, it is four planets and two social spaces. It would have been great to add these planets to the existing ones from the first game. For this MMO-lite space shooter, it’s disappointing to see that the game world as a whole didn’t actually expand much at all. Warframe on the other hand is constantly adding new content and building on what has come before.
For mostly solo players like myself, Destiny 2 makes the world feel more alive as there are many more people running around the environments which means someone is usually always around to help you with world activities. This would be partly due to the whole game world being smaller but it is great nonetheless.
Currently I am playing Destiny 2 as I mix up my playtime between PvE and PvP. Warframe does have a PvP mode but it is generally seen to be an addon and not very popular. I have not played it yet and don’t find the gameplay mechanics to be suited as well to competitive play for me. Warframe’s main strength is the depth of its systems and huge world which, at the moment, both dwarf what Destiny 2 offers.
Gamers can’t go wrong with either game as both offer plenty of content and are fun to play. There is no reason not to try Warframe though as it is free and has four years of content in the game already. I highly recommend playing it. Destiny 2 can bring new players into it and even players who didn’t enjoy the first game.
Hopefully each game pushes the other to improve and build upon what is already there.
This is a Goliath v Goliath battle.