“They were called Tenno. Warriors of blade and gun: masters of the Warframe armor. Those that survived the old war were left drifting among the ruins. Now they are needed once more.”
Today I would like to give my first impressions of a cooperative free-to-play online sci-fi action game called Warframe.
You start the game out by making a selection from three different Tenno classes, or warframes, which ultimately affect your style of game-play. The first three include the balanced class Excalibur, the stealth/decoy class Loki, and the supportive energy manipulator Mag. It’s hard to describe the classes in a few words, because they all have some interesting abilities that could be compared to different classes. It’s a mixed bag. You get a quick tutorial that shows you how to use all the different weapons you start out with. If you forget anything from the tutorial, don’t worry, because there is a menu that allows you to look through a selection of tutorials and learn everything about the game. I chose Loki, and started out with two different guns and a sword. My abilities allowed me to place a decoy of myself to distract enemies, as well as the ability to go invisible and take them by surprise.
The mission selection screen, which also hold all of the other menus for the game, is actually pretty awesome. All of the loading screens and selection screens seem to have 3D models and scenes, and they rotate so that you can see all the details. To select a mission, you choose a planet and a mission that you can handle at your level. You unlock them as you go, but you can re-visit the missions at any time to farm for items and xp. I started some of the first missions, and I must admit that the game is a bit confusing at first. The mini-map takes a bit of getting used to, and you have to figure out how the objectives work by just jumping in and trying them out. I really like the co-op idea for this game, and you will pretty much eat dirt if you try to go solo on most of the missions. The only thing I dislike about it is that during a mission you can totally lose track of your teammates and they will sometimes leave you behind and finish the mission themselves. So far this has happened multiple times. The idea is great, the actual co-op gameplay could be improved. The few things that I have liked about co-op so far is the ability to revive fallen allies, and that there are actually a few support groups that can drop buffs and heal (when your allies are actually around). I might be biased, but it wasn’t the most amazing first experience for a supposedly co-op game.
Now, taking a look at the actual gameplay and not factoring in the bumpy co-op faults, the game actually has a lot of really awesome content. You can customize and power up your weapons and waframe with countless different combinations. This is achieved by collecting and purchasing different mods, all of which can completely change your play style. Enemies drop these mods throughout missions, and there is also a marketplace where you can buy specific ones from other players. You can also buy or collect new weapons and enhancements. You can play the game in whatever play style you want, and use a large amount of cool abilities. There is melee, magic, and guns. All of the weapons also level up as you use them. I like that the game can be played like a third person shooter (third and first person shooters are some of my favorite genres.)
I also want to bring up some stuff about the whole free-to-play thing. This game is indeed free to play, and you can earn and collect most items during missions, but there are some parts of the game that do require you to pay real money. Obviously there are some vanity items that cost real money, and this is common in most games, but I’m talking about pay to win shit. Boosters, crafting essentials, Sentinels, and much more can be purchased with real dollars, all of which allow a character to get ahead of any free-to-play characters. And if you want a unique looking character, you’re probably going to need to break out your credit card for that as well. This brings up another topic. You can kind of, sort of, customize your character. You can change the colors of your exo-armor, and weapons for free…. wait for it… that is if you don’t mind tapping a “random colors” button until you get a combination you like.
If you want to change your class and get a different looking Tenno, you don’t necessarily have to pay hard earned dollars for it. The game has something called the Foundry, which gives you the ability to craft a bunch of items, and even new Warframes, using blueprints. You can purchase the blueprints with in-game earned credits.
The last few things I would like to mention is that the game has some cool looking maps, and the combat and missions are really fun and fast-paced. They feel a bit repetitive and grindy, but knowing that you’re scoring some useful resources, achievements, and XP makes it worth-while. It seems that the game allows voice chat, but I haven’t heard one person use it yet. Voice chat seems crucial to completing these missions with your team and not suffering from complete chaos. There are some doors that can only be opened with two teammates, and some sections of the missions that just go smoother if everyone has a job and communicates where they are and what they are doing. I’m going to give the game a chance and see where it goes as the levels and player experience progress. It is definitely a lot of fun when you get a good group. Some of the best reviews came from players who had invested 900 – 2000 hours into the game. Don’t believe me, check out the game’s review page on Steam!
I suggest at least giving this game a try, and it does have a pretty decent amount of devoted players. Collecting, and grinding for more powerful stuff is pretty fun, and if you have some people to play with, I would suggest hooking up your headset and giving them an invite for the co-op stuff.
Until Next Time!