When it comes to sci-fi games, it seems that there are way too many of them. Sure, I love a good science-fiction game, but the market seems to be over-saturated with them. This was the problem the game developers at Digital Extremes faced when it came to marketing Warframe, a third sci-fi action game. Warframe’s concept was being thrown around during the development of Dark Sector, but they didn’t have the ability to make it a full reality at the time.
As such, Dark Sector became its own game, and served as a sort of loose prequel to what will eventually become Warframe. I started playing this game just a few weeks back and quickly find myself engrossed in it. For the longest time, I just assumed Warframe was a generic sci-fi shooter. It probably didn’t help that I never bothered to research the game, so I didn’t know much about it beyond concept alone.
Having spent several hours with the game already, I can say that I feel very ashamed that it took me this long to finally sit down and play the game. So, what is the game exactly? Well, it’s a third person action game with RPG elements. It reminds me a lot of Mass Effect 2, in that the game plays like a typical third person action game. Much like Mass Effect, you select your gear before going out on a mission. There’s also the ability to select different planets to go to from a star chart, again very similar to Mass Effect.
Unlike Mass Effect 2, this game has a much larger focus on resource gathering and crafting. You see, you can obtain everything you want just by playing through the game. Now, that seems like a given with most games. However, the kicker here is that Warframe is “free”! I say that in quotations, because you can (and probably should) pay for stuff in the game.
The thing is that nothing is mandatory to enjoy your experience. The game will never shame you for not buying that one thing, or decrease your EXP gain, or block your progress in some innocuous way. Sure, there are limitations, such as the game giving you a limited amount of weapon slots. Still, it’s not enough to really damper my mood.
I feel like the game gives way too much out for free, but I do indeed want to thank the developers for this amazing game by buying more gear with actual money. Now, the game also has a story. I’d say it’s decent, at best. The game revolves around you playing as a space-ninja known as a “Tenno”, who utilizes customizable robot suits known as “Warframes” to complete missions.
That’s a very abridged (and simplified version) of the plot and for the most part, it’s enjoyable. Unfortunately, the game’s plot has a tendency to become very episodic over time. This isn’t helped by the fact that both side-quests and story quests are grouped in the same part of the codex and are both given equal priority. After those first few opening missions, it felt like hours before I did anything related to the overarching narrative.
While the plot was passable, the quest variety was a little less so. Sure, there’s a good number of differing quests to try, but all of them are grouped into about a dozen different types. Some of them can be pretty dang fun (like Assassination, Extermination, or Defense missions), while others can border on tedious (such as the Archwing missions).
Despite this, the missions I don’t like are often made fun by the fast and furious combat, which saves a lot of the game from feeling boring. What makes the combat better is the multiplayer component, which allows for some pretty crazy combat scenarios. Unfortunately, I’ve been having issues trying to getting the multiplayer to work. Due to an error, the multiplayer would only work sometimes.
I’ve found that it works when I leave my PC off for several hours and then turn it back on. Then I can play the multiplayer for one session, before having to do the process again in order to experience multiplayer once more. It’s really infuriating to say the least, but at least it’s better than not having the game work at all.
In short, I’d have to say that I’ve certainly enjoyed my time with Warframe so far. It’s fun, energetic, and I feel that it adapts well to my skill level. Is it a perfect game? Not really, but it’s pros definitely outweighs its cons. If you’re at all interested in this game and you have a powerful enough PC to play it, I suggest at least giving it a shot. Like I said, it’s free and a good time-sink. It’s always a good time to be a space ninja!