Warframe is….something else.
I’m not entirely sure how we missed this little gem, hiding away in its exceptionally well-received corner of the internet. Miss it we did though, Warframe was released March 25th 2013. How on earth does a game this beautiful skip the attention of so many avid gamers for two straight years? We’re not sure, but damn, are we glad we stumbled across it.
You are of the Tenno race, Warriors of Blade and Gun (and often bow, staff, shuriken, knives and whatever else you may come across), an ancient race left to drift in Cryosleep after fighting in the Old War. However, as the Grineer begin to spread throughout the galaxy with their warlike ways, you are awakened and arise to fight them. “Lotus”, a sort of omnipresent voice in your head (presumably some divine being? It’s never really explained), awakens you to fight back against the Grineer.
The first thing you’ll clearly notice (and you’d have to be blind not to) is that the graphics are astounding. The character models are beautiful and the environments are detailed and expansive. But seriously, the character models are gorgeous. We could, and did, spend far too long looking at every single one of the highly detailed and beautifully crafted Warframes. Even the base Warframe you’re given for free is a damn nice piece of hardware. The graphics are next level - and we loved that. Too many purely online games let the beauty of their worlds and environments suffer at the expense of game-play.
The second thing you’ll notice is that you are, well, ridiculously agile. You’re a warrior, born and bred, so that shouldn’t really be surprising. However, you don’t quite see the range of mobility coming - and it certainly does smack you in the face. You quickly realise that you have far more speed than you initially thought - especially when you discover your crouch-spin leap combination, or learn that, yes, you can wall run. Double jumps into spin leaps? That’s a thing too. You have an unlimited range of mobility at your fingertips to play with. This is definitely a good thing, too, as Warframe provides you with environments that allow you to explore right to the ends of your ability. From flat wall surfaces in convenient locations to wires strung across the various levels, as well as a ton of hard to reach areas perfect for sniping or drop-assassinating.
It’s certainly a game that favours assassinations. In the early stages, at least, you are often prompted to try and be more stealthy by being awarded “Stealth Affinity” bonuses every time you make an unseen or stealth kill. On top of this, the environments seem laid out as if that’s the entirety of the game-play that they expect from you - at least in the more basic missions. The survival missions are tiny and there are very few places to hide.
The range of weaponry, equipment and characters you can unlock in Warframe is…. extensive, to say the very least, however, this is where we encountered our one let down. It quickly became obvious that you were only entitled to better Warframes, weapons, and equipment if you chose to pay for the privilege. Sure, you can get the weapons and frames by playing, but damn it takes you a long time in comparison. This was heart-wrenching too, because as soon as you’re granted access to your armoury, you realise how basic your Warframe is compared to some of the others; Atlas, the walking behemoth tank, capable of sustaining tons of damage; Equinox, master of the day and night, enhancing his defence and offense at will; Loki, master of trickery, deception and misleading combat just to name the absolute bare minimum of other characters available.
At an 11.2 Gb download, the game is a massive strain on your downloads, however, it’s worth it. Whilst this is just a first impression review, the game seems like it’s going to reveal a whole hell of a lot more awesome options. We think the game will be a lot more viable once you start unlocking the multiple weapons and Warframes, then it will definitely get interesting. It would definitely have been better if they let you choose from 2-3 Warframes then unlock the rest. But we won’t begrudge them their micro-transactions. Definitely worth a look!
Writer, Gamer, Father, Tattoo and Gym Addict, I have no time to do any of it but I want to do it all- So I'll give it a damn good shot.