Publisher: Digital Extremes
Developer: Digital Extremes
Platforms: PS4, PC
Genre: Free To Play
Release Date: PC: March 25th, 2013, PS4: NA November 15th 2013, EU November 29th 2013
Warframe is a free to play, third person shooter, cooperative video game that is developed by Digital Extremes (developers of The Darkness 2) for Microsoft Windows PC and was announced to also be available on the Sony PlayStation 4 on the console’s release day.
Since the announcement of a planned late 2013 launch window, the game has been postponed until sometime in 2014. The game is however available in its current form through Steam which allows players access to the game in its current build as part of a “Early Access” program that helps community members shape the development of the title.
Warframe came into existence as an idea and eventually a video game in 2012, after Digital Extremes released the title “Dark Sector”. Dark Sector was released in 2008 and it was originally intended to be a science fiction video game set in a Sci Fi space environment. The player would take control of a character that makes use of a mechanical suit that housed various powers. However at some point during the games development, it was overhauled and stream lined with much of the Sci Fi elements being scrapped.
Digital Extremes announced they were working on Warframe in 2012, it was later confirmed that Warframe would be borrowing a lot of content from Dark Sector including the characters and the level design. Digital Extremes officially went into closed beta with Warframe in late October 2012. Since the original beta began, the game has seen several separate versions come and go as well as multiple hot fixes and releases. The game finally went into public open beta in March 2013. Warframe has also been confirmed to be coming to the Sony PlayStation 4. It will be available day one to conincide with the console’s launch.
In Warframe the players are tasked with taking control of a member of the Tenno. The Tenno are an ancient warrior caste that has been awakened from centuries of cryosleep (a form of stasis) only to find themselves embroiled in a war with the Grineer and The Corpus. The Grineer are a militarized race of humans with vast armies under their control, they are using a beacon to summon the Tenno to an ancient place for combat.
The Corpus is a long existing guild of Merchants. A mysterious being known as The Lotus (who rescued you from your cryo sleep) will guide you to the Warframes, suits of incredible power that will enable you to do battle with The Grineer. The Lotus will teach you how to use these Warframes and unlock the powers locked within each suit. With this, you will enter into the war.
In Warframe, it’s up to 4 separate players to take on various missions, these can range from wiping out groups of enemies to retrieving data from enemy computer terminals. Hacking these terminals is in fact a small in game puzzle. It is in this multiplayer mode that the player will take control of a Warframe, a specialized suit that has its own abilities and powers. Separate suit types replace the need for separate character classes. As with most modern third person action games, the player is equipped with three weapons for combating their enemies before entering the fray. Similar to an RPG experience, the game rewards the player with “Affinity Points” that are used to increase the efficiency of their suit, and the potency of the abilities within. Leveling up your armour and powers will in turn make missions easier, thus allowing you to tackle ever more challenging tasks.
These armour and power modifications can be switched in and out between missions so you can tailor your Warframe to suit your play style. Players can perform athletic manoeuvres similar to those performed by a traceur (a practitioner of Parkour) in an attempt to quickly navigate the environment. Jumping, sprinting, combat rolls and slides can be combined into flowing moves that can also be used to avoid the enemies’ weapons fire. Similar to the game “Special Forces Team X”, Warframe makes use of prefabricated level boxes that are joined together in random order; this gives the illusion of randomly generated level design. This is to make sure that no two environments in the game are the same. There are also micro transactions in Warframe, this means that if a player does not want to play for a long period of time to unlock a piece of equipment, the player can instead pay a one-time cash to unlock certain items.
To ensure the game doesn’t grow stale, (which is often what brings down free to play games) Warframe makes use of 9 separate mission types. To mix up these mission types further, at random intervals during the game your mission may be superseded by another mission, this just serves to lengthen and rejuvenate the objectives already in place.
The mission types are as follows:
Capture missions will see the players trying to find a VIP (very important person) within an enemy’s ship. Once the VIP has been found, he is to be restrained. Once this is done, the players must then fight their way to extraction.
Assassination missions task the players with eliminating a specific enemy character, this boss character often carries special equipment and has its own set of skills that help differentiate them from the common cannon fodder.
Survival missions are very similar to the Zombie mode (Call of Duty) and Horde mode (Gears of War) found in other games. The player is tasked with fighting wave after wave of the foes, they must pick up life support pick-ups such as oxygen if they wish to survive.
Rescue missions, the player team must find and safely extract a hostage.
Defence missions, during these missions the player must protect an assigned artifact from waves of enemies; this mission mode can also include defending a mobile set of key points.
Extermination missions task the player team with locating and destroying a set number of opponents to guarantee the missions’ success.
Sabotage missions. In a sabotage mission the players must destroy a randomly assigned number of mining machines or a ship generator.
Deception missions. During a deception mission the players must take “datamass” to the navigation centre of a ship and upload it to the target, after this they must escape to extraction.
Spy missions are based around locating and hacking terminals which are holding datamass, the players collect the datamass and then return it to extraction.
At the moment, there are four factions inhabiting the Warframe universe. The faction that you (the player) will control whilst in game, are the Tenno. The Tenno are the long living descendants of a warrior caste from a long gone time period known as the Orokin era. At the end of a generically unnamed war, the Tenno survivors are put into a cryosleep. They are eventually awakened from this stasis by The Lotus, the mysterious entity that guides you through your missions.
The Grineer serve as the games main antagonists, they are an empire of militaristic fascists that dominate the solar system with their overwhelming brutal armies. Rather than using superior soldiers, The Grineer instead use massive clone armies to effectively overwhelm even the most tenacious foe, their soldiers are sometimes supported by various heavy troopers or specialized units.
The Corpus is a trade corporation who control most, if not all of the trade routes across and throughout the solar system. They gained all of their technological advancements from reverse engineering artifacts from the Orokin era.
The final factions in the Warframe universe are the victims of the Technocyte plague. Much Like the Grineer these victims rely on their strength of numbers to win in battle, unlike the Grineer however, the Technocyte victims have been twisted into monstrous shapes and lack any means of engaging in significant ranged combat.