Welcome to Warframe. It is well into Open Beta and already being ported out to Playstation 4. This is a title I realized I have had installed for a long time and had not done a review about!
History: Why did I start playing? I remember about a year ago I was hunting for a good FPS. Before, I was playing Battle Field 2, and Battle FIeld Bad Company 1, on PC and Xbox. I liked those (and I loved fooling around on BF 1945 for the Xbox Download. Super simple, yet cheesily rewarding and fun). But I moved and do not have a console system anymore. And I left my old BF 2. Plus it was time to move on and try new waters. I had been very disappointed with the F2P shooters. I tried them all. Even Warface in Russia, before it was launched (feel free to see my Warface review in my Blog button to the LEFT).
Nothing really had good quality and always had a game breaking amount of hackers. I had found an ok time in A.V.A. when it was in IJJI games company. But now it moved and the quality, again, went down the drain. Plus I just could not get back into it as there were allot of bland aspects about that game. I was stuck. I would be forced to re-buy a box title since NOTHING was entertaining in the F2P market (I even re installed and re finished FarCry2). When I saw the Closed Beta for Warframe I thought "oh great, another boring twitch fest shooter that just uses melee as it's marketing scheme". I ignored it for the most part. Until Open Beta reviews came pouring in.
I created my first OB account and got in. I was impressed! It was amazing looking and ran smooth on my system! Very well made visually, mechanically, and game play was very rewarding. I was also hooked on the idea I would never be ruined by hackers. When all your objectives are to help each other, not fight against each other, then the game became x10 more interesting for me. The world was complex enough that fighting AI was just as challenging as fighting other real players. I Also enjoyed the AI was not the kind of stupid AI most other games intorduce that are OP and always land head shots and used more like a slot machine to get you to purchase better guns with real cash. No, Warframe was balanced and just hard enough to pose a real challenge and rewarding finish. Sometimes that challenge is VERY hard, but makes me rethink my strategy, not rethink the game design. AND THAT was avery important for my staying appeal.
In addition, early Warframe had allot of smooth wall climbing and acorbats to make a shooter feel futuristic. These warframes were, what most people call, space ninja's! Armed with side arms, main arm and a mele weapon, this game was amazing! I did uninstall it though. Why?
The early Warframe relied on farming certain content for certain things. That pushed everyone to one place and left you far behind if you did not play with the crowd at launch. The ammo would run low very early game and you needed to buy stocks of it if you were not careful. Forcing most people to just run through the game and never shoot once... Speed builds were getting popular. Allot of things hard to craft. Mass grind that catered to some lucky people that felt sketchy.
The company did something most do not. THEY RESPONDED to FEEDBACK! And made a patch.
I re installed and tried out the patch. I noticed that they made AI rush you more and basic troops had knock down. Usually, the knock down was reserved for these foot troops with a shield that slowly walk up to you and kick you down, then shoot you. It is your job to aim off to the sides of the shield and get in a tactical shot. But now that ALL troops have this knock down, the game got frustrating. Other issues were not cared too. So I uninstalled again. Waiting for a better time to play.
THAT TIME IS NOW! I heard they did a mass re-haul of the game. Included clans, better map use and balance of core game mechanics. I recently re-installed and having allot of fun! here are is the break down:
Character Creation: You have a choice between 3 Warframes (ninja suit like robot killing machines AKA; YOU). Excalibur, Loki, and Mag. Each warframe is unique in look and abilities. What play style you enjoy is what will make the difference here. Excalibur, for example, has a slash dash ability and stun ability. The others use stealth and or mob manipulation. This is something I enjoy about the game as well. You are not pigeon holed into a role or other limitations most FPS have. It is based on "what kind of bad assery do you want to partake in". Yet, at the same time, you can still build you'r kind of weapon from sniper to assault rifles. The only thing this game does not have yet, is a heavy gunner. But since action is light footed "acrobatic", the use of a heavy gunner would be odd and out of context. Perhap's this games only draw back. But heavy gun's are used in siege battle situations and almost all battles in this game are assault and espionage so the lack of this kind of "class" is logical.
Back to character creation. Once you have a character chosen you can modify it's colors on several layers of the warframe suit. F2P are locked in basic color scheme. It used to have more choices before the last patch. The last patch really locked us out of color selections. But there is enough there to get creative. I notice a few glitches. For example, we are given 3 choices of white, but black and grey are locked out. Oddly, the standard color for the suit parts is black, so why not give it to us?? Also, you modify all the colors on your gun as well. However, in the black parts, no matter what color I chose for it, it never turns that color but becomes a shade of strange black... I think they have issues right now trying to block the F2P from really making his standard gun stand out, and prefer to "punish" us by glitching the black stuff for now...hard to explain, but once you are in creating or attempting to modify the color of you'r gun, you will realize how "broke" it is at the moment. BUT, the small pieces that do color normally work and all is good. MY pistol used to be a nice brilliant red white and blue...now it is kind of dull grey... So they fixed the core game mechanics but screwed up the color customization for F2Pers. I will take that as a trade off.
The body suit still colors just fine. I noticed they dulled the F2P colors a bit and now sell the more brilliant color schemes VIA shop.
To start, you will be happy with what you have. But you will run across some AWSOME looking suits and that alone makes me want to put some money down to customize! There are some REALLY nice designs out there! The creativity is very high for a FPS game. Most games just give you uniforms or character choices (like "here buy a female character")...Warframe has logical purchases and very nice creative looks.
You can also change colors ANYTIME you wish in the game. So character creation is not a last stop to do this.
One of my favorite things about Warframe is the map change. It usually is never the same map twice. IF you start a mission, it could be a map with ice environment. Lowering you'r shields, giving the game a more dangerous edge. You can restart the map and it is a new map with no ice and new lay out. Same mission though. This randomization of maps is very nice. Some are not random however, and you will be tested on it's lay out. The only draw back is that after awhile, even though it is random, you will have the maps memorized. But not all the time... This is important, becuase when you have X amount of time to find the exit...the map in the brain helps... You will soon make a mental note which maps you like and dislike. Most all of them are enjoyable and offer so many hiding holes, things to climb and places to find cover. And it is very well desgined and graphically amazing!
The UI was annoying when I first played. They were kind of clunky, however, I could play any role I Wanted. I could be the sniper guy that stood back and shot em all down. I could be assault guy that shoots and scoots. I could be mele build and slash my way through it all. The problem was, every one was slash building and speed building to farm specific maps. The patch updated this by making the UI rush to you. So you could no longer play the assault or sniper well. You HAD to use the blade in most situations. In addition they added knock down to most troops, so rush + knock down = bye bye tactical gun play (I had uninstalled). But recent change balanced it all out. No more knock back. Some rush, most find cover. And the type of enemy will play his role (HEavy armor more in the open, light takes cover, melee rushes you, etc..) The UI is logical and makes use of your warframe. It is a compliment you and battle systems. I can play my role (I enjoy the assaut rifle). And the other players Warframe builds compliment each other. I stun, for example, why Loki cloaks and kills every one around us. OR a WArframe that puts damage modifiers on people,, and I use a heavy bolt ability = MASS 1 shot kill damage. That is probably the one word to summarize this game play: "Complimentary". A great shooter.
The map progression is nice with a few places to stop and farm. A few bosses to stop and kill. A few events to hop into. They have balanced the rewards and kind of items to farm are shown, so you will be traveling the universe and looking for places to go to as you progress.
The leveling system unlocks new potentials and weapons for the Teeno (you). The game is based around Crafting. You can purchase to advance in the game, but over all it is truly F2P and requires you play and collect parts to CRAFT you'r items. My only complaint is that they increased the difficulty of bosses and I can no longer solo certain bosses. It requires group. Which is fine, but I wish there was a solo boss mode that gave different kinds of rewards. Sometimes players are not on and or they are incompetent. Over all not a big problem and I See they can change it as they wish (before I could solo, now I can not, so it is a dev. responding to the populations / player base).
Once the game takes you. You will realize it is like Pokemon. You will be out to collect as many pieces to build as many warframes as possible. There are several other warframes than the starter frames. To play them. You have to collect the blueprints, and then get the materials to craft each piece (head, body, legs, etc). This is true for weapons as well. I am currently playing this game in attempt to build a new assault rifle and make enough cool items to deck out my main build. After, I will start building other frames.
As you prgoress you also realize the importance of the other frames. Grouping is fun and meaningful. Not just another body to zerg content. You will need to rely on each other. In fact, death is even a strategy. If you are running low on resources, it is better to die sometimes, and have a friend revive you. You restart with full ammo and health. SOME players can be jerks and just run past you and rush to the end and not care about team work. But it is rare. Usually when a high level is farming low level content and does not care about you. But it is not as common as it used to be. Thanks to the balance of last updates.
All in all. This is a great shooter that supports any kind of FPS role. Assault. Pistoler, bow and arrow. Sniper. Sword. Etc. You can build it, you can play it. HAve fun. And that is the result. And once you go deeper it just get's more interesting and challenging and hooks you in.
Sound: Awesome! The sound of the material of your suit sliding across the floor. The little "clink" of metal as you roll and your sword smacks the ground. The sounds of bullet casings dropping after firing. The sound of squishy slicing through bodies. The sound of ambient echoes and voices and machinery. All donce very well. The UI had an update that made them more vocal.
Community: Probably the weakest feature. Recruiting to a clan is very clunky. You have to type the persons name in to INVITE them in. You can not click on them from the global chat. The game loads you automatically into groups (unless you decide not to). This is hit or miss. Some people play fair and heal you up if dead or they just ignore you and move on. Most people play nice. But everytime I add a question, no one answers. It is not surprising if people play with the chat box closed. I know allot of people do not speak english either so that might play a factor. But I honostly think, most people have chat off, music full blast, and game on. So much action it is hard to chat really. So I guess they just do not want to socialize. I have had some good responses to my questions during game play so it is what it is. Global chat outside of gameplay has just turned into "POtato. Potato. POtato." So meh.
Economy and Crafting: Like I said. This is not P2W, but P2 advance fast. But advancing fast is not like in other games where you Blaze along. IF you purchase a warframe with all top guns right away. And start the game, you could be more useless than the poor F2P who just has a few unlocks. Because skill and adapting the world is not purchasable. That is based on each persons ability. And again, everything that the guy that purchased stuff can be farmed in game. Drops are hard to come by sometimes. Most of the time you are just searching for fluff items as well, not essential items.
Standard upgrades come in drops and rewards. They are like cards. For example, to increase my attack, an "10% to damage" card drops. You plop this card into a slot on your gun. It has 4 rank slots (like gem slots for you fantasy mmorpgsers). To increase the ranks (or set a gem) you modify the card by FUSING it with other cards or fusion mods. An HP bar fills up, and once fused enough it gains a rank. This crafting process spends the in game currency. So that is what most it will go too. Crafting. You can purchase base weapons with in game currency as well but they are the base...the better weapons have to be built or purchased with REAL cash.
It is easy to make in game currency and I usually have about 200 000 on me at all times. IT can dip low though if you start crafting like crazy all of a sudden. But the progression is balanced so far. The enhancing of abilities starts to get difficult after about 4 to 5 upgrades. Each upgrade gives little exp movement and you end up eating allot of resources. So there is sort of a mid game limit. There are certain "cards / abilities" you will want to buid in depending on your game style and warframe. So read up and find a decent guide. Or just experiment!
As a F2P, I was given about 150 Real Cash coin for free (platinum). This is used to avoid crafting and out right buy parts etc. I purchased a droid pet to help out. He is modfiable and customizable. There are numerous attachments and enhancements to add to your warframe for looks and boosts.
I did not notice an auction house... But there is a trade channel...
The currency seems balanced at the moment and the deals fare. Again, you buy out right the parts in real cash, or you use in game currency and build it yourself. All relies, for a F2P, on farming. The currency is there and available, it is just the parts that are difficult to find at times. I have not hit end game, but my only worry is the rate of enhancements vs Content. If content requires all my cards are maxed and I cannot max them until I farm my ass off in parts in the lower areas... that could be sad. But it seems everything is fine for the moment. The game seems to progress in favor of the F2P and keeps you end gamers busy in crafting every frame and weapon available and testing it and tryoing out combos.
Combos are the kinds of touches you add to your weapons. Cold + Poison gas = Poison shock for example. There are so many kinds of damage and effects to test and build, and try out on weapons. One interesting thing to keep you "switching weapons depending on the mission" is that some damage hurts certain alien races than the others. Some deal bonus damage to mutants. While others on robots. So depending where you are going, you will be swapping weapons or ability cards on the weapon. There are load out tabs for this.
Not just weapons. This applies to the player. YOu can build in "Laser armor bonus" to get resistant against laser fire. This helps if you know you are in a stage with more laser dealing beasts. Or "speed" builds to do the "get to the exist now" missions faster. Or "extra ammo" builds for those invasion missions... the results are not endless, but NUMEROUS enough to keep you busy. And if you do not build right, you are not really at a disadvantage...anytime you enter a stage you are under geared for, you will have to rely on other skills like dodging, running, reloading off to the side under cover instead of fast reload mods.
It is not perfect... Lacks a little here and there and has some unfair drops rates. Social aspect could be better. I really would like to see more dynamic living elements in the maps. And thinking at the improbable, perhaps space ship combat? The choice between planetary defense and landing and space boarding? This game has the potential to rival in other fields, not just shooter. They already are doing a sort of base building and PvP structure... How cool would it be to start building pieces for space bases and have those put on the map for other players attempt to take over?
Any ways, I am getting off topic. My final score for this game is 4/5.