First impressions are important. They enable individuals to positively affect how others perceive them. Most of us want to endear ourselves to another or casually aggregate oneself into a tight-knit group of friends. Yet attempts to positively influence a strangers view of you with only momentary interaction can be difficult to convey. It only takes one flippant gesture, one awry word and the congenial nature they’ve tried to project is forever tarnished. Warframe is the same. Despite its best intentions, employing some fun combat and visual allures we never really clicked. There was no chemistry, no attraction. Our severance was amicable as well as mutual. We’d moved on, seen other people and were content with our lives apart. Until one innocuous day, from across a crowded bar surrounded by dozens of would be suitors you see them, glowing in riveting exultation. They look different, act different. This isn’t the same person I remember, is it? It’s funny how a perception of something can drastically alter after a period of absence and that’s certainly the case with Warframe.
Having originally played Warframe about 3 years ago on the PS4 I’d almost immediately dismissed it as just another pedestrian, free to play third person shooter, customary for the systems conspicuous lack of quality and quantity at the time. But I’ve got to tell you that this really isn’t the game I left behind. So much content has been added through updates that not only expands on the mythology and story but the amount you can do. You can travel to all nine planets in our solar system, and I’m including Pluto in that, as well as quadrants such as the Rift. I’d like to beguile you with each planets environment mystic but to be totally honest with you I can’t, because I’ve only reached my second planet, Venus. Whether you’re defending an alliance stronghold, capturing specific enemies, procuring intel, appropriating civilians from alien incarceration or simply murdering colonies of intergalactic terrorists to death, there is so much to occupy your time that you will probably repeat missions to accumulate resources to build better artillery for your expansive library of guns, as well as other implements of death.
There are a variety of Warframe’s to choose from, each with variable ballistic capabilities as well as special talents that can be activated during combat, dispersing compact groups with devastating effect. Your essentially a space ninja, circumnavigating the galaxy assassinating anyone stupid enough to impede you, and with such a huge roster of Warframes at your disposal you will discover ever more intriguing ways to initiate planetary genocide. Warframe is as mad as Mel Gibson’s drunk addled memoirs, and at times just as explicit. You’ll be hacking and shooting creatures in half with relative ease, even at such an early stage. But it’s not until you’ve really understood the dynamic nature of the Warframe that you’ll truly comprehend the insatiable lustre for speed.
The game has a very steep learning curve that’s difficult to negotiate preliminary. Other more distinguished players, suitably versed in the environments and combat will negotiate areas with a poise that will feel intimidating. You will look and feel cumbersome, often sustaining more hits and dispensing less punishment in the company of these more accomplished competitors. But you will still be a competent, functional member of the team, if not as effective. Speed is essential and there’s a fervent demand to resolve assignments quickly, expediting the trajectory of the mission into an intensely competitive affair between the randomly assembled legation. Manoeuvrability as a Warframe is very much suited to this kind of expeditious versatility. Not only is movement reactive but Warframe’s are proficient in swift verticality, engaging in dynamic wall sprinter and bullet jumps, a self-propelled discipline that sends a Warframe hurtling in any direction with transitory vigour. It’s gloriously fun and probably Warframes most appetising commodity….other than its primary attribution: it’s free.
Being a free to play game encourages participants to really enjoy exploration. Having an initial, obligatory fiscal value attached to it would somewhat diminish its success, but not by much. And of course there’s a premium service available to those that want to purchase a rare weapon or attire their Warframe in more appealing cosmetics, emblazoned in colour coordinated vibrancy. But almost everything you can buy can be earned through rigorous exploration and dedicated repetition. It’s grinding essentially, a deficiency often used to categorise Destiny’s own substantial limitations, but it’s never been this much fun. In fact you begin to wonder why the word grinding is uttered with such contemptuous derision?
Few games offer this kind of dedicated support to a game almost 4 years old, let alone contribute substantial updates that maintains the attention of both new and veteran users. Case in point is a new update expected for release sometime this year called “The Plains of Eidolon” that introduces an open world map, full of new and dangerous enemies as well as considerable opportunity for scavenging essential materials that can be fashioned into powerful weaponry, all of which will be available for free! Considering the enormity of this update, all the time dedicated to constructing an environment not yet seen in Warframe, “Digital Extremes” could have justifiably charged users for the privilege. But they haven’t. Could you imagine Bungie doing the same with Destiny?
You can’t help but admire their passion and applaud their philosophy. In a market saturated with unfinished games that demand further financial contributions to finish adequately, to have a game this expansive that relishes in the charity of its community and their patronage, rather than concealing content behind pay walls is commendable and certainly a rhetoric I’d like to see encouraged by other developers. Money is important, particularly with a game that requires a sustainable source of revenue to maintain its services over extended periods of time. But I believe Digital Extremes have demonstrated that though fundamentally the integrity of the foundation is crucial for generating repeat business, the way in which the structure needs to be constructed isn’t.