Welcome to another rendition of Steam Eearly Access with Morphman (SEAM for short). This time we’ll look at a futuristic cyberpunk game that recently hit Open Beta (open for anyone to join to test the game for bugs and give suggestions).
Warframe sends you to a future version of our solar system. When it is, who you are and why you are there is all clouded, you don’t need to know such things. You are awaken from your cryosleep with no memories at all by your superiors. You are Tenno, an elite soldier in the war against the superiors enemies. You are wielding the Warframe, an exoskeleton that enhances you beyond the laws of physics, and you are excelling in the art of guns and swords, holding no preference over the other. All you know about your past is what your superiors tell you, you are of Orokin origin, an ancient race of Earth, masters of technology and gene-splicing and your world has been taken over by the enemies of your masters, the foul Grineer, the mechanical proto-human Corpus and the vile Infested.
Choose your Warframe, Tenno, it will be your second skin, your mind and your philosophy for as long as you wield it. You start off with a choice of one of three warframes, the versatile Excalibur (fighter style), the stealthy Loki (stealth and deception) or the magnificent Mag (gives you power over magnetism). You have three weapons at all times, the close combat weapon (sword, axe and similar), the long range (rifles, shotguns, bows, machine guns etc.) and the pistols. At any point in the game, you can change between pistols and long range, but the sword is not selectable, instead that has its own attack key, allowing you to combine close range and long range combat seamlessly.
The movement of your character is very versatile, you can really feel how agile you are as you run through the corridors, jump from platform to platform or even run along walls. The movement of your warframe has been greatly inspired by the freerunning style of Parkour. This gives you total freedom of movement and you may select your own path through each level. Don’t want to run around that big, gaping chasm? Run, dodge then flip-jump over the chasm and grab on tight to the railing on the other side! This technique freaked me out big time when I first tried it (by mistake), but that’s not the only heart-pounding moment you’ll get in this game.
The pacing is quick, the atmosphere intense and with countless enemies closing in on you (I’m not even kidding, there’s no limit to how many enemies there are, they just keep coming), you’ll have your heart pounding from the time you land to the moment you escape.
In order to give you as unique experience as possible, you can put “mods” on your weapons and warframe, increasing certain stats or giving you new abilities. Each mod can then be upgraded by fusing it with other mods or with a fusion core (an empty mod, only used to fuse with other mods) to make it even more powerful. The mods can be found in the levels or as rewards for certain missions called “alerts”. An alert is a special mission from your superiors and are broadcasted around the whole world at once. If you have unlocked a level that gets an alert mission on it, you will be notified on your home screen. You’ll see where the mission is, what you have to do, what rewards you can get from it (often much better rewards than the regular mission on that level) and how long you have left to respond.
To give you greater control of your game, you can at any time from your home screen select between three modes: Solo if you want to play on your own, Friends if you want to control who can join your group or Global if you want to be able to group with anyone in the world. Each group can consist of up to 4 players, and the difficulty will automatically change according to how many players there are and their combined warframe and weapon levels (yup, each weapon and your warframe levels independently from you as a player). The more people, the better the rewards, but no level requires you to play with others to complete them. Even if you play in a group, you have no obligation to stay with the group, but once you’re grouped, you have the option to continiue playing with that group through other levels. The next level is decided by vote of majority, if you don’t want to play the level the others want to play, you may simply leave the group and another will take your place and you may select the level you want to play and either wait for a group to form or just start playing on your own. Anyone may join in at any time, even if the game has already started, up until the point where the mission objectives have been fulfilled.
This adds even more to the versatile experience that makes this game unique. It makes you really feel you are a nameless mercenary, able to fight either on your own, with any other soldier or in an elite team, that complements each other.
The game has a store where you may purchase additional weapons, warframes, skins or colors, either for in-game credits you earn on missions or by selling unwanted items, or with Platinum, that you can buy for real money. No item other than color packs require Platinum only, but to get weapons and warframes with credits, you need to buy their blueprints. Then you have to play through certain areas of the game to find the right resources to craft the items in the Forge and the crafting itself takes between a few hours to a few days depending on how good the item is (warframes takes almost a week to craft and are really hard to get the materials for). Althou this is very rewarding, it might be tedious to grind the same levels over and over again to get the right materials, but hey, it’s free so you have to expect to work a bit for your free items.
This game is still in an early beta and may change any or all properties with time. At this time there have been no reveal about the final product or future features, but there have been hints that the final game will be free as well and that a trading system might be coming. There has also been unconfirmed whispers about platinum-only crafting materials in the store, for those who wants to get that last piece of material without grinding, as a way to combine platinum and credits to lower the price of an item.
Warframe can be played for FREE on Steam