So, there are times where I just randomly feel a deep desire to play certain games. Sometimes, it’ll be an RTS (Grey Goo, yeah!), others it’ll be some grindy MMO (Final Fantasy XIV, wow!). Well, about two weeks ago, I got the urge. This one was a strange case for me though, as it wasn’t so much wanting a new game as it was wanting to give an older game one more shot. I always wondered why the top of the F2P list in steam was populated by two great games and one I had deemed lackluster. Now was the time to find out.
Obviously from the title, I’m talking about Warframe. Now, I got this game when it first came out and thought it was decidedly middling. It was nifty enough, but the levels felt redundant, the action felt redundant, and no character really interested me. Not to mention, I was already in Korea, so any real connection to other players was wishful thinking, at best. My stint the first time through probably lasted around 3 hours before I gave up and deleted it.
This time, though, was different.
I’m on day 18 of consecutive logins, and I and putting in the hours to get as much as possible out of this. Am I running end-game content? No, but I like to think I’m slowly growing my confidence before tackling the challenge levels. For those of you new to this game, let’s start at the beginning!
Warframe is, in essence, a third-person shooter with heavy emphasis on online cooperative multiplayer. You are what’s known as a Tenno: a super-powered, mythical assassin that’s been recently revived to fight off “evil” or something of the sort. The Tenno use warframes to run into battle and wreak havoc through special abilities, crazy guns and some form of melee weapon. They like to play up the whole “ninja” aspect of the characters, but most people take a very Rambo-esque style of play. As stated, I’m not in the late content, so maybe that will change.
I have a desire to get addicted to games for some length of time, and Warframe lends itself well to this. It has a lot of things to unlock, and it’s relatively easy to set up your own goals for each session. You start out with one planet, and that slowly expands to 14 different planets by the end. Each planet is crowded with a ton of different missions, and each mission has its own specific goal and level design. That said, I can’t help but feel that each location feels very reminiscent to every other location for that specific faction. Obviously, they should use the same set pieces, but they really start blending together after a few hours. “Oh, it’s Corpus Ship A152C.” “Gee, one more time through Grineer smoky factory 624.” You play through each mission in some kind of path to get to the boss for each planet. If you beat the boss, you get a new planet and you keep going in that pattern.
The crux of my experience has been dedicated to unlocking frames. This is where I feel the game really shines. I can’t help but draw the comparison to League of Legends. It feels like you do a bit of repetitive gameplay so that you can unlock a new character with new mechanics to continue repeating the gameplay. Though you aren’t changing the mission and levels, the characters feel varied enough that each one gives you a fresh boost to keep playing. This goes in line with pretty much any F2P model, so it’s not necessarily surprising, but it is fun nonetheless.
I’m a bit obsessive about always following the proper path, always unlocking the proper gear, and always using the best weapons. These policies carried over to Warframe in quite a big way. The game has tons and tons of weapons, but they take quite a few resources to build, and some of them can be incredibly hard to come by without actual money being spent. Therefore, I’ve really held off on buying a large arsenal of guns. There are so many different types, yet I’ve merely stuck to guides for my weapon choice. I’ve checked what the best weapons are, and those are generally the only ones I play with. It’s sad, really, as it may be robbing me of a better experience, but the power is so variant that I’m worried it would just waste my time. On the bright side, the best guns are a bit ridiculous in and of themselves. From what I’ve read, there’s a grenade launcher, a bow and arrow, a lightning gun, and a gas cannon.
There has come a point recently, where I’ve been really feeling the grind. Living far away, it’s rather tough to find substantial parties to progress through many levels in the game. Some are just downright impossible without a party or vapors (basically npc teammates) to help you out. I end up spending a lot of time just looking for forma so that I can potentially build higher level gear. No luck yet, and it’s getting to be a hassle. See, the best place to get loot is also the only area in the game without online matchmaking. Obviously, this is far tougher on me than the average consumer, but it’s a barrier either way. Also, later content calls for even larger groups, which I can only assume means even longer waits to play one level.
Overall, I’ve actually really enjoyed my time with Warframe so far. The graphics are fantastic, the action is wonderfully satisfying, and the content is varied enough to keep me coming back. That time may soon be running out, as it’s a game made for multiplayer, and I just live too far from the majority of the player base to keep going. If you are into grinding levels for unlocks and new content, this is definitely hitting those buttons. Just don’t expect massive changes in location from level to level. I’ll keep playing until I just ain’t feeling it anymore, and I’d guess that’ll be sooner rather than later. I guess we’ll check next week!
Thanks for pushing through my WIPW article! I’ll be back again on Friday to throw out my Virtual Reality feelings.