Reviews: War Frame

Free to play, fun to farm.

Destiny, but free. Destiny, but with a better story (basically almost none) Destiny, but-

The first thing you'll say when you start Warframe's tutorial will probably be along the lines of "HOLY SH** how is a free game this gorgeous?"

36 hours later, bleary-eyed, the last thing you say before you lose consciousness will be: "Can't sleep... need 2 more neurodes..."

It was said a thousand times about Destiny: a grind, but a fun grind. And where Destiny purports to be a fully-realized $60 game, then charges you another $40 every six months to even keep playing the content you've *already* unlocked, Warframe is all-free, all the time.

It's daunting at first - famously, very little is explained, and that not well. One must focus on doing missions and ignoring the locked or inscrutable aspects hovering in every nook and cranny. And they recently bolted and entire NEW game onto their game, a free-roaming Diablo-III-style overworld crawl and a thousand new ingredients unique to it for you to grind alongside the mission-based planetary nodes.

That grind is a blast. Leaping, lasering, machine-gunning, hacking with flaming greatswords or crackling electrical whips, cling to walls and slamming down for massive damage... it's a joy to play. Each of the 30+ Warframes has a unique playstyle and mechanic, some seemingly torn from the wild, demented postings of amateur fans (including a frame which changes elemental damage based on how you color it, and a frame which adds a completely functional music sequencer and *dancing battle mechanics*). Weapons can vary just as wildly.

Basically, buy Warframe. For zero dollars.

Great Game That Makes a Terrible First Impression

The Good:
  • Fast-paced gameplay with incredibly fun movement mechanics
  • Tons of variety in weapons and Warframes
  • While the game has a premium currency, buying it is not required to obtain 100% completion as far as weapons and Warframes go, and it's designed to avoid being pay-to-win
  • Very friendly and supportive playerbase
  • Highly interactive developers (they even hold official livestreams on a regular basis)
  • Interesting lore
  • Frequent content updates
  • Fun PvP
  • It's free!

The Bad:
  • Suffers from a particularly severe case of early game hell. New players will have a horrid time without looking up guides, since the game hardly explains anything aside from the very basics, and what little equipment is given is utterly useless in the long run
  • Some mechanics and gamemodes such as Archwing are severely underdeveloped
  • Mid-high to high-level play is plagued by various demonic spiders

Misc.:
  • Premium currency (Platinum) is required to obtain inventory slots for weapons and Warframes. You can trade items for Platinum among other players, but it'll take a while before you'll have anything really worth selling
  • You WILL end up grinding for materials/mods/experience/etc. at some point. Whether you think it's relaxing or tedious, YMMV

In conclusion, if you can get past the terrible early game and invest a bit of time into it, Warframe is by far one of the best free-to-play games of this generation. While it suffers from a tedious meta-game of grinding and has a few unpolished mechanics, there's a lot of good to be enjoyed. Fun gameplay, great community, supportive devs, constant updates all help keep the game fresh and enjoyable.
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