What’s Up With Warframe?

By Jim Rossignol on April 9th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

By which I mean: I’ve played Warframe over the past couple of weeks and will now write about it, for your possible edification.

Warframe is a sci-fi over-the-shoulder shooter where space ninjas have upgradeable sharkfin heads. Sadly that doesn’t quite clinch the deal, because the free-to-play beast of Digital Extremes has been in beta for a year now, and still hasn’t quite driven home the wakizashi of success. But has that journey delivered it from the hollow purgatory of its early release? Or will it determine to be a footnote in the history of free-to-play experimentation?

I donned my impossible fish helmet to find out.

There is a voice inside me. Somewhere deep down in the fossilising lobes of my brain resides an eager mouth that calls in from my past. It is a youthful me, filled with irrational exuberance. It looks at the art and sci-fi glamour-gloom of Warframe and says: “THIS IS THE STUFF!”

It’s a game of space grimdark the way I like it, with design that echoes the great space fantasies of Dune, with the less silly bits of 40K. Someone has been here and written some fabulous visuals with genuine talent, and the thrumming, arching levels are wonderfully threatening environments for combat.

Yes, Warframe looks like a game that some deeply-rooted part me of should (and sort of does) love unquestioningly: it is set in a world of space ninjas, and features 4-player co-op battles against hordes of grisly AI. As you play you upgrade through an exotic library of biomorphic armour, punchy assault rifles, Japanese swords, fancy space pistols and weird drone things. The movement is pacey (if bizarrely stamina-limited) and allows for leaping over stuff, sliding, and using special powers to zap into people with a sword flourish.

I love the lavish menus, and the way that the level selection progression system spills through a cool solar system space map thing. If I were making a game about space ninjas then I’d want it to look like this, except perhaps I’d add some big Japanese spaceships. Warframe has the look, and much of the genetics, that might give way to a genuinely entertaining game. Sure, people say the game’s under-fleshed and shadowy theme is generic, and it probably is, but that art style of grimdark and sharkhead ninjas speaks to me, and I am sorry about that.

The real problem, though, is not that both Warframe and I are in love with questionable sci-fi imagery, but that Warframe’s characters, equipment and setting seem to imply a sort of finesse of tactical combat game systems that it just doesn’t have. I’ll be a little unfair at this point and play armchair designer: what it needs something like.. oh, I don’t know: a suppression and flanking system a la Brothers In Arms. Your ninja chums could be laying down suppressing fire on the badguys while someone flanks and goes to work at close range on the distracted enemy with a sword. That sort of mechanic, set up and knocked over time after time, would probably have made this fairly engaging. I say probably because I am just guessing. I am grasping at some straws, and the straws are the possibility space of what might have this game interesting, instead of mildly stimulating, but ultimately vacuous.

Instead of any such framework enemies just run into the various arenas, occasionally lazily attach themselves to cover, and then you shoot them. Sometimes you sword them, and sometimes you even special-power them. If you and three mates manage to do that without taking too much damage from the marching, wave shooting enemies, then all’s well and it’s XP time. (It’s not even quite as good as the Mass Effect multiplayer, I don’t think, and it’s batting in a similar ballpark.)

I should mention at this point that there is something else going on: because you are space ninjas there’s an opportunity on every level to avoid things kicking off and sneak through undetected. If you kill dudes in the right sort of way you avoid bumping up the security level and so avoid the worst of the enemy spawns. Quite how or why this matters isn’t all that clear, and neither is the stealth mechanism itself. I should stress that there is no stealth per se, it’s just about how and when you kill certain dudes. It seems totally arbitrary, as if at some point someone said “hey, aren’t ninja men supposed to be stealthy?” The shrugged reponse to that question is the game systems we find in Warframe’s stealth aspect.

I sound disappointed, and even snarky, and that’s probably not fair. It’s true that I disappointed, but then I kept on playing Warframe for ages, even well after point when I realised that it wasn’t going to develop some deeper set of skills for me to master. I like the way it looks and feels, I enjoy the progression, and I’ve got a kick out of unlocking stuff, in that way that you do. It’s a fair slice of hectic Run ‘n Gun, which shouldn’t be sniffed at too hard. The freeness means it’s worth downloading and taking a look, even with the reservations that I lay out in here.

It helps, of course, that the game gets considerably tougher after its quiet opening levels. As you get deeper into the game you begin to need a well-equipped and clued-in group of players to take on the tougher waves of baddies. Failure becomes real, which I like. The fighting can often be pretty intense, even without that much tactical depth. There’s simply a lot going on, and a lot of dudes that need shooting. Sometimes that’s enough.

There is, however, a sort of critical linchpin in each and every F2P game review, and it’s the question of whether the game enticed me to spend money. Once again, it did not. Perhaps it’s was unknowable quality of what’s on offer: sure, that new Warframe seems better, but it doesn’t look that much better? Because in a game with stats and cosmetics in one bundle, I want both. Moreover: do I really want it when I could buy a whole other game for a few bucks? Has the game made me care enough?

It has not.

I am sure that one day a F2P game will make me slap down some real world spacebucks. But not this time.

Warframe is available now.

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64 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    The only F2P game I’ve ever spent money on was War Thunder, and that’s largely because it let me play for long enough to feel invested in it and feel like it wasn’t begrudging me not paying any money. Certainly I don’t feel like premium players are lording it over me with overpowered planes and upgrades, and the match-making is normally pretty fair, aside from the times where it grouped me in Level II Russian planes against Level I biplanes, when it became a little like Cookie Clicker only with flaming wreckages instead of cookies.

    • DarkFarmer says:

      +1 War Thunder, game is legit all the way. I have also spent money on Planetside (but not really used it, I kinda just got it speculatively during a sale) and Clash of Clans. That’s all, though.

  2. Delusibeta says:

    Apparently, there’s going to be a patch that completely reworks the melee system in the next week or so. Hence why it’s still a beta.

    • Arcalane says:

      Not next week. Today.

      If all goes well, that is.

      • Muffalopadus says:

        Yeah I am a bit disappointed that this review came out right before this major update. Been waiting for 13 for foreverrrr! :O

        • TheVGamer says:

          This isn’t really a review but yes, that’s the problem with betas. Games can completely change on a whim, rendering all critical work done prior completely worthless.

          • Shepardus says:

            That’s especially true with Warframe, which in the past has completely revamped its damage system, its mods system, and pretty much everything else in the game at one point or another.

    • Nokus says:

      The update is today (Canada time) in fact.

    • Antsy says:

      Hence it’s still in beta.
      Which is why it’s still in beta.

      Please pick one.

  3. derbefrier says:

    I tried it when it first showed up on steam and thought it was terrible, movement was bad, fighting was bad, and maybe its just the beginning levels but they were really, really bad. I saw nothing to like in this game a year ago but I do notice it keeps a steady position on steams most played list. Maybe its time to give it another shot. I do like the idea of space ninjas but after such a horrible first impression I am not gonna be an easy sell.

    Oh and the only F2P game i have spent money on is Path of Exile. For some reason, not having to spend money to enjoy the complete game made me want to throw money at them, plus its a pretty good game on its own.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      I agree, maybe I didn’t play it for long enough but the first levels felt so bad. A friend and I were both in agreement that we weren’t enjoying it in any way so we stopped. To me it felt like some generic, bargain bin, PS2 era action game and honestly I wasn’t willing to keep playing it on the off-chance that the game got better after a few hours.

      • durruti says:

        if you don’t like the general feel of movement, guns and enemy encounters, that hasn’t changed – though the starter rifle is rather awful and swordplay is getting a drastic redesign right about now. and you probably haven’t had a go at the abilities, which can be quite fun in their own ways or nuke everyone affairs. as to why it stays on top of the most played list: it has a quite an amount of busywork or “grind” accumulated – getting and leveling a shitton of weapons, quite a few frames and of course farming the materials required to build these. plus the addition of clans means people stay for the clanmembers.

    • Baines says:

      I played it for a while after it came onto Steam. It was fun for a bit, but quickly turned boring.

      “Grimdark” may speak a different message to Jim, but what it told me was “bland”. Warframe looks interesting for the first level and a half. Then you slowly realize that you will be seeing the same colorless textures in the same areas fighting the same enemies for every mission.

      If you want any visual variety, get ready to pony up real money. There was in-game forging and item acquisition, but the system was geared to spending real money or waiting forever.

      There was an annoying “license test” lock on new equipment. Doubly annoying because the stuff it tested weren’t particularly related to being able to successfully play the game. (Beating ten waves solo in the first area’s endless survival mission was much easier than beating the first license test for any weapon type.) Triply annoying in that if you failed for any reason, you had to wait 24 hours to try again.

      Multiplayer was largely getting into a game only to have everyone run and do their own stuff, then someone goes idle halfway through the mission. That on its own wasn’t too bad. Much worse was that there just didn’t seem to be enough of a player base to support multiplayer on all the missions. The first mission I played quickly filled up, and was fun. But after that, it was difficult to ever find anyone playing the other missions. Nothing else I’d unlocked ever had an active game going, and when I started an active game I’d more often than not have beaten it before any other player joined.

      The minigame for deactivating the door locks didn’t add anything to the game. It wasn’t difficult, not complicated enough to even qualify as a puzzle. Just an annoying clickfest, where clicking once too often likely meant you failed (which just meant you immediately tried again.)

  4. aliksy says:

    I played this a bit, picked the class that could shoot lightning. Realized I could shoot lightning twice and then that was it, got bored, quit. Not sure if it’s changed since then.

    • Hackles says:

      You obviously didn’t play deeply enough – give it time, and you’ll collect mods that greatly increase your energy. Your Volt abilities will cost so little energy you could spam them willy-nilly and not worry about your energy at all.

  5. sabasNL says:

    So far the only free-to-play games where I made a microtransaction are Battlefield Heroes (more-or-less regret it, but hell that game was fun before it turned Pay2Win) and Planetside 2 (to me the champion of F2P games in quality atm)

  6. YogSo says:

    1) Wait, wot? Jim! Jim!! You’ve been playing Warframe and you didn’t think of checking the RPS clan -and our awesomely “tubular” Dojo-, adequately called Rock Paper Skana, which has been kicking space-clones-greedy-space-technocrats-and-not-the-Many-but-close-cousins-anyway’s asses for over a year?

    2) Regarding the spending of real money: very few things can’t be obtained at all just by playing the game. Of those things, only one is important from a gameplay perspective (inventory slots, to be able to store both more Warframes and more weapons, so you can keep a bigger selection from where you can choose), and the rest is just (some of the) cosmetic stuff (alternate helmets, or “hats” in the TF2 parlance, can also be obtained without paying). In my opinion, that’s the right way to do F2P.

    3)

    It’s a fair slice of hectic Run ‘n Gun, which shouldn’t be sniffed at too hard.

    Today (if all goes well and doesn’t get delayed again) there’s a big, big, BIG game-changing update, the commonly referred to as “Melee 2.0″ system. In other words, melee weapons stop being kind of an after-thought novelty and become a fun and viable way to play the game beyond the easy starting levels. So if you even got a modicum of fun playing Warframe, I implore you to take another look at it in a few days (once Digital Extremes has hotfixed the bugs and quirks inherent to launching such a huge new system). Maybe this time you’ll finally click with it and embrace the glory of the SPACE NINJAS :)

    • SupahSpankeh says:

      Yeah, that’s rude. Didn’t stop by the clan or owt.

      The game is rather better with a decent group of people – and no, there’s no need to spend real cash on anything apart from cosmetics and weapon slots. The fact it’s not made you spend cash is neither here nor there; the question which needs answer is:

      “Is it fun?”

      The answer is:

      “Mostly”.

      The lack of finesse is obvious (I really sometimes wish it was a bit deeper), and a few of the Warframes are so stupidly OP that they trivialise ‘endgame’ content, but overall it’s fun. It’s also rapidly changing – so a good chunk of what you’ve experienced won’t be relevant in 24 hours (with the delivery of Melee 2.0), let alone 2 months.

      It’s worth your time people – just don’t spend cash in the cash shop unless you get the 75% discount. The prices are outrageous.

    • Ushao says:

      I didn’t know there was an RPS clan but I should have realized there would be. I’ll be hopping on in a few minutes to see if I can join! :D

    • Feste says:

      I’ve played a bit of Warframe, but it didn’t have that immediate physicality that ME3 did and I bounced off of it. It’s probably partly my fault for not joining the RPS clan though. I might give it another go, but a 4 month old baby is a mighty big obstacle in the way of that plan.

      I do love it’s Science Fantasy aesthetic though. That they did right.

  7. Badgercommander says:

    It’s a decent game, it has a pretty solid base but not enough variation or team play. The randomisation gives the game an impersonal, almost clinical feel, the maps are confusing and almost entirely not signposted, at times it feels like you’re a rat running through maze. There’s 3 or 4 core mission types and a certain amount of randomisation, this keeps you going for a while but you soon notice the repetition.
    The pursuit of newer and shinier things delays the inevitable but sooner or later that wanes too.

    Team play is an issue since there’s no real room for tactics, as Jim says you go into a room and shoot or stab dudes and you’re all doing that independently albeit at the same time and possibly the same location. The different frames have some class style characteristics but the team abilities aren’t that common nor that powerful (Trinity being the exception as the only true team player frame).

    I’d rather not go into the f2p stuff as that’s a subject that at best bores me and at worst depresses. I’ll just say that it’s a game that doesn’t respect your time (it takes 3 real world days to craft a frame) and in f2p you may choose to not spend money but you are spending time and we all know that’s a valuable commodity in itself.

    I don’t begrudge the game, I had a decent time with it (believe it or not after reading the above) but it ran it’s course and I’m done with it. I don’t know if I could recommend it but I wouldn’t discourage people from checking it out either.

    • RyuuMasato says:

      I think it’s the way an individual think and play the game that makes the game the way it is. I don’t think there’s suppose to be an expectation. I mean I’m not the kind of person who cares much for stealth because I play with the Rhino Warframe and that’s all about being big and loud BUT I mainly coordinate using the Paris Prime and Despair which are very powerful “Silent” weapons. Once you’ve mastered the parkour, Stealth in Warframe isn’t much of sneaking around anymore. It becomes more like you finishing the mission without realizing you killed everything before anything could realize you were there. You can crouch and sneak around if you want…but that’s boring.

  8. Arglebargle says:

    I love it. Space Ninjas, you know. The martial kind from myth and movie fame, not the more realistic deep cover spies. Probably the only for-free game that I have spent money on. There are enough different warframes to suit different playstyles, though you either have to buy them or grind them out. I pretty much only get those via drops, and I have managed a honkin’ big collection now.

    The early parts are set to be relatively easy. Some of the later bits can be more difficult. I personally like the action, the animations, the design motifs, the responsiveness of the developers, etc. YMMV, of course.

  9. PopeRatzo says:

    Did I ever mention that I’m more than happy to pay for good games? In fact, I really really don’t want anything for free, especially a game.

    F2P will continue to be a ghetto of crappy games because the idea is bad. There can never be a F2P game that will be remembered as something great.

    If you’re a developer and you’re thinking about working on a F2P game, please don’t. It’s sleazy and creepy. Nobody think’s you’re getting over on anyone by offering something for “free” just because you’ve hidden all the costs. You might make money, but you will always be looked down on, the way Vittorio Storaro would look down on a guy who shoots child pornography.

    • Asurmen says:

      Why will there not be a ‘great’ F2P game? Nor does it mean all F2P games are crappy.

  10. caddyB says:

    I loved Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, it really is something else with all the different classes and weapons that all play very differently. If this is similar, I’ll try it out. It’s free anyway.

    • Rizlar says:

      Ditto. Anyone know when Warframe is due to be released?

    • Sweetz says:

      Same here regarding ME3 multiplayer, but I tried Warframe and sustained my interested for all of 1 week. I think ME3′s MP is much more entertaining, and I’d much rather play that, if only people still played it.

    • Feste says:

      It’s embarrasing how much time I spent on ME3′s multiplayer.

      It worked so well for me for two reasons. ME3′s combat was extremely kinetic and the end product of quite a bit of iteration; but more importantly it told the story of the Reaper Wars. Shepherd’s story is one of beating down these annoying Dark AI Gods and their minions, the Reapers are annoyance to Shepherd. In the multiplayer you’re a grunt, an N7 level grunt sure but still, you’re one of Shepherd’s mooks and it’s all too easy to get a squad wipe and lose. It brought back the fear in other words.

    • Aardvarkk says:

      Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer was so well designed, It’s now the gold standard I hold other co-op games against.

      I am quite excited for the next iteration of ME, just for the multiplayer. (Hopefully the story will be good as well!)

  11. MkMax says:

    it sounded very good on paper but then i tried it, after more than an hour of not having fun i gave up, they might fix that, but it will be difficult to erase that first impression

    the progression is horribly slow (doesnt feel like ill get anywhere without dropping money, the fact you “can” get things with drops is kind of bs when it could take tens of hours to get something, anything worth a damn), the levels generated feel very similar to each others constantly giving you those “ive been here already” and “im i going backwards ?” feelings, the enemies turn into bullet sponges very very quickly and the movement is very clunky and unsatisfying (specially compared to the wonderful movement allowed by titanfall, i felt way more like a ninja there)

  12. Marrow says:

    My number one gripe with warframe is their weird networking system that requires certain ports to be opened/forwarded. No other game I’ve owned does this, so I’m not really sure why it doesn’t just do multiplayer like everyone else.
    So generally my mates get excited about it, I install/patch, then remember I can’t connect to their games. Wait a few months, repeat cycle. :(

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Hey, it’s free. They’ve got to make their money somehow, and if that “somehow” requires your computer to be less secure, well then, hey! it’s free!

      F2P is a cancer.

    • Baines says:

      Warframe was actually incompatible with my old router. No matter what I did, the game complained that my ports weren’t forwarded. When I looked online, I found others with the same router had the same issue with Warframe. It was partly the router’s fault, which had something off/outdated in its UPnP code that the manufacturer never fixed, but also partly Warframe’s fault (which the developers never fixed.)

      • Marrow says:

        Yeah, I think I have the same thing as you did.
        I mean sure I could go and buy a brand new router that might not have the issue with uPnP, but what would be way easier would be if the game was coded to just run on the same ports as everything else does.

        No idea what the other guy is implying by linking my comment to f2p, as far as I know port usage doesn’t cost anything

  13. Tei says:

    Warframe make other games feel slow.. its really a very fast fps :D

  14. DanMan says:

    I couldn’t be bothered to create yet another account for it. So I didn’t. *shrug*

  15. Sweetz says:

    I never really understood Warfarme. Or maybe I did and there just isn’t much to understand. I get that you go into levels and kill stuff, I get that you grind credits and materials to buy better guns to kills stuff…and then what? I always felt like there was some larger meta game that I was completely ignorant of because the game doesn’t explain itself very well – or at least it didn’t several months back when I tried it out. I couldn’t believe running through the same few mix-and-match generated map sets over and over was all there was to the game.

    Then again I’m not sure why I expect there to be more to the game than any other multiplayer shooter where you also just do the same thing over and over, except varied by your opponents’ behavior. I guess because Warframe is not competitive and because it doesn’t have random loot like a Diablo style game, I assumed that it was building towards something larger. Perhaps that’s not the case.

  16. AlphaAxeman says:

    I have a few things to say about Warframe, this review and other comments. It’s a F2P game that looks like an A-grade title. It plays like a smooth, well polished machine. It has a team that is constantly adding and modifying content. It has randomised tilesets so maps change enough to be interesting. It has a crafting system that allows both micro-transactions and the patient to create new weapons/warframes/equipment/items. The dojo allows clans to craft new weapons/equipment that you can’t buy. It has events and alerts that get you extra rewards, weapons and plans. The invasion events allows players to play with one enemy side as an ally against the others. It has boss fights. It has two assassins that randomly appear to kill players (not at the same time) that are tough to beat. It has unique items (prime warframes and weapons) and rare components to collect. It has a flexible powerup system for weapons and warframes. Mass Effect its is not, COD it is not, Battlefield it is not, Assassins Creed it is not. And yet it takes bits of all these games and makes an intelligent, contiguous new game.
    I feel that it’s unfair to criticise the game for not having a cover/flanking fire system when it has clearly a fluid, free flowing combat system. Maybe your experience didn’t include team mates that provided cover fire? The warframes themselves are supposed to be uber powerful fighting machines, more than capable of taking on standard soldiers, sort of like a whole squad rolled into one. As to the stealth mechanic, who said that was major component of the game? they are WARframes, not sneak around frames. I have see a Loki and shade combination waltz through a game and not trip an alarm (or kill anything either) but at the same time, it’s soo much fun playing as a Rhino, stomping everything in your path, or as Nova, making all your enemies esplode.

    I admit the game can be a bit grindy (which game isn’t though) but at least digital extremes recognise this and provide events,alerts and story events (Alad vs Vey Hek for example) to distract players form this. I played a lot of ME3 multiplayer and that was grindy.
    I guess this game isn’t for everyone, but if you scratch the surface there is a lot going on for waframe. PS I started playing it a year ago, when you first reviewed it.

    • Sweetz says:

      ME3 MP was grindy, but it had way more potential variety from the get go and after just a few matches, than you get in hours and hours of Warframe as a free player. I put maybe 10 hours in Warframe nd earned enough for one (disappointing) new weapon over that entire time. With ME3 if you could more or less guarantee a new weapon or class for every 2 hours spent, if not quicker. Granted ME3 was a $60 product and one would expect a F2P game has to give you some reason to pay – but Warframe is pretty darn grindy and gets boring quickly as a starting player due to lack of variety.

      • AlphaAxeman says:

        Warframe does have a story thread (albeit minimal) but it does offer variety in missions and maps. I agree there seems to be an incomplete story there.
        If you get impatient with your gear, buy (use real world money) new stuff. I find that I get more of a sense of achievement by earning it. When your warframe and weapons are low level, you’re vulnerable but as they level up, you can take on harder and harder enemies and progress deeper into the solar system.
        Compared to say, Hawken, it’s positively rich in narrative (Hawken is super grindy now as well).

    • Feste says:

      To be fair, he wasn’t criticising the game for not having a lack of cover-and-supression-based mechanics. He was criticising it that it needed something to provide structure to the combat, and at the moment cover is your default option for that. I don’t think supression would support the space ninja theme myself, but I do agree that it needs something to provide some complexity to combat.

      You say that the stealth isn’t core to the game; in which case why have it? If a mechanic is just a dangling thread that doesn’t support the core game then it’s a distraction and part of a fuzzy game design. In this case, stealth could have been exactly the added complexity that combat needs.

  17. thefinn says:

    I gotta just add this in. I LOVED this game when I first got into it and spent way more on it than I now feel I should’ve.

    However one thing still annoys me.

    Space Ninja’s Still no meaningful stealth or cover systems.

    Let’s just reiterate. SPACE NINJA’s THAT AREN’T STEALTHY – AT ALL.

    It has been much promised that stealth 2.0 will come, but I can’t even fathom that it hasn’t been a major part of the base game. The devs just seem to be more interested in pushing out more warframes. Every time I see an update (for which there’s a dev video that comes with it) – They have spent a bazillion hours pushing out a new warframe.

    Incredibly frustrating.

  18. Shooop says:

    Almost my thoughts exactly from about 6 months ago.

    It was horribly bland and wore out its welcome in minutes. Enemies had no AI to speak of, the guns were stupid-inaccurate, there was more bloom than should be legally allowed in a game, and the level design was a crime against sensibility.

    And the final insult is you have to spend real-world cash to actually unlock some variety in it because its in-game rewards system is set to glacial slow.

    • Hackles says:

      You obviously just didn’t play enough? It’s actually really easy to farm materials without paying for a single thing with Platinum. Even if you DID pay for something with Platinum, you can just as easily acquire that on the marketplace by selling mods and drop, so you still wouldn’t have paid a single penny.

  19. Sarracenae says:

    Some times i don’t think people get F2P. Nothing is Free, that’s the truth, if you want to play a F2P game for free you are going to miss out on something, even Dota2 you’ll miss out on those cool cosmetics.

    What F2P games do allow is you to try a game before you invest. Oh how i wish i’d had that option before buying recent failures such as Simcity or even diablo3 @ launch.

    I’ve played lots of F2P titles, World of tanks, Warthunder, Dota2, Warframe, Blacklight, PS2 etc. I’ve spent a little money on all of them (except blacklight – i just don’t like arena pvp cod games).

    I first played warframe at launch, thought it had potential but lacked content, but i’ve kept coming back now and again and seeing what’s changed. The recent damage 2.0 patch helped alot, and the game now has alot more content, thanks to clans, void keys, derelict keys, dragon keys all attempting to add more “end game” type content.

    Over the time the game says i’ve hit 137 hours, many of which will be admittadly afk in the menus.. i play alot of games that way while doing other things, play a mission, put the laptop down, do something else, play another mission later type stuff. So although 137 hours sounds alot i would not say i’d played loads. I’ve done about 500 missions, which baring in mind some quick run through missions take less than 2-3 minutes. I’ve spent some money on the game (£1.99) just to buy some slots for weapons and frames, that it. I’ve got 4 frames, 2 prime weapons and can participate in most levels of event. Not exactly expensive. All you have to do is read the wiki, do the missions that drop the items you want and you’re set, you can have a new frame like a nova in about 2 hours if you want (then you have to build it of course which takes about 3 days). Nothing is instant unless you pay, but hey if you can’t wait 3 days for something they maybe you have issues.

    It’s an ok game, jump in jump out kinda stuff, you don’t have to invest hours at a time to achieve anything (it’s no MMO). You got 30 mins to play? Run a survival void maybe you get lucky with a reward, or level a weapon a bit.

    Most importantly the devs are improving the game over time, and they listen to the user base. Give it a go, you might like it, if you don’t fine it’s not cost you anything to try it.

  20. randomkeyhits says:

    Been playing this for a little while now, liked it enough to drop some cash into it which so far I’ve only used a little of to purchase frame/weapon slots.

    This is a game I can pick up, run a couple of maps and put down again, its perfect for that short game burst without needing too much attention. Sometimes that thirty minutes becomes a couple of hours, sometimes not.

    Two things to pick up on from comments above.

    The real world cash equivalent “platinum” is tradeable in-game. Get a decent rare mod and you can trade it for plat. Rank the mod up and you can trade it for even more plat. So buying inventory slots or rushing builds can be done without ever spending any real cash yourself.

    The second is the build system. Yes it is slow, eyebrow raising slow when I started. I now simply start something building fresh every day that I log in. I have maybe nine or ten weapons waiting to be claimed from the foundry and ranked up. Just pipeline your builds and the only time you’ll ever notice a wait is when you get something as a reward that you want to build immediately.

    The actual concern I have is that some resources are impossible for new players to get until they’ve progressed far enough into the maps. This means that completing frames and many weapons won’t happen until they’ve worked their way through into the fourth map at least and Earth, the third map now has some unfortunate bottlenecks making new player progression very difficult.

    • jarowdowsky says:

      Shame to hear about the bottlenecks but it’s encouraging that there are opportunities to earn the main currency. I’ve got a pet peeve with F2P games that offer no opportunities to earn currency, or what you’d be buying with them, in the game. I’m not saying it should be easy or that it should happen often but it’s frustrating when there’s absolutely no hope of getting something interesting.

      Found it a huge misstep in Loadout with the cosmetics. They cost a fortune and there was no alternative way to earn them so you’re never encouraged to get into changing how you look – 99% of the players are just exactly the same. Something offering just a small chance, like 1 in a 1000, of unlocking on of those payed items could make a huge difference.

      • Xyrik says:

        Not sure what you speak of, it’s pretty easy to change how you look, they give you a decent amount of colours for free, and I almost never see one warframe that looks like another anymore, at least not in terms of colour.

  21. Tams80 says:

    I played for quite a few hours. In the end though I just got fed up with the lack of diversity in environments and enemies. Yes, I know they have been well designed and therefore aren’t available in large quantities, but frankly I’d rather have worse level and enemy design in exchange for more variety. I also don’t like any of the designs, other than some of the Tenno stuff. It’s just far to dark and grim for my liking. It’s also very grindy.

  22. Nekonomabe says:

    The amount this guy said “Ninjas” in his review made me want to choke him =.= the term is Ninja. you cannot pluralize a Japanese word with an English S. Ninja. or multiple Ninja. its still ninja D:

    **EDIT**
    Been playing warfrae for loooong time. If your up for a game that hides everything behind an RNG wall thats just massivly huge, and if you like to grind and grind forever (lots of work little reward) then this is the game for you!

    • smb says:

      Dude, chill out. He’s not using the original Japanese word. He’s using a Japanese word adopted into the English language. The way Japanese handles plurals differs greatly to English (and many other languages), so you can’t really expect those grammar rules to apply when using the word in English. (Are you also upset he didn’t use the proper Kanji for the word either? -.-)

      Likewise, Japanese people tack on a “tsu” for the plural form of many adopted English words. This would also have to be seen as incorrect, since it should be a mere -s or -es depending on the word. In fact, they tend to completely murder most foreign words just to fit it into their restrictive alphabet. You shouldn’t expect too much when a language adopts foreign words, though.

      • Nekonomable says:

        *******”smb says:

        Dude, chill out. He’s not using the original Japanese word. He’s using a Japanese word adopted into the English language. The way Japanese handles plurals differs greatly to English (and many other languages), so you can’t really expect those grammar rules to apply when using the word in English. (Are you also upset he didn’t use the proper Kanji for the word either? -.-)

        Likewise, Japanese people tack on a “tsu” for the plural form of many adopted English words. This would also have to be seen as incorrect, since it should be a mere -s or -es depending on the word. In fact, they tend to completely murder most foreign words just to fit it into their restrictive alphabet. You shouldn’t expect too much when a language adopts foreign words, though.”*******

        ^Cultural Appropriation at its finest. Check your privilege. Also Ninja isnt an “English” word. It is the original Japanese word. The lettering may be English, but the word is not. Any research on the subject will show that it is Ninja for one, or multiple. As for the Kanji, Dont be stupid. I dont expect American schools to teach you multiple languages as a requirement. No-where does that. Oh wait….

        On the issue of “murdering most foreign words” Lets look at English shall we? Bastardized Latin, Spanish, and British English. Your Argument in itself is flawed. You cant just take something from a culture, shit on it, and say its yours and its all fine. Some girl tried that recently by wearing an Native American Headdress. The Headdress in question was used for Cultural rights, and ceremonies. Yet she wore it “because it was pretty” and doesnt understand why it’s derogatory and why people from the culture are offended by it. If it’s not yours, it’s not yours. Be respectful to where it came from and don’t use it “just because it’s cool”.

  23. Xyrik says:

    I find this review somewhat inaccurate, as it seems like he’s really only gotten into the first 10% or so of the game, and knows not too much about it. He complains about limited stamina and generic missions, however there are easy to obtain mods that increase stamina, and missions tile-sets have really taken a turn for the good recently, and the new melee system now allows for a high degree of stabilizability, even more so than the amount that the huge number of mods already supplied

  24. Dymetreus says:

    Pertaining to the questions referring to the, ‘point’ of this game, or why one would find it entertaining to do the same levels, with the same enemies, etc. The game offers a lot of room to do interesting things, classes offer variety, and of course there’s working toward certain weapons, warframes, and other need-to-grind-for things. But what I personally like about Warframe that made me spend 320 hours into it and only finally then getting burned out for awhile, was how much they allow you to fully control your character. I’ve spent so much time into just trying to perfect certain tricks just to better myself it’s practically embarrassing.

    Putting it simply, beyond trying to make your weapons the best killing machines by having them compliment one another, for example my pistol being excellent for single target and my rifle for my, ‘AoE’, there is a lot of room to improve yourself within this game. I’m always trying to perfect 180′s and then shoot them in the head still and I’m STILL thinking of ways to better my build, especially with melee 2.0 out. On top of everything else, the Devs are VERY talkative on the forums and communicate with their members, listening to their ideas.

    In the end, this game is quite a bit like Diablo in the sense that you’re killing the same enemies over and over. But there’s a certain satisfaction you get when you see their torso ripped in half or they burn to nothingness, or when you freeze them and break them. Games that spend time into enemy deaths and how they occur to certain effects is normally a kind of game I like, such as in Diablo.

    I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it here, it’s far large enough for a simple post.

  25. swambig says:

    This is fantastic and insightful, and funny. hehe. Thanks heaps, Jim :D
    I think I might just get this game now. The only game I have ever payed for was wow (the lich king one) and it was a private server called Molten-Wow. Pretty cool.
    Anyway thanks for the thread. Very languagey
    LOL

  26. Torment says:

    Wot about high end team comps for def missions etc. Anywhore once you understand the controls you can finesse some crazy ninja flipping out maneuvers. So many people are getting hung up on small things that are really only semi-difficult early on and going wah then dropping the game without even scratching 1% of the game. Also the variety on the maps has gone up a bazillion since it first went into beta. I was probably 200 or so hours in before I spent any money and I was hitting high level things just fine. When I get bored of playing I go do something else, well that or play a defense mission putting jump pads everywhere so there’s enemy ragdolls constantly flopping up in the air.

    Also all arguments are invalid my warframe looks like a chocolate reindeer with cherries wielding a candy cane scythe.

  27. Hackles says:

    With all due respect… the screenshots taken by the reviewer imply that he’s played absolutely nothing of the game. He’s still on the starting frame, with starter weapons – I doubt that he moved past those. Of course it’s going to be boring – imagine playing ME3 multiplayer, playing solidly as Soldier with the starting, rubbish guns for two weeks straight; you’d be bored as hell. If you do nothing to introduce variety into your own playstyle, it’s not going to come itself. DE have done a fantastic job of giving you options in Warframe; there’re so many weapons, frames, sentinels, mods and accessories to choose from. If you willingly don’t participate, joke’s on you for not appreciating what there is on offer. Awful ‘review’.

    • skittles says:

      Well it is only an impressions, not really a review. I assume he played for around 20-30 hours possibly. And that really is the problem with Warframe, it is very grindy near the beginning. If you spend money you’re swimming, if you go purely f2p it is grindy as all hell. Once you get to around 40-50 hours a ton of options open for you even when going purely f2p. The problem is you have 40 hours of that time on the same frame with only 1 or 2 weapon options, which can get hideously boring. Particularly if your choice of frame didn’t suit you, you cannot change it without cash. Either you have to drop the money to get the frame and weapon options you want or you have to play the game for 50 hours to get enough stuff in the foundry to give you options.

  28. covahkron says:

    WHATS REALLY UP WITH WARFRAME to follow
    “What about the The crafting systems, how did you like those? And the guild features,bases and guild crafting? how did you like that part of the game? What are your opinions on the PvP? How about the reward systems? Did you want to touch base on how you are able to unlock all weapons and Warframes just by playing? Did you have any comments on the content past the Intro? Or did you just never make it out the gates and got stuck in the stalls. Sounds like all you did was review your friend playing a mission while you watched.
    I have played this game for over a year now. Off and on, with the game getting my attention every night for a few hours, a week; sometimes marathon binging, to only a couple of hours once a week, every few weeks, or even month. But I always find myself coming back to it. Because its fun. That simple. A free-2-play game, that is fun. Let’s get one important thing about the game out of the way. With one exception, Everything is unlockable in-game by “Playing” the game. However, inventory space is limited, but you have enough to start with to hold you over. If you are pack-rat that will cost you. I just disposed of my outdated weaponry to make room for the good stuff, or used it to make better weapons.
    I have unlocked weapons faster than I can level them up. New Warframes every few days,(I’m sure If I grind enough id get them all in a week) ALL FREE. For my first few tours of the game, I hadn’t spent a single real world dollar. So right off the bat, your article is of pure ignorance and biased bigotry. Do not let your understanding of what you think F2P gamesare, deter others from taking a chance at what is a very well done, TRUE to the free2play definition model, great game. This is actually free to play. Wasn’t until a few weeks before this article that I spent $10. But id hardly call it spending. after 120 hours clocked over the last year, it was merely a gratuity for such a great experience. And those crazy Devs give me ingame money so that so I can get instant access for a few things in-game. I bought some arsenal space so I can Keep all these awesome guns I am crafting. Yes You have a forge, where you make all these weapons and Warframes, from items collected that have been dropped by the enemies or looted from stashes in secret areas. With recipes for better weapons and keys to unlock access to various ships lost in space. oh did the poster fail to mention that? hmm odd to not mention the crafting system to make new weapons and warframes, but only mention the marketplace that only really caters the your Id. With patience and perseverance, you can have it all. (but again to keep it all will cost you) What game lets you start on the last level, max level, with nothing left to do. Even if you buy to unlock anything its all useless at level one. Even your frame is level one when you start. Even if you buy one, one. Level 1.
    As the Reviewer stated its a grind. And who doesn’t love the mindless grind, as long as it is fun. Look at every COD game and like clones. We break it down, its a grind. Do this or that so many times to get this or that. But as long as it’s fun, why not?. Heck, we “Grind” when its not fun, look at work, daily chores. We still do it. We grind for all sorts of reasons. *wink* But to let that be a negative aspect of a game, you should be ashamed of calling yourself a gamer.
    This opinionative Article should be treated as such, merely an opinion, and an ignorant one at that. I can watch a youtube video and form an ignorant opinion of a game, or I can actually try and play it. If you made it this far in my “Cpt Sayvahoe campaign,(apologies ladies for the use of the dated term) then hopefully you’ll see this game is worth your time, It WILL entertain you, and it wont cost you anymore than what you are already giving to other games, Time. Have fun.

  29. Kurzidan says:

    To the Author of this RPS column(?)

    You should take a look into the Mastery Rank tests of the game
    They are probably a little more fine tuned that the game in large at the moment.

    There are Harder hacker tests, harder “ninja” (acrobatics) tests like wall-run and gunning.
    There’s tests available for stealth too, With no specific reason yet as to =why= stealth would be necessary, but the day will probably come when its put to use under the grande scheme of things.

    Currently we don’t see the harder hack tests
    Walls that are deployed by shooting orbs
    A reason to use the stealth system (perhaps spy or deception will eventually become STEALTH oriented mission types, where getting caught wouldn’t mean more resistance to the the terminal, it would mean failure. (or it could mean much harder hacks/security, wouldn’t mind seeing that)
    For deception, Being spotted would mean (maybe instant) failure – The grunts wouldn’t just sound the alarm, They’d tell command/the base you were carrying a datamass module, and the system would either be disconnected or they’d monitor and remove all the data as it entered the system. – I said maybe instant, cause maybe have the grunts -have- to use a console to do that, meaning they can be silenced before finising.

    Any who…..apart from looking into the mastery ranks, also look into the “secret rooms” of the Void and Orokin Derelicts.. Might have another whole article on some of that stuff (mastery rank/secret)

  30. DeadlyFred says:

    I like Warframe. There is a LOT they could improve about it but for some reason, I can’t stop playing it. Furthermore, unlike most F2P games, spending money in Warframe is actually detracting from your experience to some extent. Sure, there are certain things which are particularly hard to get or which take an especially long time to grind for but by in large, most of the craftable content of the game can be obtained and made relatively easily and at the end of the day… THAT is the point of the game. If you’re just going to go buy the stuff… what’s the point in playing? The biggest misstep DE has taken lately is making Prime level gear purchasable… why would you do that? That’s supposed to be your endgame content, why would you just hand it out to people? Granted the game is still plenty fun without the grind but for me, making the stuff is just as much fun as earning it.

    Warframe is a diamond in the rough, and a rough diamond it is. DE has done and continues to do some especially questionable things with their misbegotten lovechild but at the end of the day, its hard for me not to love it.

  31. Bushy808 says:

    This article screams of “only played for 15min and looked at all the menu and shop options”…sorry bout it.

    Im sorry, but im no fanboy on Warframe, its been over a month since I played….But…seriously. Did you play it?

    Is there some way to downvote a reviewer on ‘Rock, Paper, Shotgun’? Cause I don’t think I would ever trust a review from this person again. Its been a while since I really entrenched myeslf in Warframe, and I pretty sure he never even played it. His review is based purely off of watching Youtube, and I would put money on that hunch.

    Edit: I guess im not alone in this feeling this way. His review has 4 likes. Honestly. Play a game for at least 5 hours before you review it. If your paid to review a game, seriously, play it. Don’t just watch a youtube vid and say “job done!”. Its like going to Cliff Notes for your next bookreport. honestly.