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Silly Name, Interesting-Looking Game: Warframe

Is anyone else expecting the guy on the far right to do the cartoon 'Yeah, I'm just standing here but oh no I just noticed that there's no ground beneath me and aaaaaaaaaarrrgh [splat]' thing?

A Warframe could be anything from the estranged twin cousin of Firefall’s “battleframes” to a homicidal portrait well-versed in the art of large-scale military combat, but you know what? The F2P videogame called Warframe doesn’t look half-bad. Digital Extremes has finally seen fit to show off some real (read: not paused in a state of dramatic tension) gameplay, and there’s definite potential here. I mean, yeah, it looks like Mass Effect 3 meets Metal Gear Solid’s Gray Fox, but wait, let me re-read that thing I just wrote. Oh my.

Admittedly, it’s a pretty brief snippet, but I spotted Vanguard-esque teleportation, fleet-footed space ninja sprinting, techno-magic projectiles, and a stasis power that reclassified the situation from “even fight” to “sci-fi version of Fruit Ninja.” These are things I can get behind.

As a quick refresher, Warframe’s not actually competitive. Rather, it sounds like Horde Mode with a bit of Left 4 Dead thrown in for good measure. On top of that, levels are procedurally generated – though obviously, that feature could turn out incredibly hit-or-miss. Tossed in a blender with showy sci-fi katanas and lots of neon lights, though, it sounds like it could make for a pretty refreshing recipe – at least, as far as F2P offerings go.

That said, Digital Extremes’ track record on original projects has – in the past – trended decidedly toward the middle of the road (see: Dark Sector, Pariah, Warpath, etc) so here’s hoping this one can finally make the leap from “OK” to “great.” Or the cybernetically enhanced rocket lunge, as it were.

You can sign up for the beta now, and you can expect it to kick off “soon” – which, in this case, might actually mean sooner rather than later, seeing as Warframe’s set to launch in “Winter 2012.”

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Nathan Grayson

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