Space-Ninjas: Warframe Adding Zero-G Combat Mode


Sure, running around in power armour blowing things up is great and all, but don’t all mecha big and small truly long to be among the stars? Free-to-play power armour ’em up Warframe is releasing its mecha from the bonds of the ground and setting them free to frolick in zero-gravity and blow each other to pieces. The free-to-play co-op shooter’s fifteenth big update, named Archwing, will bring a whole new mode dedicated to the joys of space.

The new Archwing mode gives Warframes (that’s the name of the robotsuits) chunky big addons to zoom around space, blasting away with space lasers and, at least in the case of the Warframe featured in the teaser trailer, swinging honking great space-swords. Developers Digital Extremes say they’ve been working on the mode for about a year now, though obviously it hasn’t been their sole focus.

I heard good things about Warframe but haven’t got past the tutorial, forever being distracted by something else. Some of these chums got really stuck in, though, and still play a lot–long past the point I usually tire of co-op games. Perhaps the tease of space-action will lure me in. I do like the weird semi-organic designs of those robosuits, bristling with fins, crests, and other protusions.

No word yet on quite when the update will launch. This slightly hasty news post is brought to you by Alice wanting to nick off to the pub with Cara.


  1. gnodab says:

    Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace Butterfly!!!

    That is all.

    • psuedonymous says:

      But he doesn’t have a moustache at all!

      Oh, wait, that’s Moonlight Butterfly. Carry on.

  2. Shezo says:

    Probably gonna be another pointless gimmick, just like dark sectors/kurbrows/liset/melee 2.0 and whatnot.

  3. rexx.sabotage says:

    seems like this would be more of a popular thing and something I’m playing but, alas it is not.

  4. MkMax says:

    shrug, i tried it earlier this year, once i saw the ridiculous grind i uninstalled and started playing the infinitely superior Path of Exile instead, after that first impression they will have to try harder to get me to try it again

    • mechabuddha says:

      I originally loved this. After 20 levels of the exact same thing, then realizing I’d have to grind for hours to get a different frame, I got a little bored.

    • ssh83 says:

      Yes, because path of exile is not about grinding for loot at all.

      • MkMax says:

        sure, but find some every few minutes, the game economy works, the world, enemies and skills you use are varied and both equipment and abilities are easily and early available

        you dont have to go though similar looking levels killing the same enemies over and over and over again for 10 hours to get a speck of hope of buying a single piece of new equipment which might or not suck

        a full run of poe taking your time and doing everything can take what, 10 to 20 hours ? through that time you fought bosses, changed equipment several times, found gems, uniques, rares, got all sort of skills, went though like 30 different areas, fought like 50 different monsters, etc

        in warframe you are lucky if you got out of the first area and got a new weapon after 10 to 20 hours

        the grind:reward ratios are obviously not the same

        • Victuzz says:

          Having put quite a significant chunk of time into both games I can’t agree with you. The difference between warframe grinding and poe grinding is that Warframe starts off grindy, and than it never lets off of that certain level. But it really is not that bad, the first hurdle is challenging that’s true, but once you get over that, find some weapon types you like and suits that you find interesting a session or two every few days is more than enough to keep you going.

          Path of Exile lures you in with the seeming lack of grind because, early on there really isn’t any of it. You can go through the entirety of normal (and take into account I have not played it since they “released” the final act so this is subject to change) without ever interacting with other players for trading or progress. This is nigh impossible on higher diffs, Maybe act 1-2, but pretty soon you’ll start grinding you butt off on the cliffs, to get currency that allows you to get equipment suitable for the build you’ve planned out for yourself. That is unless you like loosing all your currency in form of tp-scrolls by dying over and over and over. I don’t know about you but it’s not fun for me.

          So in conclusion, warframe starts grindy, and never really leaves off, but I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10 it gets a 3. Path of Exile starts on a nice 1 out of 10, but after beating normal, you go off to a solid 8 out of 10 in terms of grindiness. It’s just the nature of loot based H&S

          • MkMax says:

            and thats why many POE players make a character, beat normal, maybe play a bit more and make new character, equip it with some stashed loot, and do normal again, unless they intentionally want to grind, its a choice you see, to challenge the grindstone with a character you had fun for hours that you equipped and designed or start again and refine it or make a completely different one, you can always go back to the sweet spot if you get bored by making a new character

            in Warframe you barelly even put a dent into the maps by the same hour count, you only have grind in front of you and behind you, there is no sweet spot, you dont feel like you are designing your character but rather like you are blindly poking around, searching for the path of less resistance, there is no choice, there is only the grind

  5. gabrielonuris says:

    This… Kind of made me wanna play Dark Void… And I still didn’t even buy that game. I think I’ll get the boxed version, last time I checked it came with a sticker to apply to shirts or something….

  6. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Warframe was, at one point, quite a great experience. But the grind is never-ending, which makes the knee-jerk balancing decisions tougher than normal to take.

  7. Megakoresh says:

    Id rather they focused on making enemies and actual fighting interesting. This will be fun for a few hours, but will quickly burn out it’s novelty. Warframe’s spammy and rather badly designed (and balanced) enemies and spawns mean theres no emergent gameplay and nothing to stop you from constantly spamming fire button while randomly running around the place. It’s enemies need more diversity. Cannon fodder needs more difference from heavy units. Gameplay needs to be more dynamic than now.

    Or else this new flying thing will end up just another coating for “Drop table 101: How to farm Space Wing mods”. You get the idea.

    • ssh83 says:

      Yeah. I agree. Though I’m beginning to believe that they simply don’t have a designer who is good at balance and emergent gamplay. They have such a great core of a game in terms of loot, settings, weapons and character design, but the way they put them together (actual game mode or combat AI) tend to feel unpolished and lacking depth or high skill cap.

  8. Arglebargle says:

    They’ve revamped their intro/tutorial recently, which might help some who bounced off this earlier.

    Not sure if they’ve jumped the shark for me, but some of the other recent changes (and general attendant buggyness) cooled my playing ardour, and something else took its frontrunner place.

    Their cash shop is a classic trade off of time for money. I have played since they opened up, and have 15 or so warframes and a ton of weaponry without having spent money on them. I did spend some real moolah, because I enjoyed the game play (and needed the slots for all those weapons and warframes). You can now also trade rare drops to other players for the game currency, rather than just buying it outright.

    And….it’s still Space Ninja Pirates! Soon(tm) in freefall…hmn….

  9. YogSo says:

    I do like the weird semi-organic designs of those robosuits, bristling with fins, crests, and other protusions.

    Heh, when you said “protusion” I thought you were gonna link to Rhino instead, for obvious reasons ;)

    Also, obligatory link to Rock Paper Skana, the RPS Warframe clan. We always welcome newcomers, or people that already have experience with Warframe but are tired of playing alone.

  10. ssh83 says:

    Wow… Warframe coverage in rps. Respect! I think its great that rps gets a journalist whose breadth of coverage isn’t limited by their personal preference in games. It fills the gaps between the great but sparce deep-dive interview and columns.

  11. P.Funk says:

    Reading Ender’s Game has made it impossible for me to enjoy alleged “zero G” combat that insists on there being an arbitrary shared horizon.

    Its amazing how powerful an idea can be expressed in such simple words. “The enemy’s gate is down”

  12. AsianJoyKiller says:

    Ah yes… Warfarm.

    Because I enjoy nothing more than endless grinding, mediocre shooter mechanics, gimmicky melee, a bad HUD, dull enemy AI, and making the game more difficult via heavy hitting bullet sponges.

    • WarKiel says:

      I suppose you are not wrong. But for me, all that somehow adds up to a game I find quite enjoyable.

    • HyenaGrin says:

      Can’t really comment on the grind, still working that out.
      Shooting is about on par with most co-op games, though there are some that are obviously better.
      I am not sure what you mean by ‘gimmicky’ melee. It’s not a terribly in-depth melee system but it’s not like they phoned it in, either. I find the melee pretty enjoyable.
      HUD is actually pretty darn good. They just don’t do a great job of explaining it. They manage to communicate a lot of information without the irritating screen clutter in a lot of games.
      I don’t know what people expect from AI in co-op shooters like this. They take cover, they use abilities, they climb and navigate the complex environments, they work together with special abilities like clustering around shield generating enemies. The AI is superior to L4D by a longshot, so what game is doing AI better? What exactly are they missing?

      My only real complaint is that I feel like they are pricing themselves out of a market with their platinum. I have spoken to way too many people who said they were initially interested in putting down some money to buy stuff until they realized that it’s like twenty bucks to buy a decorative item or a gun or a warframe or whatever. As a result they are spending zero dollars on the game. It is wildly overpriced and that’s a shame, not because I want more for less, but because I think they probably would make more money if they made their cash shop more affordable.