Warframe [official site] is touting an ambitious expansion which adds an open zone more akin to what you’d find in a open world game like Skyrim or the patrol zones of Destiny. The Plains of Eidolon expansion will add this new area to Earth with NPCs, vistas, day/night cycles, and so on. As per the official announcement: “players will set foot in a natural landscape with the freedom to explore it on their own terms.”
“With the first introduction of Landscapes in Warframe, Plains of Eidolon enables players to discover a bustling town full of NPCs with their own stories to tell, motives, quirks, and quests to offer. Cetus, a makeshift basecamp for scavengers known as Ostrons who’ve made The Bleeding Tower their home, is filled with activity and surprise. In this immense and gorgeous new landscape, players are challenged to attain a new Warframe and new weapons, engage in new story elements, and soar over the plains using Archwing – mechanical wings previously only used in space or under water. But beware — when night falls, even the invading Grineer flee the Spectral Sentients that haunt their colossal remains on the Plains of Eidolon.”
You can also go fishing if you fancy.
Warframe is one of those games which I try to cover as it has a big player base; it makes sense that RPS readers would form a part of that base and thus value news about the game. That said, I haven’t played it properly since 2013 so I’m not sure how up-to-date my sense of the game is right now. I remember it as a game bent on funneling you around closed locations so an expansion explicitly about amping up player freedom in a way I associate with MMORPGs is interesting.
You can tell me, perhaps, whether the game has been trying to become a bit free-er for a while or whether this is a dramatic step in that direction? But yes, for me the Plains of Eidolon stuff sounds like Digital Extremes are leaning a lot heavier on the RPG side of gaming than I remember them doing and, potentially, working on a strand of content that will prevent their current player base drifting off towards Destiny in search of those spaces.
Something I was interested to see is more of was the Ostron side of things. They’re the scavenger people “whose culture revolves around the grotesque harvesting of biomechanical tissue from long dormant Orokin Towers” which to me sounded like it might offer some interesting aesthetic opportunities for gross and cool nonsense. Mostly the fleshy bits look like a mashup of tongue physics and mattress physics. Go to the 2 minute mark in the gameplay video for that (the gameplay video is from TennoCon which is the Warframe gathering so you’ll get some narration and a lot of hollering). There’s also a spot of fishing at 11:40:
The release dat is just “2017” at the moment but the press release I have suggests it’ll be PC first with console trailing behind. I wonder if they’ll try to get it out either ahead or or alongside the 24 October release of Destiny 2. I feel like that’s what I’d be aiming for if I were Digital Extremes.