Free-to-play space ninja sim Warframe has slowly evolved into the weird space opera that it always wanted to be. In-between the procedurally generated missions and resource farming, there are some genuinely dramatic scenes, some likeable characters and even a few bold, game-changing twists. Today marks the release of The Sacrifice, a new chapter in the story that developers Digital Extremes has been teasing for the past year.
To start The Sacrifice, you're going to have to be completely caught up on the main story, including the Chains of Harrow quest. You also need to have built some personal quarters aboard your ship and found the little surprise waiting in there. I'd also recommend that you have a little Kuva (one of the newer resources) on hand. Not much; sixty will do - but it should help keep things moving. Beyond this little teaser trailer, there may be some mild, vague spoilers, so go play for yourself if you're worried.
While dense with lore, foreshadowing and held together with a clever framing device, The Sacrifice might not have been be worth a year's teasing. It's a relatively short adventure a couple hours long, set across several planets. You'll also be tussling with a bunch of Sentient enemies (who were never that thrilling to fight), although one new enemy variant does spice things up a bit. Almost inevitably, it also ends in yet another, even deeper cliffhanger that I'm hoping will be resolved before long.
While relatively brief, the completion reward is a new Warframe - Umbra Excalibur - already max level, and packing its own sword and a set of special linked mods. While it's technically a variant of Excalibur (the first Frame of many players) it does have one massive perk; it has a will of its own. When you hop out to do stuff on foot, Umbra will follow and fight alongside you. Especially handy while fighting Sentient enemies, which Umbra's mods are specialised against, providing a hint of things to come.
Beyond new story gubbins, the UI got a major overhaul, as seen above. This update includes a new GPU particle engine, which looks quite frankly spectacular with some weapons and powers, and they're planning on updating more later. You can see The Sacrifice's full patch notes here. The next major update will likely add a new open-world map on Venus, featuring driveable vehicles and plenty of boxy Corpus architecture to clamber around on.
The Sacrifice update is a hefty 2.3gb download. Warframe itself remains free to play, available direct or via Steam. For newcomers baffled by all of this (I can't blame you, honestly), check out our big Warframe Guide for Beginners and you'll be able to tell your Kubrows from your Kavats in no time.