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Warframe deploys its melee overhaul and new frame Hildryn

Warframe May Cry

Not to be outdone by Dante and co, space-ninja loot n' shooter Warframe has finally rolled out the first part of its long-awaited melee overhaul. Digital Extremes have banished the dedicated melee stance, replaced by having full access to all your combos through your melee quick-button. You can even combo into and out of ranged attacks, punctuating a series of swings with a shotgun blast, then resuming your beatdown exactly where you left off. The update includes a new story quest digging deeper into Fortuna's past and powerful new tank-frame Hildryn. See some videos below.

The melee changes really alter the feel of the game a lot, as there's much less divide between shooting and stabbing. The block button is gone, as when you've got your melee weapon drawn you'll automatically deflect attacks you're directly facing. It's a lot less fiddly to defend while advancing on a firing enemy now. Once they're sure they've got all the kinks worked out of this initial phase of melee rework done, they'll be focusing on changes to channelled attacks and melee weapon mods. You can read a developer summary of the close combat changes on the Warframe forums here.

And here's a longer look at the new Warframe, Hildryn. With the right mods, she has an utterly ridiculous amount of shielding, which can be channelled into her attacks. Unsubtle, but this seems one for players who like to just power through problems. Curiously, while she can be earned the same as any other frame, the store bundle including her also comes with a Gravimag (letting you use an Arch-gun on foot) and a big gun to stick it on. Her signature cannon is very similar to Zarya's gun from Overwatch, with a beam laser primary fire, and an energy-grenade shot alt-fire.

It's hard not to draw comparisons between Hildryn and Zarya, but it makes for a fresh style of play here. Her Balefire cannon (which uses her own shields as ammo) is an integrated and modifiable weapon, and her other abilities can strip shielding from nearby baddies to refill her own pool. Of course, she's going to be rubbish against some shield-bypassing baddies, but against shield-heavy Corpus it's all good. K-Drive hoverboards also got some love this update too. Races now give more faction standing with the Vent Kids, and you can cash this in for new bits for your board.

Warfame's Operation: Buried Debts update is live now, and you can see the full update notes here. The game is free-to-play and available direct from Digital Extremes or on Steam here.

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Dominic Tarason