Spring is in the air in Warframe, and so are a bunch of bouncing Grineer tanks. A major overhaul update has revitalised the Plains Of Eidolon, the free-to-play shooter's original open-world zone. Digital Extremes have returned to Earth to polish up the environment, bringing it more in line with the scenic Venusian landscapes of Fortuna. That means more greenery, some new boss fights, more animals to rescue, and some new grinding opportunities for those who have brought their hoverboard back home. The devs even reckon it'll run smoother, too. Below, an update trailer.
With the launch of Fortuna, interest in the Plains dried up a bit. Understandable, as the new environment put the old one to shame, so it's nice to see them trying to establish parity again. On top of looking nicely autumnal, they've reworked the lighting on the plains; no more yellow haze over everything. Populating the new environment are three tiers of Tusk Thumper tanks of increasing size, which move by jumping using a huge hydraulic ram. There's also a trio of animal types to rescue, including the impressively ugly Mergoo, a lizard-bird with its wings on its arse. Better still, there's collectable plush tanks and earth-critters to decorate your ship with.
There's a lot more to this update than the new tank fights and enhanced graphics. You can see the full patch notes here. One new feature that streamers in particular may appreciate is Creator Mode, which allows you to hide some of the bigger late-game plot spoilers. Fortuna's grand secret will remain hidden, the Lotus will have her old look back, and login details are hidden so nobody goes and spams your inadvertently revealed email address. Digital Extremes have also reworked many Warframe abilities so they can be used in midair, because space ninjas.
There's still plenty due this year for Warframe, with another old environment - Corpus Gas Cities - due for an even more dramatic remaster soon. Judging by clips Digital Extremes have shared on dev-streams, they're looking like a moodier version of Bespin Cloud City from Star Wars, with perilous tightrope walks and narrow walkways on their outer edges. Between that and the second phase of the melee overhaul, there's a lot to look forward to before the Empyrian (formerly Railjack) expansion adds proper multiplayer space travel and combat.