Warframe is a cooperative free-to-play online action game set in an evolving sci-fi world. Join your friends in player-vs-enemy raids across the solar system and master the power of the Warframes. Stand alone or fight together against enemies that threaten your world.
Publisher: Digital Extremes
Playerbase: Very High
Type: Third Person Combat/Shooter
EXP Rate: Medium
PvP: Dueling (1v1 and 2v2), Dark Sectors (4v4)
Filesize: ~5GB (PC)
Pros: + Outstanding visuals. + Coop or Solo Gameplay. + Randomly Generated Missions. + Easy Gameplay and Controls. + Individually Upgraded Characters and Weapons. + Clan based Dojos. + Clan Dueling. +Available for PC and PS4.
Cons: – Linear Progression in Missions. – Gameplay can feel repetitive. – Cash shop can be misleading.
They were called Tenno. Warriors of blade and gun: masters of the Warframe armor. Those that survived the old war were left drifting among the ruins. Now they are needed once more.
The Grineer, with their vast armies, are spreading throughout the solar system. A call echoes across the stars summoning the Tenno to an ancient place. They summon you.
Allow the Lotus to guide you. She has rescued you from your cryostasis chamber and given you a chance to survive. The Grineer will find you; you must be prepared. The Lotus will teach you the ways of the Warframes and the secrets to unlocking their powers.
Come Tenno, you must join the war.
Warframes (Classes) -
Excalibur - The perfect training Warframe: the Excalibur suit allows players to explore the power of Warframes with a balanced set of capabilities.
Loki - Desired by advanced players, Loki offers a variety of re-configuring abilities. The abnormality of Loki’s powers allows players to manipulate the battlefield.
Mag - (support, can deplete/replenish shields, has AoE crush) With full command of surrounding magnetic energy, Mag is an expert at enemy manipulation. She is a perfect choice for players that want to deal heavy damage in unconventional ways.
Rhino - (tank, close combat specialist, very sturdy) The perfect training Warframe: the Excalibur suit allows players to explore the power of Warframes with a balanced set of capabilities. Rhino is the heaviest of all the Warframes. His strength enables him to combine a mix of devastating offensive attacks with formidable defensive powers.
Volt - Volt can create and harness electrical elements. This is a high-damage Warframe perfect for players who want a potent alternative to gun-play.
Ember - (pure damage dealer, can ignite and burn lightly armored, unshielded enemies like the Infested) Ember is a nightmare for light – armored targets. Ember can super-heat the air which opens up surprising crowd-control possibilities.
Ash – (melee specialist, futuristic ninja, can use Shurikens, throws smoke bombs, and his ultimate ability is a teleport-slash move) Ash is great for players looking for a more stealthy approach to combat. Lethal abilities are complemented by powers of distraction.
Trinity – Trinity is great for players who prefer a supportive role. Warframes with healing technology are rare making Trinity a great equalizer when the odds are stacked against the Tenno.
Banshee - Using sonic attacks and acoustic target detection, Banshee is well suited for stealth gameplay and is capable of filling both attack, and supportive roles.
Frost- By channeling moisture and vapor in the surrounding environment, Frost creates formidable defenses and lethal attacks from sub-zero conditions.
Nova- Nova uses electromagnetic energy to contain and control highly volatile antimatter that fuels her abilities.
Saryn- Saryn’s venomous attacks are horrifyingly effective against organic and synthetic enemies, and her ability to “shed” her skin makes her very elusive.
Vauban- The highly tactical Vauban uses his powers to create deadly traps that can zap, imprison and dimensionally crush enemies.
Nekros- Nekros uses his dark powers to manipulate his enemies, both living and dead.
Valkyr – Forged in the labs of the Zanuka project, the original Valkyr was subject to cruel experiments leaving her scarred, angry and frighteningly adept at killing.
Oberon – Equally adept at healing friends or striking down the enemy. Oberon embodies the balance Tenno are sworn to uphold.
Zephyr – Specializing in air attacks and mobility, Zephyr dominates from above.
Hydroid – Rising from the ocean depths, Hydroid harnesses the power of water to a devastating effect.
Mirage – A master of illusion, Mirage confounds the enemy in a spectacle of style and power.
Warframe Featured Video
2014 Full Review
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)
Back in 2012, Digital Extremes, the creators of such action titles including the original Unreal Tournament, Bioshock and The Darkness, decided to create a new kind of F2P Co-op shooter experience that takes the vast reaches of space and mixes it up with super-powered space ninjas, and they called it “Warframe.” As the spiritual successor to DE’s very own “DarkSector” title for the PS3 and Xbox 360, Warframe focuses on an ongoing conflict between various factions across the galaxy, and as for the space ninja clan known as Tenno, it’s their job to keep these factions in check.
Since its initial beta release, the game has had over 14 major content updates, with a 15th update on the horizon. With tons of weapons, missions, enemies, environments and features added over the years, does Warframe now have enough content going for it to be considered a complete co-op experience that rivals fully priced retail games?
First off, one new inclusion to the world of Warframe that has been very desperately needed for a long time is “the new player experience.” Now Warframe starts new players off on the right foot by introducing them to a quest line tutorial which will show them the ins and outs of the gameplay, as well as important features such as the foundry, mod system and more. This new player experience also includes a small story quest featuring one of the Grineer faction’s leaders: Vay Hek, as he attempts to capture new Tenno players for his nefarious purposes.
While the quest line is fairly short, it gets the job done and also gives the player a sense of purpose from the get-go, since originally, players were just thrown into the game world without much of a clue as to why they were fighting in the first place, other than little tidbits of lore available in the Codex.
Along with the new player experience, many previous features have been revamped, mostly for the better, but some a little bit for the worse. Now all players have access to a flying ship which will be every player’s base of operations, instead of just a few menu screens to look at. While players cannot personalize their ships, they still make the game world feel more alive and active than it used to. Previous features that received revamps also include the UI, the mod system and more. The new UI is a bit confusing to navigate through at first, but players should get used to it within a few hours or less. Some mods have received major buffs and nerfs across the board, although a few mods in particular are still incredibly powerful and still manage to render some mod combinations as ineffective.
Despite everything that has changed with the game, one thing that hasn’t changed for the better is the tedious grind for collecting mods and resources. When players are first starting out, the grind may not seem like much, but once players have maxed out their first warframe and a set of weapons, it will become clear how tedious things can be, since certain resources and mods drop at a dreadfully low rate. Of course, there are boosters you can buy with real money to help speed up the process, but for those that truly want to be dedicated to the game, it can get a little pricey.
Speaking of pricey: Many items in the item shop hold some hefty prices, especially cosmetics that can cost $10 to $20 for things like color pickers and armor pieces. Everything else in the game, however, can be obtained in-game through collecting resources for blueprints, or by trading items with other players for platinum (cash shop currency), so dedicated players will be able to obtain all the worthwhile items without paying a cent.
The biggest problem with Warframe is that there’s a lack of entertaining endgame goals combined with heavy repetition to keep you occupied while more content is produced. Once players have maxed out their favorite warframe or weapon, there isn’t much else to do other than maxing out other warframes and weapons to be more powerful than they really need to be. There isn’t any major quest lines or stories to participate in, other than a few occasional event quests that happen every so often. Once you feel like your warframe and weapon is powerful enough to take on any challenge, most players will feel like there’s not much else to do except start a new build to repeat the process.
Going through that process again and again starts to lose its luster, since even with the respectable amount of mission types available in the game are weighted down by predictable AI, making them routine except for the occasional assassination attempt from NPCs such as The Stalker and Zanuka. Digital Extremes HAS been getting on the right track of things by including more storyline quests such as Vay Hek’s Prize, but a lot more could be done to make the whole endgame experience seem livelier and fulfilling.
Despite these issues with endgame, Warframe is very much a game that’s easy enough to pick up and play for a few minutes or a few hours. The combat can be as fast paced or as slow paced as you want it to be, since with so many warframes and abilities, you can play it however you want: Traditional TPS, stylish hack ‘n slash, cover-based tactical shooting, stealth action and anything else that loosely fits into the ‘space ninja’ archetype. Warframe’s gameplay is practically several games in one, and there’s several mission types available to suit all those genres, including stealth/rescue missions, capture missions, attack & defend missions, etc. If you’re casual, you can simply hop on, do a few alert missions and head off, or if you’re hardcore, you can spend hours doing void missions to get the best mods and resources available.
Speaking of “stylish hack ‘n slash”: In update 13, they introduce a new melee combat system that allows players to perfect different combo attacks, parries, weapon guards and more. However, weapons do not come with combo attacks by default, but instead come in the form of mods that must be farmed from a mission, so there’s just another layer of grinding involved before you can start using your favorite weapon effectively. Plus, some of the weapon combos available lack a sense of utility.
For example: The glave weapon has combos for multi-target AOE, single target knockdowns and ranged damage, which all have useful applications for different situations, but weapons like the Nikana mostly have a bunch of mash attacks that relatively do the same thing, but with a different animation tied to them. While the new combo system is a bit flaky for some weapon types, it’s still much more versatile than the previous melee system.
Also to mention: The only other endgame activity that players can participate in would be conclave battles and solar rail conflicts, but since Warframe is a PvE focused game, conclave battles are very unpopular, not to mention how unbalanced matches can be due to how modding and stats work in Warframe. Solar Rail conflicts fair a bit better due to the mix of PvP and PvE. Solar Rail Conflicts also provide players with unique mods and bounties to collect, so players will be seen participating in these missions far more often than not.
Warframe uses a very typical TPS control scheme that works well for Keyboard and Gamepad users. Along with straight forward running and gunning, Warframe allows players to run up and along walls, slide down slopes and pull off all sorts of ninja-like moves, and pulling these moves off is as simple as holding down your spacebar or jump button. There are also active skills that can be activated using the 1-4/middle mouse button or shoulder buttons on a gamepad, and these all have either single or multiple uses, such as Valkyr’s whiplash that can either be used to pull enemies close or used to grapple onto objects.
Playing on a gamepad may give the player a slight disadvantage compared to Keyboard users, however, due to some jumping puzzles and parkour movements that will require quick and precise jumps and turns. So unless players can handle using a gamepad with high joystick sensitivity, players may find themselves challenged with overcoming some obstacles.
When it comes to customization, Warframe provides it in spades. Just about everything regarding your warframe’s appearance, stats and more can be personalized and tweaked in many different ways. For instance: The mod system lets you use customize cards that you’ve discovered from missions and enhance your warframe, weapons or pets for increased damage, increased range, utility and so much more. There’s a ton of different weapons available and each fall into categories such as rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, hand cannons, swords, katanas, hammers, etc. Just about any kind of weapon type you can think of, Warframe has it available just for you.
All of those weapons can also be tweaked with the mod system, as well as a forma key that will let you add point reduction slots so you can equip more powered mods onto your weapons. However, this creates horrendous issues with balance as some weapons are noticeably more powerful than others, so many players will end up leaning towards the same kinds of weapons for high level missions. But still, due to the forma system, it is very possible to turn every weapon in the game into something viable, so if you have a personal favorite weapon that you just can’t put down, you’ll have to put in some time and effort to make it YOUR personal killing machine. Same can be said with warframes and their abilities.
At the time of this review, many warframes have been retooled and rebalanced. While some warframes could still use a few buffs or nerfs, every warframe serves different play styles and are suited for many different missions and situations, so expect to see and use a variety of them in every mission.
Along with weapon and warframe customization, update 14 introduced a new type of battle pet called “Kubrows” which are basically alien attack dogs that can assist players in combat both offensively or defensively. These can also be customized with the same kind of mod system as warframes and weapons. The upkeep for these pets is very high and has to be taken care of just like a real pet, but their usefulness outweighs the upkeep costs for sure.
Visuals, Sound and Presentation
With an in-house engine developed by Digital Extremes, Warframe gives off some incredible visuals that are simply a joy to behold if your PC can handle it. With high quality textures, a unique sci-fi aesthetic, striking character models and DirectX11 capabilities, this is easily one of the most impressive looking F2P games on the market.
The sound quality is also as good as the visuals, as Warframe’s musical tone is set with a mix between jungle/tribal tunes and energetic electronica that strangely reminds me of Blade Runner. While these two themes give off very opposite vibes, Digital Extremes managed to make them work very well together to create a unique vibe for Warframe that stays fresh for a long time. They’ve even included “Dynamic music” during combat that changes depending on the current status of the mission, and really kicks up the pace during the middle of a battle. Faction enemies also have very striking alien voices that give them distinct personalities, which also add to the game’s already excellent audio presentation.
The overall presentation for Warframe is excellent as it provides a sense of familiarity from other Sci-fi themed games, but at the same time, the design of the characters themselves will still make Warframe feel like a game you’ve never seen before. The only real issue that players may have with the game could be the character animations for certain melee attacks, as they generally come off as abrupt and unnatural looking.
The community for Warframe is very laid-back and friendly (for the most part), as players are always ready and willing to help new players learn the ropes with very little grief or resistance. This all shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since the game is mostly focused on cooperative play, and without much of a competitive community to spark things up, just about everyone in the game is civil and respectful. There’s also a very health community of traders, guilds and alliances to help players trade their items and/or credits for platinum (cash shop currency) or help players achieve various blueprints and goals. It doesn’t take long to find what you’re looking for in Warframe’s community, so new players should be able to jump in without fear.
Despite some issues with endgame content, Warframe proves to be a feature packed game that can easily rival any fully priced retail game. The new tutorial does a decent job easing new players into the world of Warframe, and its highly entertaining combat can easily hook casual and hardcore players alike. If you’re looking for a quality F2P TPS title with Space Ninjas, then look no further.
Warframe Launch Review
By Jason Harper (Hhean)
Warframe, the game that could just as easily be called “NINJAS… IN…. SPAAAAAACE!” is a Third person shooter that focuses on co-op play. The moment to moment play is very similar to Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, with a greater emphasis on mobility rather than cover, while the random maps, levelling and looting are more akin to Diablo. Its coop title isn’t simply ‘single player that can be played with others’ as it really is only worth playing online. Bring friends.
You take on the role of a Tenno, a group of space ninjas who wear technologically advanced super suits that give them wizard powers. Each suit gives the user three mundane abilities and a fourth super ability that will, more often than not, kill everything around them. While most of your time is spent blasting everything in sight with a small arsenal of sci-fi boomsticks, these space ninjas make liberal use of a variety of close combat weapons to smash, cut and punch their victims. The combat is at its best when all three of these systems are being juggled in a single combat, shooting bullets into electrified foes before quickly dispatching a charging enemy as it hurls itself around a corner.
The game’s enemies play on the normal tropes found in other shooters. The game currently has three major enemy factions: The Grineer (Space marines), Corpus (Guns with legs) and Infested (Zombies). The most interesting of these are the Grineer, an army of cloned soldiers who bear more than a passing resemblance to Starcraft’s Terran marines. Having a chance to stab and shoot the marines rather than playing as the usual space grunt is an interesting change of pace. They’re also the most fun to fight due to their diverse set of units and weapons in the later levels. The other two are good fun for a change of pace, but the Infested’s AI is dumb as bricks, allowing you to kill them through methods that feel like cheating. One common trick, for example, is to simply stand on some crates while you gun them down, as they have no way to climb objects. The Corpus aren’t difficult or very interesting, and mostly get by on a load of cheap gimmicks like AoE knockdowns and traps.
While fighting these various foes, you can show off your sweet, sweet acrobatic moves. In keeping with your character being a flippin’ space ninja wizard, they can run along walls, do backflips, slide along the floor while shooting or slicing or do a Bruce Lee impression while they slam into enemies with a flying kick. While a number of the newer maps encourage the use of these tricks, they’re too impractical to use in a normal gunfight. It’s a real shame too, because it’s this sort of air-fu silliness that would kick the game into high gear. It needs to be injected with some Vanquish style jet-powered floor slides for maximum badassery.
This is a real problem with the game overall. While the game’s concept is completely insane, it isn’t pushed hard enough. The bosses are a good example of this. When you think of the sort of bosses that need to be tough enough to take on four space ninja wizards by themselves, what doesn’t come to mind is a normal guy with a shotgun with a recolour. The game needs more ludicrous death tanks packed with lasers, grotesque cthulhu abominations and stompy mechas with chainsaw lightsabers. The only notable boss is called The Jackal, a giant four legged robot that slams the ground while flying robots try to bomb you into submission. It’s a good start, but a single standout performance in a pack of otherwise unremarkable encounters.
The game has an unusual levelling system where the player’s account, their individual warframes and each piece of equipment can be levelled up. While an account’s level only allows a player to make use of a few additional pieces of equipment, levelling up weapons and frames allows them to be upgraded through the use of mods. These drop from the game’s enemies in the same way as a new bit of armour would in more traditional RPGs. This system means that rather than trying to find that exact Two Handed Sword of Murder +2, you simply go make or buy yourself a Two Handed Sword and then try to find a Mod of Murdering. So while you might not get a bit of gear tweaked exactly the way you want it right out the game, you at least get to make use of the weapons rather than having to constantly be on the lookout for that one bit of loot you need.
The game’s crafting system follows through with this same ideology, allowing you to make what you want through crafting components that are always found in particular levels. The problem is that often getting these items can be a bit of a grind, as you slowly accrue the various parts needed to assemble your own personal arsenal of death. I considered the grind to be less awful than in many similar titles since I at least knew that there was a clear goal in mind, and I would get exactly what I wanted rather than investing a good chunk of time to receive something that could be potentially useless.
The game is, by its very nature, quite repetitive though, so if you don’t find its gameplay inherently rewarding, or can’t stand the length of its grind (which can be exceptionally long when trying to get certain Warframes) then it can be hard to maintain interest. The warframe grind can be especially painful, forcing you to repeatedly fight the exact same boss (which is likely an uninteresting palette swap of a normal enemy) over and over again to get the pieces that in turn must be crafted in order to fill out the requirements to get the frame built.
Something that reinforces both the strengths and weaknesses of the game’s repetitive nature is that each mission’s maps are randomly generated. This means you can replay the same thing over and over while still being presented with new challenges to overcome. It also means that when not playing the exact same level over and over you might sometimes feel like you are, even when you aren’t. This isn’t helped by the lack of tileset diversity in the game at the moment. There are only three, and one of which is used more than the other two put together. It is also the weakest of the tilesets, offering the least variety in its set pieces. The best of these levels, a snow themed tileset, shows real promise for the game’s future though, as it creates a number of difficult situations for the player, with a good mix of tight corridors and open clearings while also providing some differences in verticality.
The number of different mission types pump variety into a format that could become stale quickly without them. When you drop into a mission you could, for example, find yourself collecting a certain number of macguffins, blowing up a ship’s engine or holding a point against waves of enemies. The tasks you perform at a given location are always the same, but how you go about it can change dramatically based on your equipment, allies and the random map layout. You can even try to stealth your way through a level rather than head into an open gunfight, but it’s currently too flawed to bother with. Outside of the standard levels, there’s the Alert Missions, which are special tasks that last for limited periods of time that give special rewards. Special weekend events also add to the mix rewarding you with unique equipment exclusive to that event. The alerts and special events are a great way of adding some spice to the game’s progression, and also encourage you to keep logging in to check what’s available at a given time.
The game is visually impressive, especially considering how little stress it puts on even low to mid-range rigs. It’s also tiny for what it is, a fraction of what similar games in the genre require. Unfortunately, the graphical fidelity is rarely leveraged to good effect, as few environments provide visually impressive set pieces.
Audio is good, but not great. The noises the game’s various weapons make are satisfying, but its soundtrack leaves much to be desired. The game only has one voice, a woman who delivers various bits of exposition or gameplay tips. While her delivery is passable, you will be stuck hearing some lines repeatedly over the course of a single mission, which can turn even the best performance into an irritation.
The free to play model is one of the weaker parts of the game. Everything is very expensive, with new warframes costing somewhere in the region of $15. However, since everything in the game can be unlocked for free, and that unlocking all the equipment in the game is its only long term goal currently, paying for things with real money almost feels like undermining yourself. The only reason I can see for paying is if your friends all have varying amounts of time to spend on a video game, so those with less time could spend money to keep pace with those who have all the phat lootz.
Unless you’re paying for power, that is. Orokin Catalysts (referred to by the community as ‘potatoes’), are an item you slot into your armour or weapons that doubles the worth of each level that item gains. If the game ever added in some form of pvp, this would be a nightmare, but it isn’t terrible as it stands purely due to the cooperative nature of the game. While these can be earned in alert missions, they’re incredibly rare compared to their low monetary cost. A free user won’t feel like they’re lacking in power until the late game, where they will often feel under equipped against some of the game’s tougher foes if they haven’t scrounged up a few catalysts. If you do take a moral stance against any form of buying power, this could be a deal breaker.
The greatest strength of the game though is that it’s being constantly being updated. There’s a reason I have had to constantly use the word ‘currently’ throughout this article. While the weekly updates are rarely significant, adding a couple of new weapons or aesthetic options, the major updates (also known as the numbered updates) always bring dramatic change. These have been so significant that our previous coverage of the game is now almost entirely incorrect due to its ever shifting nature. I fully expect this article to be completely wrong about everything in the game the moment Update 8 deploys, bringing with it new maps and clan functionality.
If you played Warframe in the past and were put off by anything except its grindy nature, then it’s certainly worth giving a new look. If you’ve never picked the game up, it’s a great way to spend some time with friends, especially considering there aren’t many co-op focused games that are free to play.
It’s also a game where you get to play as a ninja space wizard. If that idea alone doesn’t set your mind alight, then you may need to see a doctor. You may be at risk of not having a soul.
Graphics 4/5: It’s a fantastic looking game, especially for a free to play title
Controls 4/5: Gunplay is impactful, melee weapons feel meaty. Acrobatics are fun but too situational.
Features 2/5: Has some out of game functions to keep players aware of in game alerts
Customization 3/5: Aesthetic customization is nearly nonexistent, but overall the game has great build variety.
Community 4/5: Built from the ground up as a co-op experience, with upcoming extras for clans.
Warframe Update 14 Highlights
Warframe Dojos & Dueling E3 Dev Preview
Warframe Open Beta Trailer
Warframe – PAX East 2013 DevPlay
Warframe – First Look
Warframe: Alpha Gameplay Trailer
Warframe System Requirements
OS: Windows XP SP 3 or higher
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo e6400 or AMD Athlon x64 4000+ (~2.2Ghz dual core CPU)
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT or ATI Radeon HD 3600
- Warframe PC Launches Archwing Update October 24th - Posted on October 23, 2014
The new PC update titled ‘Archwing’ takes players to an entirely new world within Warframe and will be released tomorrow, Oct. 24th at 9am EDT.
- Warframe Review 2014 - Posted on October 17, 2014
Back in 2012, Digital Extremes, the creators of such action titles including the original Unreal Tournament, Bioshock and The Darkness, decided to create a new kind of F2P Co-op shooter experience that takes the vast reaches of space and mixes it up with super-powered space ninjas, and they called it “Warframe.”
- Warframe PS4 and Xbox One Get Update 14.5 - Posted on September 24, 2014
From new customization options for your Warframe and Kubrow to a chilling event mission for you to test out some new weaponry, Update 14.5 has plenty of content to keep fans busy.
- Warframe: Now available on Xbox One - Posted on September 2, 2014
Digital Extremes announced today that Warframe®, the wildly-popular AAA Free-to-Play game, is available now on the Xbox One console worldwide. Warframe is the first Free-to-Play title released through the ID@Xbox Program that allows independent game developers of all sizes to self-publish digital games on Xbox One. Set in an evolving sci-fi world, the third-person action game challenges players to fight across the Solar System and master the power of the Warframe!
- Warframe: Update 15 “Archwing” announced - Posted on August 18, 2014
Taking Warframe’s high-energy, skilled ninja battles into the depths of Space, Archwing – an entirely new Warframe game mode – is coming in Update 15!