Back in February, I posted my closed beta impressions for a little F2P game you might have heard of called Warframe. Since that time, not only has the game gone into open beta (meaning anyone can now play it), but the transition into open beta was heralded by a brand new major update to the game. As much as I gushed about Warframe in my closed beta impressions, I’m back to tell you why you should give Warframe a shot now that it’s officially open to everyone.
I covered the story and lore behind Warframe pretty extensively in my closed beta impressions but for those who still don’t know what it’s all about; Warframe is a new F2P co-op-focused sci-fi shooter being developed by Digital Extremes. Players assume the role of the Tenno, an elite force of ancient galactic guardians who, at a glance, could be classified simply as “space ninjas” thanks to their reliance on swift, acrobatic movements and their mastery of both melee and ranged combat.
Each Tenno inhabits a combat suit called a “Warframe.” Different Warframes serve as the game’s class system, each sporting their own different powers, abilities, and combat proficiencies. Some Warframes, such as the default “Excalibur” or “Rhino” Frames, focus more on melee combat while others, such as “Banshee” or “Mag” excel at punishing enemies from a distance. More advanced Warframes such as “Loki” or “Trinity” can also fill support roles such as distracting enemies or healing allies, meaning there’s at least a couple Warframes to compliment any playstyle.
No matter which Warframe a player selects, they also have access to a vast arsenal of different melee and ranged weapons which include swords, assault rifles, pistols, knives, hammers, axes, shotguns, sniper rifles, and much more. Different Warframes and weapons can also be customized with unique skins, helmets, and color options in order to give players a more personalized touch to their combat style. Since experience points earned while playing are applied to individual weapons and Warframes as well as a player’s overall profile, progression junkies will have plenty to keep them busy.
The game’s new “Fusion” system (which was added in the open beta update) also allows players to combine and fuse mods that they find while playing to give their weapons and Warframes new and enhanced traits such as elemental damage or enhanced stats, further adding to the different customization options. This combined with the fact that Digital Extremes is always working on adding new Warframes to the roster means there’s plenty of content for players to tinker around with before they even hop into their first mission.
Once players are ready to sink their teeth into the meat of Warframe’s gameplay, they can hop into one of the game’s many co-op missions that pit them against one of three different enemy factions. Different missions each have their own objectives; one might task players with stealing a valuable device from enemy hands while another might have them protecting a vital objective from waves of enemy forces. Thanks to a fluid and easy-to-learn control scheme, movement and combat in Warframe is fast, frantic, and incredibly fun.
When I wasn’t playing Warframe on my home computer, I also got a chance to play the new update at this year’s PAX East. All of the new open beta additions, which include new “Sentinel” A.I. companions, new outdoor environments, and even a brand new longbow weapon (for all those Crysis 3/Tomb Raider fans out there) have made an already stellar game even better. I even got a chance to chat with the voice actress who supplied the voice for Lotus, the enigmatic female being who serves as the player’s guide during combat missions.
While, as a F2P game, Warframe does have the standard cash shop-implementation, none of the cash shop items are locked solely behind real-life currency. While new weapons, Warframes, boosters, mods, and other items can be purchased with real money, it’s really only for players who don’t want to devote the time they need to in order to attain those items through in-game means (which can be done for every single item offered in the cash shop).
As far as F2P online multiplayer games are concerned, it really doesn’t get much better than Warframe. Fans of other co-op based sci-fi shooters such as Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer or Gears of War 2’s popular Horde Mode will feel right at home with Warframe. With its recent transition into open beta, there’s never been a better time to see for yourself why Warframe is aiming to reinvigorate and even redefine the online sci-fi co-op shooter genre; and, more importantly, why it’s succeeding.
You can sign up for the beta yourself and start playing right now by visiting Warframe’s official website.
Also, be sure to check out my closed beta impressions to see why I was initially drawn to Warframe in the first place.