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First 24 Hours: Warframe

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First 24 Hours: Warframe

Friday, 31 May 2013 15:21

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         So for almost a year I'd been seeing game-play videos and developer blogs about a third-person action shooter called Warframe, and from the word "go" I was intrigued. It passed from my mind right about the time it went to closed beta, until a short time ago when I logged into Steam and found it now in open-beta, free to download and play. So myself and some of the Tanked Matinee crew fired it up, and I must say we've been highly impressed from the beginning.

        Recently the developers released a pretty major update, and so I thought that despite this not being my first 24 hours of experience with the game, I could do this article based on my first exposure to Update 8: Rise of the Warlords.

 

The Game

          Warframe puts you in control of what pretty much amounts to a super-powered...cyborg is my best guess, as you take on waves of enemies and complete various missions. You fight your way through the solar system, unlocking planets as you complete mission paths, starting at Mercury and working your way out.

        Along the way you collect money and resources to use in conjunction with blueprints to obtain more powerful weapons, as well as mods that can be used to make your warframe and weapons more powerful, as well as give you fantastic abilities unique to your warframe. After a brief training mission, you select one of three warframes (though any can be purchased later), and begin your quest.

        Master the long gun, pistol, and melee weapon systems, as well as the ninja-like acrobatics and special powers each warframe possesses. Collect the resources to craft new weapons and warframes. And take on a variety of enemies, from the heavily armored Grineer, to the beast-like "totally not the Flood" Infected, to the technologically advanced Corpus.


The Technicals

          First thing I noticed, this game is beautiful! Everything is smooth and organic looking; it looks like an A+ budget production, not your typical free-to-play fare. And the visual effects offer a stark contrast to the rest of the dark, slick atmosphere.

        I'm able to run the game on maximum settings, and I can find almost no visual flaws or tearing. If you don't mind having your retinas seared out of your eyes every time someone uses a special move or an explosion goes off, you're in for a visual treat.

        The sound effects are also solid, though nothing really blows my mind (it's all well done standard fare). I also appreciate that the game has some original scores to help set the tone of each scene, whether you're trying to sneak through the level like you're Solid Snake, or slicing your way through hordes of enemies like you're a futuristic cyborg Jason Voorhees.


It is SO immensely satisfying when you do this

The Gameplay

        This is probably one of the simplest games I've played in recent memory to control. I've never had to break my hand trying to mash several buttons at once. It's your standard WASD/Shift/Left Control/Spacebar movement scheme, and left/right mouse buttons to aim and fire your weapons. E swings your melee weapon (hold it for a powerful, but slow, attack), X interacts with objects, and 1-4 activate your Warframe's special abilities. That's it. Especially compared to my last game review of MechWarrior Online this is an incredibly simple game to control and play, but offers a surprising variety to skills and movement abilities to help navigate the different areas of the map. Wall runs, flips, slides, flying kicks, all are possible using only these few keys in certain combinations.

        If the game does have a weakness, its biggest one is a lack of variety in the maps. A majority of the playable areas share the same tile sets, meaning you'll find yourself fighting in the same rooms, hallways, and warehouses time and again. Myself and my fellow Tanked Matinee players have found little to no issue with this however; especially since it would seem that at least many of the maps will have randomly generated components and areas, meaning that even when we farm the same area we don't end up playing the exact same layout every single time.


        Missions pit you against one of three enemies, and completing a certain kind of mission, whether it's to destroy the reactor/key equipment, capture a high-valued individual, steal intelligence files, defend an objective, or just exterminate the entire base. Each type of enemy presents you with different challenges. The clone-army Grineer will assault you with mass numbers and big guns, while also sporting heavy armor. The Corpus army consists of robots, drones, and large war machines supporting their human soldiers, and tend to have heavy shields and powerful guns. The Infected are "totally not the flood," and will assault with huge fast moving monsters and special abilities to poison you and drain your energy. Each enemy has its own weaknesses and tactics, and players would do well to try to build their weapon and armor mods to combat each type of enemy.

        Speaking of which, enemies occasionally drop mods, which can be slotted into weapons and armor to give you more ammo, increase damage, speed up your attacks, or add elemental damage to a weapon, among about a couple dozen other things. Collecting these mods and upgrading them becomes a vital part of game play, so that your character can more effectively combat its foes.


        Another feature of game play comes in the form of the crafting system. Blueprints for different weapons, equipment, and even Warframes can be purchased, or dropped by certain enemies. Players collect materials for these blueprints, and can then craft each item. Crafting seems to take anywhere from 12 hours to days, though the item can be crafted instantly if the player spends platinum (platinum is the paid for currency in the game). Platinum can be used to purchase most items instantly, and there are a few that can only be acquired through the use of platinum, though this is by no means a "pay to win" title (I have yet to spend a single penny, and find no difficulties, I just level up slower than the paying players).

        Possibly the coolest part of the newest update (in my opinion) is the new feature of the clan hall. Clan members (otherwise known as a Guild/Faction/any of the dozen other things these have been called in other games) can craft a Clan Key for very little resources and money, and in turn get access to a Clan Hall. It starts off as just a simple room that all the Clan members can run around in, which isn't too exciting. But Clan members can then all contribute to build new rooms and hallways in the Clan Hall, which in turn unlock research and upgrades that can provide Clan-wide benefits in game, as well as access to weapons and abilities that only Clan's have access to. This feature is already pretty spectacular, and is only in its Alpha stages, so I for one can't wait to see how this will be expanded and improved upon. If it has a drawback, each component takes a considerable amount of money and resources to build (Biggs and I started a clan together, and it's gonna take quite some time for the two of us to build just a simple hallway), so Clans would be wise to recruit many players, all of whom are willing to throw in-game currency and resources at each project so that everyone can reap the rewards.

        Apparently another game play element that has been released in the new update is the ability to travel into the "Void" as the game calls it to play new maps and battle powerful new enemies. The Tanked Matinee crew has yet to play these maps, however from what we've been reading this is something to look forward to, and should provide a real challenge above and beyond what the game presented before.


Conclusion

        Overall Warframe is an incredibly fun and unique game that I think any gamer can find some enjoyment in. The combination of warfare, crafting, Clan potential, simple game play, and role playing, all at the cost of free, is an opportunity that you can't afford to miss. Is the game flawless? No, there are some very minor quirks that keep it from being so. I wish more game play mechanics were explained (the Fusion system took some learning, some movement abilities are never covered, but all these things can be found in the forums and the game wiki). I also wish there were more of a story, since only a very basic background is given for the Tenno (you're race), the Grineer, and the Corpus. The Infected are NEVER explained (at least not so far), and have no information about them on the website. But in the end these are minor issues that I have every confidence will be fixed as the game continues to grow and expand. If being a gun-wielding sword (or axe)-swinging acrobatic super-powered space ninja with enemies to match sounds like something you could get behind, then Warframe is definitely the game for you.

A Shameless Plug

        As I alluded to earlier, Biggs and I started a Tanked Matinee Clan in Warframe, and we would love for our community to join us! You can find either of us (Enuncia and ilooklikesatan are our in-game usernames), send us a message and we'll send you an invite. We hope we can use this Clan to get to know our Tanked Matinee community a little more, and interact with you outside of our reviews and series. We hope this can become successful, and maybe later expand this idea to other games, and we want you, our community, to be a part of it. So please, check out and support this awesome game, and come be part of the Tanked Matinee clan.

Read 1981 times Last modified on Friday, 31 May 2013 15:31

About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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