Warframe Review for PlayStation 4 (PS4)

Warframe Review for PlayStation 4 (PS4)

The Wrath of the Tenno

I don’t play shooters. Wait, scratch that. I do play shooters, but I usually play them the wrong way. I championed the super-easy-baby mode when I went through the Mass Effect series. I flailed my way to failure in Uncharted , which led to my never even touching the free PlayStation Plus copy of Uncharted: Golden Abyss . I suppose Saints Row IV counts, but I tend to rely on my puckish rogue superpowers to save the day there. This means that I don’t normally look at any game involving guns that doesn’t have automatic aiming or a turn-based battle system. But I not only looked at Warframe , I also went for it on the PS4. It’s free, and there’s really nothing else to play. Surprisingly, I found that it’s a third-person shooter that’s not only enjoyable, but also easy to play.

Warframe is set in a war-ravaged future. The Grineer have a stranglehold on the solar system, and are moving to take control of every planet. The Corpus are trying to get every bit of Orkin technology. Both groups are filled with despicable people. Fortunately, the players aren’t one of them. They’re Tenno, ninja-like warriors who went into cryopods during the Orkin era and have just re-awoken. They’re known for their strength and upstanding morals, and they prove it by going to war with the other two factions to make the galaxy a safer place.

But don’t worry about Warframe’s story. It doesn’t matter too much. What does matter is that players who pick this up are now soldiers, armed with one of three starter Warframes, a pistol, a Long Gun, a melee weapon, and three special abilities. The Excalibur, Loki, and Mag Warframes are immediately available, with each having a different specialty. Excalibur is a well-rounded warrior, recommended for beginners. Loki focuses on stealth. Mag is good at handling large groups of enemies. Since the Warframe first picked is one players will have to stick with for a while, it’s best to think before making a decision. I didn’t; I went with Loki because he looked cool and had an awesome name. I’m more of a run-in-and-attack-everything kind of girl, so now I have to learn to be stealthy because I didn’t think things through. It’s my own fault.

I must say that I would have appreciated a little more guidance in Warframe . To start, my tutorial had a bug. While I was learning what it meant to be a Tenno, the game got stuck. I was told to shoot a Grineer, pick up the ammo it would drop, and then reload. I defeated it easily, and ran to grab the ammo, but for some reason, my character wouldn’t pick it up. I tried running back and forth over it; I emptied my clip in case I didn’t have room for it, and I even did an interpretive dance over the ammo. (It was lovely.) My character wasn’t cooperating, and the tutorial wouldn’t advance. So, I skipped over it and decided to go on without it.

Warframe Screenshot

Fortunately, I didn’t miss much by doing so. It’s easy to acclimate to Warframe’s missions, even if the player isn’t particularly knowledgeable about cooperative, third-person shooters. My sole experience with the genre is Mass Effect , but I felt quite comfortable after a few rounds. Players go around a map, using guns and melee attacks to defeat any Grineer. To make it even more simple–if the figure in your sights has a red health bar, shoot it, stab it, or use one of your Warframe’s three special abilities to take it out. You keep this up while exploring the map and listening for guidance from the Lotus. She’ll tell you what your objective is, if you’re getting close, when your team’s completed its mission, and when it’s time to pull out.

Actually, Warframe has something else in common with Mass Effect 3 , specifically the multiplayer. While players do have access to a melee weapon–a sword–it’s best if you don’t rely too heavily on it. I found the melee combat to be a bit inaccurate. The camera didn’t feel right, though it worked fine when I relied on my guns, and it seemed like the momentum from sword attacks would push me past a Grineer, leaving me susceptible to a back attack. This didn’t dissuade me from attempted stabby-fun-times, but it certainly made me much more cautious.

Warframe Screenshot

An extra hand would have been appreciated during Warframe’s missions as well. Since I’m not super familiar with third-person shooters, I felt like it would be best for everyone if I followed my teammates, assuming they would know where they were going. Sometimes they did, other times they didn’t. An indicator will appear on screen when you are near an objective, but otherwise, you get nothing. I missed extraction numerous times because I couldn’t remember where I came in when a mission began, and would lose track of my comrades. (They, of course, somehow knew where to go. I was taunted by this knowledge, because Warframe made a point of saying they were waiting for me.)

Still, as frustrating as the sword and extraction issues are, they don’t distract much from general Warframe mission enjoyment. There are ten different objectives, which means people aren’t constantly repeating the same routine. To be exact, there are assassination, capture, deception, defense, extermination, mobile defense, sabotage, rescue, spy, and survival missions. These take place on different planets in our solar system, and while each one does eventually come down to shoot/stab any Grineer in red, the varying goals are appreciated. I especially enjoyed the assassination missions, since it involved special bosses, but I also liked hunting down enemies during extermination missions.

Also helpful is the fact that players don’t have to wait for other people to start a mission. A Warframe task can be taken on alone. Other people can then drop in as someone plays. Granted, I never had any problem finding a match whenever I logged in, but this feature will prove helpful as other PS4 games pop up and Warframe’s allure fades. Many missions do require a team of players to survive, but it is comforting to know that players don’t have to wait for a full crew to enjoy a round.

Besides, it’s worth a player’s while to go through these Warframe motions. For one, special alert missions are also available for limited periods of time, and rewards are given for logging in daily, so there’s quite an incentive to keep checking back. The alert missions have a higher difficulty level, with a better payoff for managing to complete them. Plus, logging in daily provides a little boost for players as well.

Warframe Screenshot

Not to mention, performing a mission means leveling up. This is called increasing affinity in the Warframe world. The higher affinity earned with a Warframe, weapon or sentinel, the more mods can be applied to it. The more mods applied to each piece of equipment, the better they’ll be. Mods are fairly easy to come across, as you can buy them, get them as a mission reward, from beating enemies, and from canisters. The best mods, of course, only come from completing special missions, fighting strong enemies, or the market.

Which brings us to the cash portion of Warframe . It is free-to-play, but people can pay to buy more Warframes, sentinels, weapons, mods, and such. The market contains platinum (real cash) items, as well as things that can be purchased with the in-game credit currency. Extra Warframe blueprints, for example, can be purchased. However, platinum immediately buys a player a new Warframe. Getting a blueprint means a player also has to collect a large number of resources, spend money to build each part, and then wait a certain number of days for it to be constructed. Unless a player is extraordinarily dedicated and patient, they’ll probably feel a need to just pay real cash and get it over with, which does put a damper on things.

Still, while Warframe isn’t a perfect game, I have a hard time criticizing it. It is free-to-play, after all, and quite a bit of enjoyment can be had without ever cracking open one’s wallet. There aren’t many free-to-play games that can make that claim. Granted, I was playing with the PlayStation Plus users’ starter pack, which made my life a little more comfortable. It also gets points for being accessible, even to a third-person-shooter novice like myself. Simply put, PS4 owners lose nothing by giving Digital Extreme’s third-person shooter a try, and may gain an entertaining timesink to enjoy with friends while waiting for the next wave of PS4 games.

It looks okay, but isn’t showing what the PS4 can do. 4.5 Control
Players can run, jump, roll, slash, and shoot their way through various compounds. 2.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The Lotus has an adequate voice actress, but everything is very generic. 4.5 Play Value
Players have a decent array of mission objectives and equipment to choose from, with more to come in future updates. 3.8 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Free download, free-to-play, no subscription.
  • Solo or multiplayer – Play alone or with up to three friends in PvE raids
  • Procedurally Generated Levels and Objectives – always-changing level layout and structure; never play the same level twice!
  • Weapon and Ability Progression – Continually upgrade your weapons arsenal, Warframes, abilities, and powers
  • Character Customization – Customize your Warframes and weapons with alternate abilities, skins, color palettes, and equipment

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