Warframe review, the Ninja way to stars
The “Free to Play” universe is one of the most prolific genres that can be found right now in video games. Some very good experiences and a lot of junk, “useful” only to occupy space on your HDD. We have seen major titles become free to avoid bankruptcy and others who have become F2P to gain greater visibility, but only a few developers have managed to create quality gaming experiences.
Unfortunately, sometimes F2P is used to mask the infamous Pay to Win. Do you want to win easily? Just pay! So far, I have seen extremely promising titles ruined by developers/publishers lust for easy money. But in this case the problem is not really the money, it’s the quality of the game itself.
Warframe has been developed by Digital Extremes, the software house behind the good Dark Sector and the conversions of Bioshock 2 and The Darkness II. Looking at the design of Warframe it’s not really difficult to see precisely Dark Sector. The enemies and especially exoskeletons (just called Warframe) are very reminiscent of their first game. The use of cool colors and heavy blurring on the screen to highlight the actions of the game are significant in this regard.
But let’s get to the plot. Warframe tries to bring the multiplayer in a plot that unfortunately has no substance to push the player to carry on its gaming experience. According to the story, we interpret the Tenno, an alien race almost extinct, which must use the Warframe, ancient and powerful exoskeletons, to save themselves and the galaxy.
The plot is just an excuse to fight our opponents: the Grinner. The fight across the whole galaxy involves different actions: attack, extraction of hostages, data theft, deletions of leading figures, etc. We also find a race that seems a poor mix between the Necromorphs of Dead Space and Flood of Halo, and even some quite anonymous robots. In addition to this the game’s levels seem to be created with the copy and paste” technique, as no matter if you are in a mining complex, a spaceship, a military base or a research station: there will always be a ventilation grating from which you can enter.
The gameplay is basically a co-op for up to four players where, excluding some doors, there aren’t great things to do together. Unfortunately, during the game you will feel the need to play solo to get more points. The feeling with firearms is quite satisfactory, but in the initial stages the fighting is very limited and it seems only a strange TPS with sci-fi ninjas. Only by leveling (or purchasing other characters) you can try different game mechanics, unless of course you simply become bored first.
And if that isn’t enough for you, Warframe unfortunately still suffers from a considerable number of technical problems and bugs, too many to be justified. I’m talking about crashes, “corrupt cache” errors, connection breakdowns, invisible force fields within levels, miscalculated movements etc. ; in short , it is a gaming experience with too many technical shortcomings. I had the feeling of a title barely sketched without a long-term strategy.