Warframe is one of those games that really, really shouldn't work, and yet it does. A third person shooting/brawler alone is ambitious amongst the sea of gray-brown cover based shooters, but Digital Extremes went for far more than that. Randomized levels, three different factions to fight from the get go, co-op and singleplayer modes, narrative in those modes, platforming in a multiplayer game (sorry Brink but you just don't really count in this case), and a colorful twist on the atmosphere of other sci-fi shooters. It sounds too good to be true, especially for a game still technically in beta, doesn't it?

No, it actually all works surprisingly well. Warframe is one of those rare games where it's a unique idea, it's executed well, and the only thing that seems to hold it back from being a great game is buggy updates.

Yes, I had you going there for a second. Thought I was gonna just be praising this, eh?

I'm not going to lie, Warframe is a great game -in the making- but as of present, if you haven't already played it at some point, don't play it right now. Wait until update 10. Maybe register your character and play the basic tutorials, but that's it. Why? Because the progression curve is presently broken for new players. A misfired attempt at adding Nightmare Mode to some missions as left a number of regular missions locked in this state whether you wanted them to or not, and in some cases before you even beat the mission your first time through. This has made some planets in the game's galaxy virtually unplayable due to the ridiculous difficulty.

Another knock against the game is that it still is very in-progress in a number of ways. The developers keep changing things in response to the community, and are still struggling to work out the F2P aspect. Of present, you can get most things without the paid for currency (Platinum), but still a few things require it, such as avatars for the forums, giving you more self-revives, and increasing the number of warframes you own. This can be a bit frustrating if you're a regular player, but you get four revives at the start of every day, and if you're only playing casually, unlocking all the various warframes won't interest you. You get three to choose from and all that really varies is their powers stats. Every warframe can use every weapon, and use any mod that isn't character specific. There's also a healthy amount of gender diversity, so for once, female gamers get equal representation in the classes alongside male characters, which is a nice thing, although some people continue to complain on the forums about it. Speaking of the forums...

They are not pleasant, at least not in my experience. Master players and early investors in the game have an air of arrogance that has turned off a number of players, including myself back during the closed beta. And yet, one of the main guys who caused me headache in the forum is a community moderator. I find this very disconcerting, as back in the day I made one suggestion thread and three other members (including the moderator in question) basically smashed and fought against my suggestion until I deleted the thread. Just because it wasn't what they considered interesting, and then accused me of being "overly dramatic" when they were pretty strongly fighting my every argument. What was the thread about that caused this much negativity? I suggested maybe the developers could stand to make the numbers for damage and experience points look a bit further differentiated as they presently seemed a tad bit too similar. Yeah, how dare I suggest that. I am clear overstepped my bounds. Don't even know what I brought up this clearly not insanely minimal aspect of the game that, to much hilarity, they actually did improve upon anyway!

I really wouldn't bring this up if the game's community wasn't of a major concern to me but... really, it is. Most people fall into three groups.

Group One are the people who've been in the game since they opened it up to buying your way into the beta to fund the game who have their heads up their arses most of the time and the rare few who don't still often just speed ahead of most players because most full F2P players speed run levels for resources. They will leave you choking on fumes as they blaze through beginner levels.

Group Two are the people like me who are actually here to have fun. We enjoy exploring, having a ball with the combat, trying new routes, finding the secrets the random level generators made. We're often getting the short end of the stick of Group One. Technically some of us could fit in Group One, but the few who balance between the two are just really experienced players trying to have fun. I wish I met more of them in my 22+ hours of time playing Warframe.

Group Three are the people who keep complaining about a PvE focused game not having PvP. They've complained so much about this that clan dojos and clan battles are being added even though they are totally a side activity and will probably break some of the more fun powers in order to make them "balanced" for PvP play. The rest of us don't really like them because they don't seem to get why we all came here in the first place.

This is why I usually play the game solo. When you play it solo, you can pause like any other singleplayer game, you get all the loot, plus there's nothing pressuring you to speed on ahead. Someone can't be at the end zone and be being an arsehat. Instead, it's pure bliss. It's like Dead Space meets Mass Effect meets Prince of Persia for the combat, and it all works brilliantly. Rebalances have made me have to rework my Volt Warframe, but the new mod system, despite being a bit opaque at first, is surprisingly addictive. You can not only level each weapon and your character, but also your mods for each weapon. Sure, 20% critical chance isn't saying much, but stick a bunch of fusion cores in and BOOM, 80% critical hit chance for every shot. That is awesome, as are the variety of weapons.

There are: Swords, pistols of every type of gun, bows, hammers, knuckles, hand to hand combat enhancers, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, bolt action rifles, akimbo weapons, experimental weapons, and plenty more to come as the game continues to be updated.

Player powers range from insane abilities like teleportation gates and swapping places with NPCs to more basic abilities like stunning electricity and temporary cover. The higher grade powers are primarily locked off to non-starter Warframes, but are equally hard to master when you get them. Some of them, like the Trinity warframe, seem built for co-op but as stated, only get started on a warframe like that if you have a good party to play with. Tied together with the platforming controls (you'll have to experiment on your own, such as Shift-CRTL-E), it allows for very creative combat. Maybe you'll wall jump over a high area then swap with an enemy to watch them fall to your death. Lock them in place with a shocking bolt of lightning then slide sword slash to cut them to ribbons? It's all up to you.

A great game in concept and often you can see glances of where it'll finally reach, but it's held up by a bad community and some obvious issues due it still being in beta. My advice is to give it a try if you're interested, but expect to grind in the beginning zones until you are around level 17-20 and go with a group to beat the first boss to move onward. It's best to do it with friends though, because solo will be a bit tricky to start out on unless you read the controls and look up a guide beforehand (granted, most people do that with MMOs anyways). I can't really rate this because it's still in beta, but if you really need me to... 8.5/10.

Paradigm the Fallen


Trivia: This is coming out on PS4 as well as PC.