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Space Ninjas with Guns.
on November 25, 2013
EDIT: This review has been updated as of April 19th, Update 13, with 260 hours played.
This will be a relatively in depth review of the game of it's current status, as of the game's Update 11, and November 25th, 2013. I have over 150 Hours played.
As a person that has played Warframe since it's closed beta launch. I absolutely love this game. To see it evolve so much has been truly awesome and I really like where it is and where its headed. If you didn't know already, it's a cooperative 3rd person shooter, where you take the role of a Tenno, a Warframe, also this game, like many other online coop/multiplayer games, does not have any true ending or story mode as of yet, you go through level after randomized level of different mission types (Capture the target, kill all enemies, steal sensitive data, etc) and the occasional boss. Update 13 also introduced Dark Sectors, which are Solar Rails built by clans of players, whom can attack or defend other clan's rails. It's not PVP, but a cool feature is the Clan's leaders and other members show up as spectre type enemies in those missions to attack you and your squad. Other than that I guess you could say your goal is just to build weapons and warframes, the devs like to call it Space Ninjas with Guns. That's pretty accurate, but they forget to mention one of the coolest things, the Space Ninjas? There's a lot of them to choose from, with different abilities and stats compared to others. Some of them have a broad spectrum of their powers, others are more specialized and they really change they way you play the game. There are tons of guns to use. Unfortunately not all of them are really worth recommending. They also revamped the melee system in update 13, called Melee 2.0, which makes melee a ton of fun, and almost every melee weapon worth playing. Before the update, it was near impossible to do levels only using melee, now, not only is it more fun, but it's totally doable. The updates are released in a way that remind me of the Minecraft days, where every other week or month, there would be a huge content update of sorts, including new weapons, warframes and levels and of course bug fixes.
Moving on to bug fixes, Warframe is currently in Beta, and I secretly think the developers love that, because they push out updates all the time, that break a lot of things for people that usually get fixed in some hotfixes in the hours or days after an update, it's also nice to see the developers taking feedback and making the necessary adjustments. If this game was fully released, I think all the bugs they create whenever they release a new patch (currently) would be unacceptable. I hope once the game fully releases, they take more time to release updates so that everything goes well. My only other issue with this game is the events. So far, most special events have been fun and extremely rewarding, but often, the reward they give you is only possible to get from the event, even if you buy their premium currency, you cannot obtain theses rewards. I understand the point of wanting to make these rewards rare, so that more people are enticed to play in the events, but some of the items they give out are just flat out better than existing items. It's a double-edged sword, If you took part, you now have this awesome item, but if you missed out, you can never get it again. I feel like for some of these events, they should redo them a fixed date from the original event, for those that could not take part.
Finally, we get to the Free To Play/Is it pay to win? type stuff. First off, the game is 99% coop, there are a few areas for PVP, but there is currently no point in doing PVP, it's purely recreational. No rewards or true ranking system of any kind, so it's difficult to say it's Pay to Win, Maybe just Pay to Get Stuff Faster Than Your Teammate? With the premium currency, known as Platinum, or Plat, You can buy Warframes, Weapons, and various in game items, that you can also buy without the premium currency. But even with that, the game has a trading system that allows you to trade tons of things for Platinum, meaning you can earn plat in game and never spend a dime, all the while purchasing things that can only be bought with Platinum. There's a few things you cannot obtain at all, without Platinum:
Color Packs, Alternate helmets, that give you more colors to work with while customized weapons or Warframes.
Warframe Skins, that change the skin/design of your Warframe.
Crafting, when you build a Warframe or weapon or some items, they take a certain amount of time to complete, if you want, you can pay Platinum to fast forward the building process.
Boosts, you can buy XP (in game known as Mastery) and Credits (non-premium currency) boosters, that double the amount of either you earn for 3 or 7 days.
Here's the big one: Warframe and Weapon Slots. In game, you have a limited amount of slots for each type of item, 2 Warframes for the start and decent amount of weapon slots.
Once you fill these up, there are no ways of keeping your old weapons if you want to get new ones, unless you buy slots. Luckily, slots are some of the cheapest priced things platinum can buy. The game also gives you 50 Platinum to start, which you could use for 4 more weapon slots and one more Warframe slot. There's another 2 items that are only obtainable 24/7 with Platinum but they have a more rare way of obtaining them that's completely up to chance, and that's items that supercharge your weapons or Warframes, often referred to as Potatoes (don't ask). Rarely in game there are "Alerts" which are basically missions that can only be accessed for small amounts of time, usually 30 minutes to an hour. After you complete them, you cannot do them again or receive the reward again even if you get invited. Very rarely these can have hard to get items, including the items to supercharge your Warframe or weapons. But it's so rare that if you never buy these superchargers, which are pretty essential to high-powered weapons, and even more so for Warframes, that you won't have enough and your weapons or Warframes will be held back. The developers have weekly livestreams where sometimes after they end, the release a special alert that lasts for 24 hours, that usually contains a supercharger for your weapon.
Even with this, I think Warframe is extremely fair compared to most Free to Play games, often can you earn a login reward the gives you 25%-75% off any Platinum bundles. Most of the stuff that can only be bought are cosmetic and have no effect on the gameplay itself, but even then, trading allows you to earn plat from other players, so if you want it, you can work for it. Personally, I've dropped over $100 into this game, because I wanted to, and I love it. I would happily pay more, too. I would say if you enjoy Warframe, but find yourself reluctant to spend a lot of time or money on it, wait for a chance to earn a Platinum discount on the login reward, and throw $10-20 into the game. It really will make a difference to how you feel when you play.