Review Warframe [Xbone]
Maniakkid25 Offline
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[Image: TeeHunter-Warframe-t-shirts-banner.jpg]
You know, it's been a long time since I've done a proper review of an MMO. So why not do one since I'm in the mood for it?! For those that are new or don't remember, I have a different system for MMOs than I do standard games: I don't give scores. Because anything and everything can be changed at a moment's notice with an MMO (just look at World of Warcraft, which is completely unrecognizable compared to its initial release), any score that I could give would be immediately invalidated if that happened. As such, I just give a snapshot of my experience with the game in its current form, and recommend it off that. As such, let's get the ball rolling.

WHAT ARE THESE CONTROLS?!

It took me three attempts to properly get into Warframe. Not because I thought it was bad, or because it wasn't my thing. No, that was purely down to the controls. First off, this game is a lot faster than most Third-person shooters, so the controls are built around that. So, rather than B being crouch like it normally is in the games I've played, that's on left bumper, which is usually secondary fire or grenades or something. Except secondary fire is on the right stick, normally used for melee attacks. And melee attacks are on B. Thankfully, all the controller bindings are customizable, meaning you can assign any command you want to any particular button. And while the game does commit the one cardinal sin that I hold against third-person shooters -- you should never be able to run towards the camera -- that still wasn't my problem. My problem can be summed up in one word: sensitivity.

See, because the game is a lot faster than most Third-person shooters, the sensitivity is higher. Like, really high. On the standard control set up, with the look sensitivity at 30% and the aim sensitivity at 20%, I could not play the game at all. My aim was constantly overshooting my targets, and I just couldn't effectively play the game. This is the only game I've ever played where I had to turn the sensitivity down voluntarily in order to actually play it; I had to tune the look sensitivity to 20% and aim to 10%. That is not a feature; that is a bug. This contributes to the one complaint I have about the game that my friends do not understand: the controls are too loose. Anyone who understands control setups, especially for games like platformers, should understand what I mean by "loose controls", and the fact that my friends do not understand what this means continues to baffle me to this day.

So, how does it actually play?

You remember the game Dark Sector? No? I don't necessarily blame you. It was a game that came out back around '08, '09 that had a bit of hype behind it but otherwise didn't make a big splash. It does have a cult following, and it is a good game, go play it, but that game I'll save for another review, because there's a lot to chew on with that game.

For those that have played the game, imagine if you played it at double speed, and you basically get Warframe. In fact, the devs have outright stated that Warframe is what they initially wanted Dark Sector to be (at least in terms of gameplay), but they couldn't because of technological constraints. For those that haven't, imagine a third-person shooter where you play a ninja. That's basically the game summed up in less than ten words, but the point is that you have your standard Third-Person shooter set up with a main gun and sidearm, but also combines things like dedicated melee weapons, stealth, and special abilities. This game is not a cover shooter; you either get moving or get dying. Now, the PC is using the titular mechsuit/robot/something or other (I'll get back to this), and there are many, many more to choose from. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, with each boasting special powers that help to uniquely define them. The devs have really put effort into trying to make sure that each 'Frame has his or her (they have genders; don't ask) uses, and the weapons as well are more to round out the 'Frame rather than have you rely on them. It's not out of the question to say that you could get through some missions with nothing more than your melee weapon and your abilities, though some are better at missions than others. On top of this, you can use mods to augment the abilities of your arsenal, doing obvious things like "increase health" or "increase damage" to unobvious things like "add a new damage type" or "add a new effect to an ability". The game doesn't really have a good tutorial, sadly, so you'll have to just learn as you go or learn from a pro player like I did.

Speaking of, while the game has a PvP mode, the game is largely PvE, which supports up to four-player co-op (though not local co-op, for obvious reasons). This is good, because as you get to higher level enemies, it basically becomes impossible to solo certain missions. There are the obvious types of missions like "defend this position" or "kill X number of enemies", but there are also things like "collect this data without getting seen" or "save this hostage", and while it is perfectly possible to be slow, methodical, and get through entire missions without being detected, unless your entire team is on board with that, don't expect it to happen.

The game doesn't use a standard level system. Instead, your overall "level" is known as your "Mastery Rank" and is tracked by the levels you gain for the various frames, weapons, and companions that you can create (or buy, if need be...and I'll get back to this). As such, it's in your best interests to find components for the various blueprints you buy with in-game currency and build as many weapons as you can to raise your mastery rank, should you so choose. What does that do for you? Well, besides an additional amount of grinding you can do with syndicates and some extra space for a niche key item, it gets you one more capacity point for your arsenal. However, this is only your STARTING capacity; you'll still max out at the normal amount at max level for those items (which is rank 30, though you can re-roll them back to zero for additional benefits). This just means you can grind a little less before you can make your weapons effective with mods. In other words, Mastery Rank is really just a shiny number. This is actually good, because it means that theoretically a rank 0 player and a rank 30 player can be just as powerful as each other (in practice, this is absurd, but IN THEORY...), meaning that you don't have to be carried through harder missions or won't be absolutely outclassed by a higher ranked player simply because they have better items than you do.

Now, back to that buying thing. See, while the game is free to play, there is of course cosmetics you buy with real money, and you can buy any item or even Warframes with real money. Well, I say "real money", but you actually buy an in-game currency called "Platinum", rather than buy it directly. This is actually an important distinction, because platinum can be traded with other players. What this means is if you have parts that another player wants, you can get the real money currency from them for it, which you can then use as if you bought it yourself. Theoretically, as long as you're willing to commit to the grind, you can be a pay-to-progress player without spending a single dime on the game! It's actually a really interesting thing, and a great way to get around the problems that most games have with microtransactions; even if you don't have the cash, you can still participate.

Oh, so NOW you wanna have a story?!

So, when the game initially came out, there really wasn't a major plot to speak of. There was a lot of lore, and digging through the wiki of the game gives you a lot of nice fluff to chew on, but there wasn't really a plot other than "these two factions are f***ing up the system, go fight them." Oh, did I mention that this game takes place in our solar system about 2 thousand years in the future? And that both factions are technically off-shoots of humanity? Yeah, that's not confusing at all!

Anyway, then you get to Uranus, and the game suddenly decides it wants to have an actual plot; a new faction starts to enter the picture, the Sentients, and they're trying to eradicate the remains of humanity after the "Old War" (though, they aren't called that; humanity evolved into super-humans known as "Orokin" in the years ahead of us and became space-faring). As such, it starts to take you into the true secrets of the Tenno (what the PC is called) and their origin, as well as a dark plot by the remaining Orokin... You also get a lot of lore about a place called "the Void", which twists and warps whatever enters it to its own purpose and OH MY GOD, IT'S EVENT HORIZON AGAIN!

Finale

Even with my problems with the controls, I recognized that there was a good game buried in there, and once I was able to fix my sensitivity issues with the game, I was indeed rewarded with a fast-paced and fun Third-person shooter that's focused on being a good game first, and then worries about getting your money second. If you're looking for a change of pace from the cover-based shooters of most modern third-person shooters, or otherwise just want to play a really good game, I do recommend it. Now if only the game had a decent tutorial...

...AND STOP PRONOUNCING "TITANIA" WRONG, DIGITAL EXTREMES!
#1
Maniakkid25 Offline
Part-time cricket, full-time gamer
Posts:
Threads:
Joined:
Jun 2018
Currently Playing
Lots of different things
Favourite Platform(s)
What answer makes me a hipster?
XP: 858
[Image: TeeHunter-Warframe-t-shirts-banner.jpg]
You know, it's been a long time since I've done a proper review of an MMO. So why not do one since I'm in the mood for it?! For those that are new or don't remember, I have a different system for MMOs than I do standard games: I don't give scores. Because anything and everything can be changed at a moment's notice with an MMO (just look at World of Warcraft, which is completely unrecognizable compared to its initial release), any score that I could give would be immediately invalidated if that happened. As such, I just give a snapshot of my experience with the game in its current form, and recommend it off that. As such, let's get the ball rolling.

WHAT ARE THESE CONTROLS?!

It took me three attempts to properly get into Warframe. Not because I thought it was bad, or because it wasn't my thing. No, that was purely down to the controls. First off, this game is a lot faster than most Third-person shooters, so the controls are built around that. So, rather than B being crouch like it normally is in the games I've played, that's on left bumper, which is usually secondary fire or grenades or something. Except secondary fire is on the right stick, normally used for melee attacks. And melee attacks are on B. Thankfully, all the controller bindings are customizable, meaning you can assign any command you want to any particular button. And while the game does commit the one cardinal sin that I hold against third-person shooters -- you should never be able to run towards the camera -- that still wasn't my problem. My problem can be summed up in one word: sensitivity.

See, because the game is a lot faster than most Third-person shooters, the sensitivity is higher. Like, really high. On the standard control set up, with the look sensitivity at 30% and the aim sensitivity at 20%, I could not play the game at all. My aim was constantly overshooting my targets, and I just couldn't effectively play the game. This is the only game I've ever played where I had to turn the sensitivity down voluntarily in order to actually play it; I had to tune the look sensitivity to 20% and aim to 10%. That is not a feature; that is a bug. This contributes to the one complaint I have about the game that my friends do not understand: the controls are too loose. Anyone who understands control setups, especially for games like platformers, should understand what I mean by "loose controls", and the fact that my friends do not understand what this means continues to baffle me to this day.

So, how does it actually play?

You remember the game Dark Sector? No? I don't necessarily blame you. It was a game that came out back around '08, '09 that had a bit of hype behind it but otherwise didn't make a big splash. It does have a cult following, and it is a good game, go play it, but that game I'll save for another review, because there's a lot to chew on with that game.

For those that have played the game, imagine if you played it at double speed, and you basically get Warframe. In fact, the devs have outright stated that Warframe is what they initially wanted Dark Sector to be (at least in terms of gameplay), but they couldn't because of technological constraints. For those that haven't, imagine a third-person shooter where you play a ninja. That's basically the game summed up in less than ten words, but the point is that you have your standard Third-Person shooter set up with a main gun and sidearm, but also combines things like dedicated melee weapons, stealth, and special abilities. This game is not a cover shooter; you either get moving or get dying. Now, the PC is using the titular mechsuit/robot/something or other (I'll get back to this), and there are many, many more to choose from. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, with each boasting special powers that help to uniquely define them. The devs have really put effort into trying to make sure that each 'Frame has his or her (they have genders; don't ask) uses, and the weapons as well are more to round out the 'Frame rather than have you rely on them. It's not out of the question to say that you could get through some missions with nothing more than your melee weapon and your abilities, though some are better at missions than others. On top of this, you can use mods to augment the abilities of your arsenal, doing obvious things like "increase health" or "increase damage" to unobvious things like "add a new damage type" or "add a new effect to an ability". The game doesn't really have a good tutorial, sadly, so you'll have to just learn as you go or learn from a pro player like I did.

Speaking of, while the game has a PvP mode, the game is largely PvE, which supports up to four-player co-op (though not local co-op, for obvious reasons). This is good, because as you get to higher level enemies, it basically becomes impossible to solo certain missions. There are the obvious types of missions like "defend this position" or "kill X number of enemies", but there are also things like "collect this data without getting seen" or "save this hostage", and while it is perfectly possible to be slow, methodical, and get through entire missions without being detected, unless your entire team is on board with that, don't expect it to happen.

The game doesn't use a standard level system. Instead, your overall "level" is known as your "Mastery Rank" and is tracked by the levels you gain for the various frames, weapons, and companions that you can create (or buy, if need be...and I'll get back to this). As such, it's in your best interests to find components for the various blueprints you buy with in-game currency and build as many weapons as you can to raise your mastery rank, should you so choose. What does that do for you? Well, besides an additional amount of grinding you can do with syndicates and some extra space for a niche key item, it gets you one more capacity point for your arsenal. However, this is only your STARTING capacity; you'll still max out at the normal amount at max level for those items (which is rank 30, though you can re-roll them back to zero for additional benefits). This just means you can grind a little less before you can make your weapons effective with mods. In other words, Mastery Rank is really just a shiny number. This is actually good, because it means that theoretically a rank 0 player and a rank 30 player can be just as powerful as each other (in practice, this is absurd, but IN THEORY...), meaning that you don't have to be carried through harder missions or won't be absolutely outclassed by a higher ranked player simply because they have better items than you do.

Now, back to that buying thing. See, while the game is free to play, there is of course cosmetics you buy with real money, and you can buy any item or even Warframes with real money. Well, I say "real money", but you actually buy an in-game currency called "Platinum", rather than buy it directly. This is actually an important distinction, because platinum can be traded with other players. What this means is if you have parts that another player wants, you can get the real money currency from them for it, which you can then use as if you bought it yourself. Theoretically, as long as you're willing to commit to the grind, you can be a pay-to-progress player without spending a single dime on the game! It's actually a really interesting thing, and a great way to get around the problems that most games have with microtransactions; even if you don't have the cash, you can still participate.

Oh, so NOW you wanna have a story?!

So, when the game initially came out, there really wasn't a major plot to speak of. There was a lot of lore, and digging through the wiki of the game gives you a lot of nice fluff to chew on, but there wasn't really a plot other than "these two factions are f***ing up the system, go fight them." Oh, did I mention that this game takes place in our solar system about 2 thousand years in the future? And that both factions are technically off-shoots of humanity? Yeah, that's not confusing at all!

Anyway, then you get to Uranus, and the game suddenly decides it wants to have an actual plot; a new faction starts to enter the picture, the Sentients, and they're trying to eradicate the remains of humanity after the "Old War" (though, they aren't called that; humanity evolved into super-humans known as "Orokin" in the years ahead of us and became space-faring). As such, it starts to take you into the true secrets of the Tenno (what the PC is called) and their origin, as well as a dark plot by the remaining Orokin... You also get a lot of lore about a place called "the Void", which twists and warps whatever enters it to its own purpose and OH MY GOD, IT'S EVENT HORIZON AGAIN!

Finale

Even with my problems with the controls, I recognized that there was a good game buried in there, and once I was able to fix my sensitivity issues with the game, I was indeed rewarded with a fast-paced and fun Third-person shooter that's focused on being a good game first, and then worries about getting your money second. If you're looking for a change of pace from the cover-based shooters of most modern third-person shooters, or otherwise just want to play a really good game, I do recommend it. Now if only the game had a decent tutorial...

...AND STOP PRONOUNCING "TITANIA" WRONG, DIGITAL EXTREMES!
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