Warframe is a cooperative free-to-play third person shooter/RPG with the feel of an old-school dungeon crawler.
The game takes place in the far future where the Solar System is overrun with several different races vying for power. You play as a Tenno, essentially the last remnants of humanity that use different armors (aptly named warframes) to do battle with the warlike Grineer – the technologically advanced Corpus, and the biological Infestation. After being awakened by a woman known as Lotus from a cryogenic sleep, you find yourself struggling to regain your lost power while trying to survive the war-torn solar system.
The main objective of Warframe is to get loot (a lot of it) and level it up. Missions are designed with maximum re-playability in mind, with no two levels being exactly the same. Warframe uses a procedure generated level design based on various tile sets, much like the dungeons of Diablo or Path of Exile. This is good because you will be playing the same levels a lot. Certain rare resources are best acquired by fighting specific bosses, leading to many replays of specific boss battles in order to farm said resources. While it is possible to buy new weapons, Warframes, keys and other items for real money, it’s not required. Pretty much everything in the game can be unlocked by grinding, save for cosmetic upgrades and more inventory slots.
Coop multiplayer is really where the fun is at in Warframe. Up to four players can fight together in a variety of different mission types from straight-up exterminations to spy missions that require some twitch-based puzzle skills. Players can also form clans and build “dojos”, which are essentially giant space stations for clan members to meet. In the dojo, clan members can duel, trade items, research various items and weapons, or just hang out. Other than dueling, players can also enter PVP areas and fight in teams against other clans.
Movement in Warframe is perhaps one of the best aspects of the game. Your Tenno can run, jump, climb up walls, slide, and perform various other ninja maneuvers. The wall running and jumping isn’t just for show, as many levels require some platforming to advance. The combat is also extremely fluid; switching from ranged to melee is very streamlined, and there are many different weapons to choose from. Each weapon (as well as your warframe) can be leveled up and modded to make them more powerful. Mods can also be combined in different ways to make weapons even more devastating than normal.
In addition to its gameplay, Warframe has a rich lore and aesthetic that is unlike any other game out today. The concept of space-traveling ninjas in the far future is a very odd combination, but it works great. As you progress through the game, you learn more of the back story of each warframe, but also of each enemy type you encounter. The fact that it takes place in our own solar system (albeit well after humanity has largely gone extinct) makes for a new take on the whole post-apocalyptic/scifi genre. This isn’t a world where humanity is barely getting by in a barren wasteland. The Tenno are more of a shadow organization, barely a blip on the radar in this future where aliens rule the solar system, fighting each other for power. You are not here to “reclaim Earth” or help restart the human race in any way, but merely to survive in the chaos our solar system has fallen into.
While there are many great aspects of Warframe, it does have a few downfalls. It is still being actively developed, and so there are some crazy (often hilarious) glitches that happen occasionally. It is also extremely grindy. You can spend hours trying to get one resource without finding any. Having said that, developer Digital Extremes have really gone above and beyond to improve the game from what it once was, adding new maps, enemies, events, and greatly improving the user interface. While not perfect, it is certainly much more polished than it was a year ago, and new content (free content that is) is constantly being implemented.
Overall, while not the greatest game out today, Warframe is certainly very fun. It can get a bit tedious after a while, but if you can find some friends to play with, that definitely helps cut down the boredom caused by grinding for resources. If you are looking to play a game similar to Destiny but only have a PC, than look no further than Warframe. In many ways, Warframe does right the things that Destiny failed on, and while it may not be quite as vast as Destiny, Warframe certainly offers hours of enjoyment to any RPG/dungeon crawler fan.