Hello fellow Tenno! I am DwemerPrime, in-game known as AtimiteQerasija. Albeit I am playing the game on PS4, I used to play it on PC a few years ago. I love this game and in the following text, I want to tell you why that is. But first things first:
I began to play Warframe on a whim as I saw a cool looking third person shooter on Steam a few years ago. Around the time of Update 14 (2014), when Mirage got introduced to the game, I started playing on PC. I kept playing the game right until Update 22 in 2017 when the Plains of Eidolon emerged. Then, due to a lot of personal reasons, I had to stop playing for about 3 years because of radical changes in my life. Ever since I haven't touched my PC account but instead created an all-new PSN account for Warframe, starting completely from scratch.
But with 2000+ hours of PC playtime under my belt, I had plenty of experience already and knew what to do once I started the game right around the time Update 29, Heart of Deimos, dropped last year. And now here I am, playing the game I loved so dearly all over again despite having lost an account with a LOT of stuff unlocked - because even though I have to re-do everything and all my past purchases are forfeit, the core gameplay loop is so much fun I simply could not resist. All I wish for is having started over maybe a little bit earlier.
The Basics - Why This Game Is Fun
Warframe is fun to me for a lot of different reasons. In the spotlight, of course, is what we call the Core Gameplay Loop. The element of the game that keeps it going. And in this case, that is: Kill lots of dudes with lots of different instruments of destruction. And this Core Gameplay Loop only works because of one, simple fact: The developers at DE are working super hard to constantly feed us new gear and new warframes to play around with. While I will argue that the aforementioned Core Gameplay Loop is also super fun with all the things we have today without necessarily receiving new weapons and warframes in the future, the fuel that keeps this wheel turning for everyone else is the constant addition of gear of various, different kinds no doubt. This is also the driving force for the company as a whole because of their Prime Access sales but that's beside the point of this essay. Anyway, what exactly do I do in the game?
If we break it down to the most crucial elements, we can say the following: In Warframe, you play the cool-looking, adult version of the Power Rangers in lots of different flavours and appearances. At your disposal an arsenal of hundreds of weapons that leave almost nothing to be desired because pretty much everything you could imagine to be a weapon has already made it into the game in one form or another. Let's name a few things to get an idea of how broad the spectrum of Warframe's weaponry really is, shall we? So, we have:
Automatic and semi-automatic rifles, machine pistols, pistols, shotguns, explosive launchers among other things. Energy weapons that shoot lasers, plasma, lightning bolts, magnetic waves, microwaves, acid, liquid and gaseous poison, pus-filled cysts, glass shards, pus, magma, fire, ice beams, energy beams, radioactive projectiles and beams. Rockets, missiles and grenades. Remote explosives. Throwing knives of different flavours, bows and arrows of different types. Single pistols, dual pistols, dual MPs. Daggers, swords, greatswords, axes, greataxes, hatchets, machetes, prods, sickles, scythes, staves, halberds, bladed staves, normal whips, bladed whips, electrical/poisoned whips, sword whips, work tools and energy work tools, fisticuffs, brawling gloves of various shapes and sizes, claws, bladed fans, rapiers, katanas, huge katanas, dual daggers, dual swords, hammers as well as modular weapons in the form of zaws and kitguns that add another array of possible weaponry into the mix. And all of this is of course excluding the archwing/necramech weapons, the void amps and the railjack turrets or Grineer ramparts.
This diversity alone is enough to keep me playing for a long time. And I haven't even listed all of them I think. On top of that there are the more than forty warframes themselves, each with their own looks, feel and array of abilities to wreak havoc on the battlefield. Whatever role I prefer, Warframe got me covered. There is no role that can't be filled and no niche that can't be satisfied with all the different themes and abilities these void husks come equipped with. Collecting, learning and mastering all of these is an important part of the game and the Core Gameplay Loop itself. And it just doesn't get old for me. But, of course, Warframe has more in store than fancy suits of armour and a heap of flashy weapons. So, let's talk about the different game modes and choices of gameplay we got.
Game Modes and Gameplay
In Warframe we are blessed with an ever expanding pile of content. In keeping things fresh, DE always finds new ways in which the game and its universe can be approached. To me, one of the most important features is the diversity of the star chart coupled with all the different styles of play. Let's talk about the star chart first.
In our navigation console, we see a lot of celestial bodies, all with their missions and very own tile sets, enemy types and loot. The most recent updates to the game added so many new areas to explore with their very own music, too. This means that even if you just stick to the instanced coop missions you're going to see a great many cool places and enemies to fight against. However, fairly early on, the game introduces you to the archwing/sharkwing game mode. In it, you get to fly your power ranger with wings in space and be a god damn gundam! How cool is that? But that's not all. Look a little further and you'll see the proxima star chart, a place that can only be used after you've constructed yourself your very own ship to fly through space! You get to fly your own, little spaceship with crew and all!
But yet again, there's more. Because on Earth, Venus and Deimos you'll discover the colonies of the tribal Ostron of Cetus, the machine-like Solaris of Fortuna and the old family of the Entrati and their machines in the Necralisk. These colonies stand in the midst of the three open world areas of the game that bring a nice change of pace to the instanced missions you'll usually do. And in these areas there is so, so much to do. Fishing, mining, trading, killing, exploring. You can ride a hoverboard and do cool tricks like the legendary Tony Condroc or call a freaking mech suit down (once unlocked) to utterly destroy your opponents. Whatever you wanna do.
And this diversity of play modes and styles and unique vehicles is exactly the stuff that keeps me playing. There's always something to do, something to uncover, something to acquire. Limitless pools of rewards upon rewards stacked on top of a loot table bursting with immeasurably many resources to collect to construct even crazier gear. But if you thought that this was it you're wrong! There's even more to do.
Enter nightmare missions with specific modifiers to get a chance at acquiring special mods as rewards. Try your hand at invasions to reap parts of cool, new gear or coordinates to locate lost and forgotten places with even more loot. Try doing the super tough sortie missions and get yourself the cool stuff you always wanted. Or go into fissure missions to farm the gilded primes you've been longing for. And there's even more that I could mention. I can never get bored with all of this overwhelming amount of content. And if you ever get done with the star chart, there is the Steel Path waiting for you to do it all over again but harder. Also nightwave.
There's also Conclave that comes with two PvP modes to give you something else to do as well but I don't typically play these.
But if I need to do something perhaps more meaningful I need look no further than the quests in my codex.
Quests, Lore and Other Things
What the Lore of Warframe is has been subject to a lot of speculation back in the day. That was until the second dream and the war within came and dropped a bomb on us. We were all like "Wooooaaah" when we finally knew who and what the Tenno were. And this, of course, brought to us another mode of gameplay as we could now walk the levels as our human selves. The operator form is super weak, mind you, but it makes for interesting challenge runs. Trying spy missions as operator only is a lot of fun to me. In fact, trying a lot of things in operator form is a wholly new type of challenge.
The quests we are given are a great way of learning about the world we're in and it's also the way to acquire a lot of the cooler warframes. But the most important part is the game's lore that is still a mystery to some extent but largely solved with all the explanations we got nowadays. It is still really engaging and fun to go over it and catch the backstories behind the warframes, the different factions and how everything comes together. But my appreciation for this goes a little further than the game itself. For instance, I am super interested in all the writing systems and languages of the factions and I even learned to fluently read and write Orokin script. Which is a cool skill to have since I can read Orokin writing whenever I happen upon it in-game.
And I listen to the soundtrack almost every single day (I got the vinyl at home). Music I can even enjoy when the console is shut off. Thank god Keith Power did such an amazing job to create one of the most memorable OSTs to one of the most unique games.
What I'd also like to mention is the fact that I get to choose between so many different options to customise my warframes, operator and other gear visually with hundreds of colours, tons of skins and armour parts and capes, glowing sigils and cool effects around them. I also absolutely adore the amount of customisation I get with the functionality of weapons and warframes. I get such a large hand in choosing how my gear operates it's insane! Where else can you even remotely do that?
The F2P Model
Lastly, I want to talk about Warframe's F2P model. And by that I mean I need to praise it. From day 1 there were no paywalls (excluding founder's gear and prime accessories) for anything in the game. You can be the most fashionable, high-level geared-up, end-game player without having to spend a dime (on PS4 you actually have to spend about a dime for the game itself but that's beside the point) and that's awesome. Because Warframe allows you the unique ability to trade with other players using premium currency - the same currency that is used to buy items and cosmetics from the market in-game. Meaning that I can get all the cool stuff if I just put enough time and effort in farming things other players want and spend platinum for.
Thus is perhaps the fairest F2P model I've seen in any video game to date. And somehow it works amazingly well.
To conclude, these are my reasons as to why I love this game. Why I simply can't drop it no matter what. Warframe feels like home every time I roam around my orbiter (which is perhaps the coolest, interactive main menu to a game that exists). Even this game's "menu" is triple A quality and beyond. The graphics, animations, voice acting - they all scream super high production value and yet we are talking about a game that is completely free to play. Warframe has always been a passion project and to be honest? It shows.
And yes, there is the grind and the farming and the long crafting times along with the fact that there are a great many items you cannot acquire if you missed certain events or promo codes (which is a huge shame) but all of these downsides pale in comparison to what's there to have fun with.
My hope is that this game is still alive in 10 or 20 years and gains many more players so that I can enjoy Warframegin the near and far future.
I love this game.