Warframe was one of several free-to-play games available on PlayStation 4 for the console's launch. When we reviewed it all the way back in December of 2013 (that long ago? Really?) it's safe to say that we were critical. Back then, the third-person action title was still technically in its beta phase on Sony's system, and it had more than a few rough edges. Skip forward four whole years or so, and we've decided to take another look at Digital Extreme's popular ongoing project.
Truth be told, we never had much interest in returning to Warframe once our review was done. We wrote the odd news story about big updates here and there, but there was no desire to actually jump back in and play it. That changed recently when we heard about a certain "open world" update that's in the works. Titled Plains of Eidolon, the huge update is due later this year, and adds a totally open environment to the game -- the first of its kind.
Now, we're not open world addicts or anything, but the news that a four-year-old title was being built upon so significantly certainly piqued our interest. We've been told numerous times over the years that the game has seen drastic improvements, and in short, we finally felt the need to hit up the PlayStation Store and get that 19GB file downloading.
And boy are we glad that we did, because Warframe has evolved into something quite special. For a free-to-play title, its scope is now seriously impressive. Hundreds of missions are yours to undertake either alone or with other players, and the various role-playing and loot mechanics offer up some real depth. The experience is packed to bursting point with content and potential.
So what's changed since we last played four years ago? Well, there's a snappy tutorial mission now, which does an admirable job of explaining general gameplay. Following on from that, a series of story missions take you through the equipment and crafting elements of the release, setting you up nicely for the inevitable grind. After spending just half an hour with these introductory missions, we felt as though we understood the workings of Warframe better than we ever did over our entire 20 or so hour review run. If that's not a game-changing improvement, then we don't know what is.
As you can imagine, actually having a firm grasp of the basics is a big plus, and since then we've spent hours upon hours happily grinding away. Indeed, the grind is the core of Warframe. The title falls firmly into the same loot-driven camp as Diablo III as you blast through mission after mission, collecting resources and levelling up your abilities so that you can craft better and better equipment.
Grind-heavy games obviously aren't for everyone, but those who find satisfaction in the constant improvement of an in-game avatar will find Warframe an addictive experience. There are so many upgrades, mods, and blueprints to discover that there's always a new goal on the horizon -- a cool new weapon or frame (read: new playable character) to try out and maybe fall in love with.
Of course, none of this would actually matter if Warframe came up short in the gameplay department, but Digital Extremes has crafted a shockingly slick action title. Fast and deadly, combat is a hurricane of melee blows, third-person shooting, and super smooth movement. Sliding across the ground on your knees, running up walls, and spin-dashing through the air -- get a grip on the controls and it's brilliantly empowering stuff.
And no, you don't have to spend a penny to enjoy any of this. Warframe makes much of its money by offering instant access to frames, equipment, and cosmetic items. Exchange real money for in-game premium currency, and then use that to purchase the bits and pieces that you want. It's obviously an economy that works, but does this mean that the free experience is designed to be a slog?
Well, kind of, but that's the nature of the free-to-play model. Fortunately, we think Warframe's managed to find a good enough balance. Having to acquire blueprints and then manufacture gear certainly takes time, but it's by no means an impossible process. As long as you find yourself enjoying the grind and the action packed gameplay, then there's no real issue. Again, the generous amount of content that's available to you regardless of how much money you spend makes it hard to bear a grudge.
There's now so much more to Warframe than there was four years ago. It's matured into an addictive looter that's bolstered by slick gameplay and a suite of deep RPG systems. At its core it's still a free-to-play title, but if you're looking for a new PS4 addiction that doesn't have to cost you a penny, you simply can't go wrong.
Do you play Warframe on PS4? How long have you been playing? What do you think of it? Grab your weaponry and slide into the comments section below.
Some of my Pantheon (Guild) mates in Skyforge jumped back into Warframe recently. Like you guys I tried it and left it at launch time. Time to jump back in too methinks!
I used to play a lot over a year ago, but the endless grind just for the rare blueprint piece really wore me out. I'm just tired of that game mechanic. I've been doing it since EverCrack and vanilla WoW days.
The news about Plains of Eidolon has me really excited about the future of Warframe. It couldn't be a better time to get back to playing once more. I booted it up again and got hooked just before the actual announcement and it was such an awesome surprise! Can't ask for more, this is exactly what this game needs.
Yep!! I play with entertainment gaming daily all the time on YouTube. They play games with there subs all the time, its pretty kewl!
Tempted to give this a go.
I've been playing Warframe for years. I have a few months breaks from it then go back to check out the past few updates I've missed.
The story missions they added are really good but some will be missed by so many people as you have to do certain tasks to unlock them.
Anyone who gets this I recommend doing the follwoing quests (you may need to search how to unlock some)
You will need to do them in this order
The Second Dream - this one you learn a lot of lore from the game and has some good cutscenes
The War Within - another good lore mission with more cutscenes
@starhops wasn't EQ just the best back then. I started playing it right before the first expansion, that was a hard game back then. But it was some of the most fun I've ever had with a mmo. I always thought they ruined it when they made it easier.
On topic, I played this a little a few years ago and I liked it. Just so many games have came out don't have time for anything grind. But, I think im gonna download this again, just always out of room on hdd. I gotta get a external HDD. I think a 4 tb would be plenty, but my just go with 8.
The best F2P game i think is Paragon especially if you like MOBA's, Epic have also set the graphical standard for F2P games.
I've tried it a few times over the years but still not a fan, I'll probably try it again soon then when the open world update hits.
I tried this again last week and enjoyed the little bit I played. Never realised before that in some ways Destiny followed in it's footsteps, with both games having more than a few similarities.
One thing that really irked me though, was that it didn't let me wipe my progress and start again. After a bit of research I found out that you can't create a new character and have to pick up where you were left off.
I played it sometimes mostly when my friends needed an extra person i wasent really dedicated to it like them though and they stoped playing it recently too.
My brother though has been playing for about 3 years and still plays it only game he plays on a regular basis
Hmm.. might have to try this out. Hope it's viable as a single player
@AlexStinton Well that's not good, any suggestions on which character to choose for first timers? I think I'm gonna download Warframe once OW's Summer Games event ends.
@WanderingBullet I have no idea I'm afraid. I think I've played less than 5 hours in total and most of that was in 2013.
It's a pretty underrated game. It's not perfect by any means but probably the best F2P game on PS4.
@AlexStinton No worries, guess I'll try to do some research before I start playing the game.haha
@AlexStinton Thats a massive turnoff i tried it long ago. So i probalbly wont go back.
Played for 30 minutes at launch, didn't like it enough but now I've seen some recent videos and curiously enough I had it downloaded it last week
Will try it later this week!
Downloaded yesterday and put four hours in. I really like it - especially the movement and how easy it is to join/leave a party. Also, great graphics and deep customisation. Would recommend.
Warframe was like my main ps4 game for a couple of years and it was amazing back then, I had almost all of the warframes and weapons at the time and I also had most of the clan Base built with out spending any money, also you can sell things in game for premium currency, defo one of the best free to play I've ever played
@ellsworth004 EQ was my first MMO and I had a blast, though it was pretty unforgiving. The bard class and necromancer class were some of my favorites; unmatched today, imo. But don't fall off the boat!!! o.O
I think the timing for Warframe was the same for me too. I started playing it during that awful lull in PS4 games a couple years ago. I played a lot of Warframe and it's a great free-to-play. I did spend a little money on it, but I like to support the developers if I'm enjoying the game. I sure got my money's worth. They have continued to improve the game every update. It is impressive.
@AlexStinton When I saw Destiny, I just couldn't get into the similar game mechanic as Warframe again. The horrible loot system in Destiny was a big turn off especially following Warframe's grind. On some levels, I don't mind the grinding as long as things don't get repetitive and there isn't some "RNG God" running the show.
@starhops just wondering if there is anyway to start over in Warframe. Been a good while since I played and really have no idea what im doin. Like to be able to do tutorial again.
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