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Warframe (PC, PS4, XB1) - "Suit to Kill"

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Warframe is a free-to-play sci-fi third-person massively-multiplayer action game developed by Canada-based Digital Extremes (Unreal series co-developer, DarkSector). Up to four players take on the role of Tenno-- basically, space ninjas-- and tackle a variety of missions all around the solar system in a futuristic universe, using stealth, acrobatics, and a variety of the titular battle suits and weapons to get the job done and take down anything in their way.

And boy, is that necessary in this universe, because innocents are not having a good time. The Grineer are a force to be reckoned with throughout the Origin System (AKA our solar system), cloning themselves to create a deadly (albeit decaying) army that's cruel and ruthless toward anyone who doesn't bow to them. The Corpus are a money-hungry machinist cult that has access to cutting-edge technology and sells anything ancient they can get their hands on. And the Infested, a horrifyingly twisted mishmash of both parties infected with a terrible plague, only live to add more sorry victims to their ranks (if you can call it living). The outlook is grim for the poor people who just want to live in peace. That's where you come in. You are Tenno, masters of guns, blades, and the deadly suits called Warframes, each one able to channel energy into different kinds of devastating powers to blow away the opposition. "So, if we're around," you're probably asking, "why hasn't all this madness just been wiped out by now?" Well, there's a bit of a problem-- the Tenno have been in cryosleep for a long time. So, yeah. Madness. Fortunately, an enigmatic figure known only as the Lotus has brought you out of your long rest to fight back against the chaos and will guide you along the way. Things only get more complicated from there. There's the remnants of the fallen Orokin Empire the Tenno were created by. There are the dangerous Sentients the Orokin went to war with. And there's much, much more to the story and lore of Warframe that you'll slowly unravel as you progress through the game's many quests and missions. We haven't even scratched the surface.


But on to gameplay. As previously said, Warframe is a third-person action game, meaning that not only are you shooting folks, but you're also using melee weapons to cleave them in twain. You can carry up to three weapons at a time-- primary, secondary, and melee-- with different weapons for each slot. You also control one of the Warframes, each of which has a different set of abilities that either support your allies or obliterate your enemies. Dash through enemies with Excalibur. Turn invisible and sneak around with Ash. There are several Warframes, and you can have an entire arsenal of them. You can even bring a companion with you! The best part? You have a large amount of customization options for your arsenal (and even the small Orbiter craft you use as a base), so you can look good while you're killing everything in sight. This isn't just limited to visual customization, though-- your tools of trade are customizable using Mods, which change how they operate in substantial ways and allow you to tweak things to your liking. You'll need to level up your stuff with affinity you collect during missions to get a good Mod build, though, especially since Mods themselves can be leveled up using Endo to increase their effects.


Your goal to clean up the Origin System will take you through a variety of missions and to a lot of planets and bases. One minute, you're tasked with tearing through a Grineer ship, killing a certain number of unfortunate clones before extracting; the next, you're sneaking into a Corpus base to gain access to sensitive, heavily-guarded data; another still, you're fighting to rescue a hostage from enemy clutches. With procedurally-generated levels made from tilesets, no two missions are entirely the same. So how will you travel through them? Cover-based movement? Naaaah. Not in Warframe. You'll be getting around the battlefield in style with a variety of traversal methods: bullet jumping, wall-running, sliding, Archwings, etc. You can also choose how to go through a mission. Want to go in guns blazing? You can do that. Want to play it quietly and stealthily? You can do that. Don't feel like dealing with other players? You can be a lone wolf and do things yourself. During each mission, you'll collect materials you can use to build items in your ship's Foundry.


But let's say you're not satisfied with the vanilla weaponry and Warframes. Let's say you want the best of the best. Well, then, you want the Prime gear. Sporting the Orokin Empire's trademark white-black-gold coloring, these are better versions of their base counterparts. But getting what you want ain't always easy-- you see, to get these items, you'll need to hunt down specific Void Relics, each one containing six different items, and break them open in Void Missions by collecting Reactant, but some of the items are rarer to get than others. If there's a rarer item inside a Relic that you want, you can increase the likelihood of getting it by using Void Traces to bring the Relic up to a higher level, but even then, you won't always get it. And even if you do, it'll take awhile for you to get your hands on 'em because the Foundry takes awhile to build an item. After a time, certain Prime items are even retired and put into the Prime Vault (though, on occasion, they're unvaulted and free to nab again). And this is where the dreaded microtransactions aspect comes in.

Fortunately, DE's smart about this-- you can build most items in Warframe without coughing up Platinum, the game's premium currency, to get them (and if you choose to build them in the foundry instead of buying them outright, the process can be rushed with Platinum). And another upside: you can trade the items you have with other players. Platinum is one of those items, meaning you can rake in the stuff without having to pay a cent (though if you want to do so and support DE's hard work, that's still an option). You still have to use Platinum exclusively for Warframe, weapon, and loadout slots, though, but by trading stuff, it's fairly easy to get some. Plus, you're helping out other Tenno who want those items, so bonus!

DE also patches the game regularly with updates big and small. The latest big update (at the time of this writing) is Plains of Eidolon, which adds an open-world location to the game filled with its own resources for you to collect. And we haven't even gotten into the game's deeper systems, some of which are kinda spoilery, so I won't touch on 'em here (not that I was going to).

If I haven't scared you away by now with this dense explanation of how things work (and I applaud you for sticking around), you can get Warframe on PC either through the game's official website or through Steam, on PS4, and on Xbox One, and feel free to share your feedback on the official forums; DE is more than happy to listen, which is more than I can say for most devs these days. There are also social media accounts, of course (Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Twitch, where they stream regularly and have Devstreams bi-weekly, but if you're not far into the game, you probably shouldn't watch | reddit). Don't want to get lost in the game's many systems along the way? Consult the Warframe wiki (but beware of spoilers). There's also a fairly friendly community willing to help you out. As mentioned previously, Warframe is regularly updated, so features described here may change or become obsolete entirely.

In case you want to add me, my in-game ID is SonicWind149. See you in the Origin System, Tenno.

P.S.: When you get access to the Second Dream quest, play it ASAP. That's all I'm sayin'.

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I fucking love Warframe. 

The gameplay and the flow mechanic are so fun to use. The design of the Tenno, the Grineer, the Corpus. Lotus. It's sci-fi goodness.

But holy fuck it feels like forever to progress. It's grindy as all hell. It's addictive, but to get some good gear and level up everything to max it'll take you HOURS and can get monotonous. 

But for a free game, it's absolutely great. You can do everything without spending a single penny. You just need to be patient. If you don't like grind-happy games then it's not for you. Avoid this. 

But Platinum is expensive, jesus christ. 

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Man, do I love this game. Going around all sneaky or guns ablazing feels great whichever way you decide to play. But it's true about the grind, though. I'm a few hours in and still only on Mercury with an Excalibur frame. Still, it's a fun time, so the grindiness might not feel too bad at all, really.

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