Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Magical Space Ninja Adventures

Warframe. The game about space ninjas going round to the space houses of two races and slaughtering them because some female head told them to. It's utterly preposterous, and yet, to date, I have spent one hundred and ten hours of my life dedicated to the slaughter of millions in the name of epic loot.

I can't remember why I decided to download this game, it's an impulse lost in the mists of time, but I knew very little about it. I knew it was free to play, and I knew it had guns, my instinct was this was some kind of death match arena game and I am really not peachy keen on them, but I clicked that download button anyway.

Yes, I have a stag head
When I first booted up the game, I was taken through a simple tutorial, I was still under the impression at that point that I would be in a firefight to the death with twitchy, sleep deprived teenagers within minutes, and then the stage select screen pops up. There you are, crouching down before the entire solar system. You are prompted to select Mercury and work outwards to the Post Neptunian Bodies, a loading screen appears, you drop into a space station, and then you are a space ninja my boy.

The Solar System is you Oyster
The premise of Warframe is simple. Undertake missions, collect credits and materials, craft weapons and warframes. Rinse, repeat. You level up simply by using your weapons or abilities, and it is this that hooks you in, each time that bar fills, you gain customisation points to add mods to your weapons and frames adding shields, health, damage, status effects and more to develop your one Tenno killing machine. It's this simple mechanic that keeps you going. The missions are short enough to not feel overly long (although it pushes it in later areas) so when you need those few extra credits or that little bit more experience to push you to the next level you find yourself playing again.

I shot a space ray, through the mouth, and stuck him to a door.
As of right now, I have five Warframes built and pretty much at maximum level along with a small armoury of weapons. Come the weekend, I will have two more fresh Warframes, two new sets of abilities to play with and the cycle starts all over again. It's that push to get your next new thing that keeps you playing, and the ticking clock of the build timer that will keep you coming back.

It's still in open beta remember
But, it's not without it's problems. As I mentioned, I have 4 and a half days behind me on this game and I am starting to run out of new areas to unlock. Well, I say new areas, it gets to a point where Saturn looks the same as Mercury but with a cooler colour palette, repetition is the thing in this game, you start to recognise the tilesets and just running the game on autopilot. There are a few individual areas, Earth, Jupiter and my personal favourite, Phobos, but most of the time you are just running through the same tired space station. The game is still in open beta, so hopefully by the time it is fully released, there will be a bit more of a unique air to these areas.

Please, don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired.
It also seems to lack any endgame content, there isn't really a big boss to fight against to end this conflict, just a tonne of fights against the opposition generals. There is maybe one that could be classed as a final boss, but the problem there is he is designed to be taken down in a group, and if you are running solo, relying on other roaming players to fill your party, you won't be taking him on any time soon as there is no way to fill up your party outside of inviting your bestest buddies.

It's almost like a second game to find all the bugs.
In the end though, I still keep going back, that ticking clock that will signal the completion of another way to kill some AI, or that alert which has a rare mod up for grabs, or getting that next level so you have enough points to equip that next mod to make you even harder. Like I said, it has it's hooks and it has enough there to keep enticing you back, and the developers are constantly adding to the game and evolving it, giving you more carrots on a stick to run after.

Don't go losing your head
Now if you will excuse me, there appears to be an alert in Uranus.....

1 comment:

  1. And space-mutant zombies. Let's not forget the space-mutant zombies.