I love the majority of Warframe’s gameplay, the bouncing around, the bullet jumping, the gliding through the air, the shooting stuff, it’s all awesome. Warframe is totally up there when it comes to fast-paced shooter games. But there’s something that can stop you dead in your tracks.
No, I’m not talking about things like absurd component costs and times to build. Yes, 3 days to build a new frame is stupid, but in the mean time, you can still play. Maybe put a lens on one of your other characters and work on your focus. I am also not talking about things like elevators and ‘friendship’ doors that take two people to open.
The things that stop me dead in my tracks are puzzles.
There are several types of puzzle. Firstly, there are the consoles you need to hack. In Grineer territories, you are presented with a spinning wheel, and pressing space at the right moment pushes sockets into slots. Fill all the slots and you’ve ‘hacked’ the console and can proceed. In Corpus territories, you need to solve a line puzzle of sorts and connect all the lines in the correct way. These are not hard puzzles, but they are time-consuming and since you’re timed and need to do them super fast, it’s always a gigantic roadblock in the way of your objective.
Then there are various sensors and electric fences, that, if tripped, will set off alarms. Most of these flash on or off, or can be turned off by hacking consoles, or just need to be jumped over, using well-timed platforming. These alarms need to be turned off by, again, hacking the consoles mentioned above.
After that, there are the puzzles on Lua, the moon. These are all confusing and I hate them and don’t want to talk about them.
Now, I’m not a puzzle person and I’m definitely not a platformer person. Jumping puzzles drive me insane because I can never work out the specifics for that jump. The duration of the fence’s off state. How far I have to jump. The length of time it needs to do this jump. But this applies to most people. If you see a giant electric fence that flicks on and off, what do you do? You need to slow down and time your jumps or risk tripping an alarm.
When you do trip an alarm, you need to act fast and find a console. The problem is, hacking a console leaves you vulnerable. Anyone can shoot you in the back while you hack the damn thing. You waste precious seconds and have to stop dead in your tracks.
Of course, you can try and avoid hacking consoles, but many missions require to do at least one. Spy missions are the worst. They contain all the puzzles mentioned above and more. You will have to hack at least 3 consoles. Luckily, a player can use specific warframes to make them easier, assuming you have the right frames. But the whole Spy mission type does mean you have to either put the effort in to learn how they all work, or get others to do them. I personally like to do Spy missions slowly, but it seems I am in the minority there.
One of the worst though is the Corpus ship tileset. Missions set inside Corpus ships often have cracked windows. When damaged, these ships lock the doors and cause damage over time, leaving you in a vacuum. How do you escape? You need to hack a console. Sadly, these cracked windows are very easy to break. You can break a cracked window by accidentally jumping into it.
Thing is, puzzles are fine in games. But I want to shoot things, not stand still hacking consoles and jumping through rings. It’s one of many things to slow us down, but unlike nullifiers, you can’t kill them.