So I said I was angry at video games. I still am. But I felt that Warframe deserved a third chance. Yes, third chance, because I played it over a year ago, got stuck somewhere, stopped playing, then uninstalled it to make space for another game. Elder Scrolls Online, I think. Coincidentally, Elder Scrolls Online was uninstalled to make room for Warframe this time round. 60GB of hard drive space could be used for a good 5-6 normal sized games.
My first time playing was on an old account. I don’t even remember playing that account, and I’d been told that the tutorial (and much more of the game) was completely new now, so I didn’t see much point in trying to start again from it. And I’m glad I did create a new account, because this time round, I got a choice in what character to play as. I picked Volt, because cool lightning guy looked better than sword thing and magnetic guy.
Anyway, the tutorial actually feels like part of the ‘story’ now. You’re slowly being mind-controlled by the ‘bad’ guys (assuming that this Lotus woman is a good gal) and the first set of missions (which I haven’t completed yet) involves various tutorial missions to kinda get you into the game. They don’t actually teach you much outside the tutorial mission, but eh, whatever. The tutorial literally only covers the basics and you have to figure out most things by yourself. Once you complete the tutorial though and get to your ship (everyone has their own ship – it doubles up as your home) you can look at the Codex and learn more stuff. The learning curve is pretty high. Luckily I had Davjo to help me along, because I could not work out the jumps.
The missions though are pretty long. You’re looking at 10 minutes at least for each mission, with 4 revives available. Which apparently don’t get used should you happen to jump off a cliff by accident. I did that a lot. Thing is, if you’re moving and you press crouch, you slide along the ground. If you’re crouched and press jump, you do a huge gigantic spin jump. There’s also rolling and sprinting and wall jumping and double jumping and all sorts. Apparently there’s wings as well but they’re probably for later.
Back to the missions, the layouts are big and confusing and kinda same-y, although they are pretty. Navigation is hit and miss, as is detecting enemies, they kinda blend in sometimes. Low level enemies are dumb, so I expect high level enemies to be perfect aimbots. It’s very hard to see what’s hitting you though. Enemies can occasionally blend in, that’s fine, but what they’re shooting is often difficult to see and dodge. You need to rely on iffy AI and a lot of moving around. I’ve found myself trying to take a Sniper’s route through the game, but I’ve noticed my bullets sometimes go through enemies and don’t damage them. Odd.
For some reason, I randomly failed the second mission. I triggered an alarm from something invisible (I double-checked, I did all the hacks right, I didn’t walk through the enemy fields, the data started purging while I was busy trying to work out how to avoid the electrified water and I couldn’t get past it in time!) but I worked it out on a later attempt. I came across another bug where I’d be stuck on the end-mission menu for eternity unless I force-closed the game. Playing with Davjo, this happened twice, the second time, he was freed from that eternity and returned to his ship as normal once I’d quit the game.
Still, there’s something that bothers me. It’s the “you’re the chosen one” feeling about it all. I have never played an MMO in which you’re just some random guy making his way in the world. World of Warcraft might not be the place but honestly I don’t fancy getting to level 20 and having to shell out for it, plus expansions. Every new character is the Chosen One or the Vestige or the Nerevarine or the Champion of Kvatch or the Dragonborn or whatever. That’s fine in a single player game, but it feels… wrong when I’m playing Warframe or Elder Scrolls Online, especially when there are unique characters around. For example, Darvo, the person you rescue to help break your mind control parasite problem, does he help every single Tenno? Or what about the half-giant who literally sacrifices herself by swapping places with a powerful wizard in Elder Scrolls Online so you can escape Cold Harbor… Does she do that for everyone? The Lotus I can kinda see helping all Tenno (the name of your ninja robot character’s race thing) out there, but it all depends on the writing whether things make sense or not.
All round, it looks awesome and the controls are pretty cool. But I don’t know how much more Warframe I’ll be able to take. I don’t like playing on my own, I’m fine in sneaky situations, but in all-out battles, I’m simply not prepared for it. My bow is single-shot, my starting pistol is lame and melee is not good for my rather flimsy little ninja. But at the same time, every game I play where I’m reliant on coop, I often stop playing because everyone else stops playing.
On top of that, Volt is described as “a character picked as an alternative to gun fighting”. But I don’t unlock any of my abilities until I grind a little, so I’m stuck here, gun fighting, until I get all 4 abilities. That’s very annoying, I’d like to be able to start an MMORPG (which is kinda what Warframe is) with 3-4 abilities rather than have to unlock most of them, especially with how much else there is to unlock in Warframe – characters, guns, pets, wings, mods, more mods and so on and so forth. Do I have the patience to grind through the game in order to get anything semi-decent? I don’t know.
Very pretty to look at though.
If you want to add me, go ahead. I’m called Retvik in-game, because all my other names were taken.