The Sanctuary Onslaught mission is now available to play. Cephalon Simaris, the orange AI who love getting all in your face, has invited you to his datascape in order to do some experiments for him. He offers you two difficulties, a normal version and an ‘elite’ version, which is just a fancy way of saying hard mode, with much higher level enemies. Simaris wants to do tests in efficiency and lethality, and up until now, he has been recreating battles inside his Sanctuary in order to study how quickly and efficiently things die. But after so many tests, he wants to find more efficient ways to do things, in order to compile more data for his Sanctuary.
Basically Simaris just wants you to kill things as fast as possible.
That’s literally it.
He’s created a digital landscape, made it look like current in-world landscapes, set up a bunch of enemy spawners and told you to kill shit until he gets bored and spawns a portal to take you to a new landscape and kill new things.
Sanctuary Onslaught is accessible via the Syndicate panel in Navigation, or by going to a relay and chatting with Simaris. He’ll send you to his datascape and create a portal for you to go through. All you have to do now is kill enemies as fast as possible to keep your “efficiency meter” up, then go through the next portal that Simaris spawns. The enemies get harder after every portal, and the Elite version will throw in random modifiers to throw you off. There are also a handful of golden items you can pick up that increase your efficiency by 10%, basically life support capsules in the shape of gold spirals.
The only downside is that you can’t use gear items. No energy pads. No specters. No Synthesis Scanners. Not that it’s really a problem though, because enemies still drop health and energy orbs, as well as ammo. Since everything’s supposed to be in a digital ‘sanctuary’, there’s no resource drops.
But that’s all you do. You kill things and get harder enemies. The further you go, the faster the efficiency meter drops, meaning you need to kill faster and faster.
Should your efficiency meter drop to 0, then the game ends and Simaris gives you a score. You also get rewards for every two zones.
Speaking of rewards, the rewards are weird. The normal version only gives endo or relics or maybe Khora parts – you know, the new Warframe. The Elite version gives you chances at endo, radiant relics, a handful of captura scenes, more Khora parts and Braton and Lato Vandal parts. Really, Khora just seems thrown in there for no reason, to give everyone a reason to play. You do get a lot of Focus for your Operators, but aside from that, there’s not much to actually pull you in.
It’s literally just a multi-staged survival mode where kills are used as life support.
And just like normal Survival, single and duo players are somewhat screwed. Efficiency goes down very faster later on (past zone 8) and single/duo players have to kill as many enemies as a squad of 4, just to keep up. It becomes literally impossible to continue after a while as the efficiency meter goes down almost instantly.
Normally, I would be absolutely fine with that. It’s fun to go on a murderous rampage in a game. And this does somewhat satisfy that. But the reasoning is weird. Is this what Simaris has been doing this entire time in his Sanctuary? Why the fuck is it called a Sanctuary if all Simaris does is pit things against each other and watch things die? What knowledge does Simaris even glean from this?
Sanctuary Onslaught seems have turned Cephalon Simaris into a budget GLaDOS. His phrasing is also similar, but made more awkward since he has a single-track mind, he only cares about his stuff, and he doesn’t have the soft tones and personality that GLaDOS has. He’ll soon become a victim of Ordis Syndrome, where his lack of voice lines combined with how often you play will make everyone hate him even more.
Things are even weirder when you consider that Khora has just been thrown in there, even though her lore all suggests she was buried in the Plains of Eidolon and parts of her were found all other the place. Unlike the previous frames that have all been released, Khora has no back story or anything, all we know about her actually comes from codex entries from Ghoul events.
The issue is, everything feels rushed. Because it was rushed. People were demanding a new Warframe and new things to do, so the developers clearly rushed this out. The bugs and crashes will be fixed, I don’t doubt that. But it all still feels somewhat hurriedly slapped together…