Ever since the Destiny 2 Demo/Beta I played ages ago, I have never understood why people compare Warframe to Destiny. The two games are very different. And the similarities are rather… superficial. Actually, we should start with the similarities, since the differences are a lot bigger.
Well, both games are set in sci-fi futures for humanity, with space travel and more convoluted lore than you can shake a magic stick at. Visually the games are quite similar, made worse by the fact that they’re set mainly in our own solar system.
But even the lore premises are kinda weird and not really similar. Both Destiny and Warframe exist in pretty shitty universes where everything and everyone wants to kill everything. Everything is shitty and horrible and humans are barely clinging on. Destiny has a lot of races though, not just humans but aliens and robots and things. But humans are really the only race in Warframe. Tenno, Orokin, Grineer, Corpus, even Infested, they are or were all human or made by humans.
Which brings us to the difference between Guardians and Tenno. Guardians are actually one of three races, Human, Awoken and Exo (human, aloof human and robot human – although this is kinda cosmetic) and one of three classes – Titan, Warlock, Hunter – and are chosen by the Traveler to become Guardians, empowered by Light, wearing armour and given access to massive armouries. Tenno are teenagers with powers derived from the Void (which is kinda less friendly than the Light) that telepathically control Warframes. Warframes are a combination of flesh, metal, disease, humans twisted into perfect yet horrific shape. Guardians are… kinda nicer and cleaner to be honest, and they’re lucky to not have been put through the shit Warframes were put through until the Tenno calmed them down and shared their pain.
And there’s an annoying AI guy who follows you around, but I’m pretty sure one’s Ghost is more like Ordis than you’d think – a way nicer being once you get to know your floating companion. These days though Ordis does way less talking for you than Ghost does. Actually everyone’s personal Ghost (because everyone gets a Ghost that’s their own, they are almost more like Sentinels than a ship AI like Ordis) is essentially the life force of a Guardian and is often the only means of communicating with a player-controlled Guardian, while Tenno these days are far more vocal and speak for themselves. Should Ordis die, Tenno would struggle but it’s possible that they could survive on their own – they’re not as connected as Guardians and Ghosts are.
The thing is, the majority of Destiny and Warframe comparisons are superficial. The worlds look similar. There’s that similar dark, evil vibe in both games. I wasted a bunch of time saying that things are similar when they really aren’t. Pretty much every similarity falls apart when you glance at it even briefly.
And then there’s gameplay.
Gameplay is a whole different ball game. They’re nowhere near anything alike when it comes to gameplay, except maybe for the fact that you shoot some guns. Warframe is the definition of hit and run, spamming abilities, doing your job and getting the fuck out of there as fast as possible. Destiny, you plod along a bit more slowly, taking the time to absorb your surroundings and picking enemies off, treating your foes (even common rabble) as much closer to equals than any Grineer or Corpus could ever consider themselves to be.
The cycles, goals and loops are different as well. In Destiny, your goal is to get better gear, abandoning old gear you don’t want, while leveling up a single character, your chosen Titan, Warlock or Hunter (well, three characters in three saves). In Warframe you’re leveling stuff up in order to level yourself up, and you get stronger by leveling up mods and fitting more powerful mods into your guns and your Warframes. Sure, in both games, not every weapon is end-game worthy but Destiny focuses on end-game high level gear and chucking away or grinding up low level stuff while Warframe focuses more on collecting, leveling up and keeping new shinies in an endless loop of Mastery.
That’s on top of the whole third-person VS first-person and basic gameplay aspects like that.
You know what Destiny is a lot like though? Borderlands. It’s a huge amount like Borderlands. Especially the loot systems in Borderlands and Destiny 1. Destiny 2… well, it’s better discussed here.
Do I prefer Warframe over Destiny? Totally. The two games though are so vastly different that I can’t compare them. It feels wrong. I’m never going to get that same feeling playing Destiny as I do playing Warframe, because they are games played for different reasons, running in two very parallel ways.
Really, the only thing that puts me off the Destiny franchise is how much it costs. Even if you got the base Destiny 2 game for €12 from Humble Bundle recently, you still gotta pay €15-20 per DLC. That’s on top of any purchases from Destiny 1. Feels like a lot of money to me.
But the thing is, I don’t care if you like Destiny. I don’t really care if you like or dislike Warframe either. You do you. You play what makes you happy.