Chroma still makes me sad. He’s not a dragon at all. Normal Chroma in particular looks like a knobbly lump of Sentient flesh with a very basic humanoid underneath, something closer to an Operative that you have to rescue, rather than the more human Warframes like Excalibur and Ash. Alright, you start off with this big, pretty bulky, pretty dragon-y form, but the second you press that 4 key, boom, you get a badly made floating rug and a mediocre Power Ranger.
Both the Chroma Dynasty Deluxe Skin and the brand new Chroma Prime do little to make me think otherwise.
I will admit that Chroma skins do look vaguely dragony. Vaguely. Chroma Prime does the best job by having some nice, flowing horns on his head. Chroma Dynasty looks more and more like armour and less and less like the skin of an actual dragon that Chroma killed, which makes his helmet look particularly… helmet-y? It’s like he’s wearing a badass dragon helmet by perching it on his head rather than wearing it as a helmet.
Chroma Prime in general does look nice. Despite being a genocidal monster wearing the skin of one of its slain enemies, Chroma Prime looks very sleek and clean. He is hard to colour though, with the primary colour covering almost all of his body and the tertiary and accent colours are both metallics. It’s similar to the issue that Volt Prime and Frost Prime have, but they have more… scribbly bits that break up the majority of blocky primary colour. Still, he looks nice.
Even if his legs are a bit skinny. If anything, he has the opposite problem that Oberon Prime has. Massive shoulders and arms and tiny little legs. Chroma Dynasty doesn’t have that issue so much, but his shoulder plates and big spikes are so damn huge that you’d probably think the same anyway.
Still, they’re not that dragon-y. You get dragon-y vibes but that’s about it. Not even his abilities, outside of Spectral Scream, give much of a dragon-y impression. His gameplay isn’t particularly dragon-y either. You basically keep Vex Armour and Elemental Ward up and don’t ever use Spectral Scream because it does hardly any damage.
And then there’s Effigy. The separation of warrior and dragon skin.
I think a huge part of this is the utter inability to change Chroma’s actual face and body, that his underneaths are so small and tiny. Because Chroma’s entire back comes off, it takes his Syandana with it and does very weird things to his armour – often making it float or connect awkwardly to Chroma’s real body. I end up avoiding most leg armour because it doesn’t connect properly, and shoulder armour often gets stripped off with your Syandana.
But using Effigy also removes the helmet you pick for Chroma. You use the Chroma Prime helmet? The Drac helmet that pops up in alerts? The Tennogen Chroma Graxx helmet? Doesn’t matter. It’s now attached to a floating dragon skin rather than your head and you’re left with something that looks closer to an action figure than a Warframe head. It’s a rather small head as well. Aside from colours and overall skin, you can’t do anything to change Chroma’s actual head in any way.
It’s the whole… opposite-ness between Chroma with his Effigy and Chroma without it. On the one hand, you have a huge, hulking beast. On the other, you have a small, nimble warrior.
Basically, you lose all your badassery the second you press 4. Your cosmetics disappear, you go all skinny and Chroma always has this weird Power Rangers visor effect going on. And Effigy isn’t even that good anyway.
But even if you don’t use Effigy, there’s still something off about Chroma.
Maybe it’s because a Warframe based on fricking dragons is so boring to play…