When you look at the Plains of Eidolon and the Orb Vallis, one can’t help and think “what’s next?” Logically, if you look at what the Plains of Eidolon and the Orb Vallis are themed around, you’d probably think that an Infested-themed open world area would come next. But will it? I’m not so sure.
I mean, it makes sense that an Infested open world would come next. After all, we have a Corpus area and a Grineer area, and the Infested are the other major faction. The other factions, the Orokin and the Sentients, tend to command everyone else around. The Corrupted are just gold, mind-controlled versions of the Grineer, Corpus and Infested, while the Sentients are mostly just enemies you find in quests and major plot points. The only times you regularly fight them are in the Second Dream, the Sacrifice and Octavia’s Anthem, once in a blue moon on specific Lua missions or if you do Eidolon hunts on the regular.
On the flip side though, no one really cares about the Infested. Despite being a world-consuming menace with a lot of nasty stories surrounding them, the Infested are poorly fleshed out enemies that run at you and try and claw you to death, or attack you with bullshit attacks. They’re basically very ugly zombie creatures made out of the other factions, ranking them not much higher than the Corrupted when it comes to unoriginality. There aren’t many types of Infested and what we do have, many of them are pretty damn annoying to fight, like Ancient Healers or Prasitic Eximi. It doesn’t help that the Infested give less affinity compared to other factions.
Of course, in the same way Fortuna worked for the Corpus, a big open world could flesh out a lot of things about the Infested. We already have a ton of scary stories that could be built on. For example, there are the whispering voices that tell people to stay away as mentioned in the Plague Star event. Or the whole Glast Gambit story line which spent more time saving children than exploring humans living among the Infested. Or how about the whole Jordas scenario, where a broken Cephalon is slowly reprogrammed by the Infested to send out distress signals and lure in more victims? Heck, a player’s first introduction to the Infested is via a quest where we go into a Grineer base where a mad scientist lets Infested experiments loose, gets most of the Grineer in the base killed and blames the Tenno for it!
There are lots of ways you could do an Infested world. In fact, the planet Eris in Warframe is supposedly nothing but an ocean of Infested. Throw in some reworked bosses and some sort of human faction you can relate to and you’re pretty much already there, concept-wise. Just need to build it.
The thing is though, I don’t think we’ll get an Infested open world. Not for a long time at least. As far as I’m concerned, there’s two reasons for this.
Firstly, there’s already a HUGE amount of things planned for 2019, that will almost certainly drag on into 2020. Between Rail Jack, the New War, Melee 3.0, a new upcoming faction, anywhere between 2 and 6 new Warframes and all the stuff that’s to come in Fortuna (including two more Orb fights), there’s just not enough room to stick in another open world area.
But secondly, I don’t think players would appreciate another open world area yet. When you strip everything back, Fortuna and Cetus are very, very similar, and it’s only really the humans behind these worlds that keep players coming back. I don’t think the Infested or an Infested-related faction have any way that they could be as interesting as the denizens of Fortuna and Cetus are, as interesting to fight as the Grineer and Corpus are or as mysterious as the Orbs and the Eidolons are to be able to capture players’ imaginations. An infested world, in either 2019 or 2020, would feel like more of the same, just with a different set of bad guys.
In fact, people are already feeling that way when it comes to Fortuna. It would only be worse with a third open world.
While I’d love to see the insanity Digital Extremes could come up with in the creation of an Infested landscape, I simply think that players are too tired for more open world adventures.