The Cambion Drift is the third big open space in Warframe. We started off with a Grineer-plagued brown Plains of Eidolon. Then we moved on to the Corpus-filled, white-glare Orb Vallis. And now we have the Cambion Drift, a hellish landscape flooded with Infested and lots and lots of red. Seriously, it’s so red.
While the Orb Vallis is mostly large amounts of white and grey with the odd speckling of blue, the Cambion Drift looks like an open wound.
I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m saying it’s all very red.
The only not-red things are all brown. There’s only really a handful of colours in the Cambion Drift, all made to be completely organic. It’s a living wasteland, completely overrun by chitin-covered mutated flesh and goo. I mean, okay, sure, it makes sense that everything is red, because everything is organic and fleshy. The only areas that aren’t organic and fleshy are the Orokin ruins that are dotted around, but these are mostly small and underground.
But the amount of flesh-i-ness wouldn’t be so bad if everything didn’t have a horrible, flesh-coloured tint on it. Yes, I get it, we’re on a moon that’s basically alive. We’re not inside the moon though, at least not all the time. That red tint doesn’t need to be everywhere.
Gross yet pretty.
Yet somehow, despite how disgusting and alive everything is, the Cambion Drift is actually quite… pretty. In a horrific kind of way. When you ignore the nasty Infested wandering around and the fact that everything is organic, you end up with a very… interesting, alien landscape. It”s hellish, yes, but it’s also unique.
Compared to the Orb Vallis, the Cambion Drift is an almost nonsensical fantasy landscape. Sure, it’s not one you want to live in, but you can admire the strange beauty hidden underneath the gore.
Awful to navigate.
Looks aren’t everything though. Because the Cambion Drift is a large area in a video game, it needs to be playable. For the most part, it’s… alright, I guess. If you’re flying around on an Archwing or drifting around on your K-Drive, it’s actually a pretty cool place to fly around in. The Cambion Drift makes better use of vertical space than the Plains of Eidolon do, and there’s more ups and downs compared to the Orb Vallis. But since everything is tinted red and similar-looking, it’s hard to work out where you are without a map.
Sure, there’s several large, carapace-like areas, but they all look similar. There’s various rocky outcrops, but they all look similar too. You get used to it eventually, but this is the same problem that the Orb Vallis has – everything looks pretty but kinda the same.
Lots of smaller details.
On foot, moving around is a bit different. Everything feels even more gross up close. But I find there’s a bigger issue. There’s lots of little tiny things to get caught on. Little bits of web and rock and bone that stick out from the ground.
In the more open areas, this is somewhat avoidable. But go anywhere even remotely cramped, and you get caught on everything. It’s a lot of unnecessary little bits and pieces that make what should be cool rather unfun. For example, you’re racing around trying to scavenge infested plants before a timer runs out, but you keep on getting caught on roots and not fitting through gaps that are clearly Warframe-sized.
The Cambion Drift at least succeeds in being what it wanted to be: a hellish landscape that no one would willingly go to. Except people clearly do go there. Not just Tenno either, but Grineer and Corpus too.
Why? I don’t know. It’s all red to me.