That’s not by way of laziness, for the record. Or at least, it’s not just laziness; some of it is how I prefer to take on these game where I know very little. As it stands for me, Warframe is that game where I don’t know much of the story or the background, but the results of the game that I do see are incredibly neat and surreal. It seems like it’s a game all about intensely baroque and odd-looking robot-armor-suits engage in all sorts of high-speed high-flying combat, and limiting that down to the realm of actual facts seems like depriving it of that power.
Of course, as much as I might enjoy putting that out there, it’s almost mandatory at that point that I actually look up some details on what the game actually is. That doesn’t diminish my love for the weirdly abstract designs, though. Apparently (and fans can let me know how off-base this is in the comments), the whole premise is that you’re playing as a member of the Tenno taking control of the eponymous Warframes, awakening after an intensely long span of time to find yourself at war with various factions. The why of all this and the questions of what happened between “going to sleep” and “waking up” are kind of vague.
If you’re not familiar with me at all, you should know that this is exactly the sort of setting that I love. It’s at once surreal and grounded, giving you a sense of coming in with some of the answers but not nearly all of them, and serving as a good narrative justification for a whole lot of battle while also leaving lots of blanks to fill in later.
Regardless of the background, the game has been around for a while now; it feels like a recent release, but Warframe has actually been running since 2013, which means that we’re coming up on five years now. It also earned a lot of attention and praise from us last year when it released the Plains of Eidolon, an open-world area that makes the game a bit more MMO than it was when it launched.
This is the sort of philosophy that I like, and one that I think ought to be encouraged. The game has proven good at iterating and improving over time, releasing a steady diet of new Warframes (which are akin to the various heroes of Overwatch or the classes in Mass Effect 3/Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer, to my understanding) along with other content updates. In other words, there’s a steady stream of things to shoot at and things to shoot at those things with, not so quickly that you feel overwhelmed but not slowly enough that it starts to get stale.
Hopefully, anyhow. These things are always finnicky.
Plains of Eidolon, however, pointed to the game moving onward and upward into new departments, a trick that other MMOs and MMO-like games have used in the past. Get a viable and fun game out the door and then expand it to become more of a full-featured MMO over time. It’s the sort of thing that a lot of titles have used to flesh out their feature set, and it’s up there with another title’s addition of housing as a demonstration of what can be done with iterative patches.
Except for all that praise, I don’t know how much fun this actually is. All I know is what I see from the outside looking in. It’s an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter with lots of weird melee maneuvers, parkour, open-world elements, and the bizarre sort of fictional background that I like. Then again, all of these factors also describe another game that I tried a long while ago without much affection, so it could be that the actual gameplay won’t grab me.
But here we are, at the start of Choose My Adventure, which means that I’m going to find out how well the gameplay grabs me. Another big win would certainly be welcome, although it’ll be a slightly uphill battle as I’ve been warned by multiple sources that the tutorial could best be described as hot garbage.
Fortunately, I have you fine folks to serve as guides. So let’s start with the basic selection process that I know will happen during… well, I don’t think it’s quite “character creation,” but the closest thing I get. You can choose between three Warframes to start, the balanced Excalibur, the electrical-output Volt, and the field-controlling Mag.
CMA: Pick my starting frame
- Excalibur (62%, 113 Votes)
- Volt (21%, 39 Votes)
- Mag (16%, 30 Votes)
Total Voters: 182
You also get your choice between melee weapons, primary weapons, and sidearms. I’m also putting these to a poll choice, as they do a lot to determine your playstyle starting out; you could opt for throwing knives and a bow for pure stealth, run in with a pistol and assault rifle, or have a pistol and bow for most fighting or long-ranged silent kills respectively. But you people in the voting pool have a better idea of which one is going to be easier to acclimate to. Or, depending on your mood, which one is going to produce more entertaining annoyed ranting.
I would really like it if you err on the side of the former, for the record.
CMA: Pick my starting weapon loadout
- Sword/Pistol/Rifle (35%, 72 Votes)
- Sword/Pistol/Bow (16%, 32 Votes)
- Sword/Knives/Pistol (4%, 9 Votes)
- Sword/Knives/Bow (12%, 25 Votes)
- Staff/Pistol/Rifle (11%, 22 Votes)
- Staff/Pistol/Bow (8%, 17 Votes)
- Staff/Knives/Pistol (2%, 5 Votes)
- Staff/Knives/Bow (11%, 22 Votes)
Total Voters: 181
Oh, and if you didn’t notice, you can make multiple choices on that poll. It’s a wide-open field. I also erred on the side of weapon types rather than weapon names for that outlay, so even if you’re not as familiar with the game you can piece together what’s going on.
Last but not least, there’s a question of what better tips there are for getting started beyond the tutorial, which, as discussed, is well-known for being garbage. Here, I can’t really ask for a vote, because there’s not much to vote on there. I can, however, ask for your tips and/or relevant guide links down in the comments, which I will definitely look toward as I’m making my first fumbling steps in the game.
Feedback is also welcome by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org as well, or you can just leave other forms of feedback in the comments as well. Seriously, you’re not just resources to be mined out. Polls close at 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday, so get in your votes by then, and tune back in next week to see how my first shot went on a whole.