The wait is over for gamers anticipating entry into one of the year's most interesting and unique Free-To-Play games, Warframe. The sci-fi co-op action game for the PC developed by Digital Extremes, launched its Open Beta this week alongside its latest content and feature update: Update 7. Anyone who registers at the game's site can now download and play Warframe for free.
Since October 2012, players have participated in Warframe's Closed Beta providing feedback to help improve the experience from top to bottom. Players were introduced to Warframe as Tenno warriors, who have discovered an ancient exo-skeletal technology only they can operate. These Warframes bring unimaginable power to the Tenno and provide players with unique offensive and defensive powers to explore and master. Players go solo or band together in squads of 4 to complete co-op based raids to locate ancient artifacts that will help customize and upgrade
their Warframe and weapons.
Coinciding with Open Beta, the game received its largest feature update yet. Update 7 includes a highly anticipated open environment snow planet, two new Warframes with poison and sonic powers, a Sentinel pet system, and a new Global Chat feature. Adding some of the stealth flavor seen in the original Dark Sector sci-fi concept of 2004, the update also provides players with stealth attack options and a new hunting bow called The Paris.
That was the awesome stuff. Now for the kinda iffy part. The most radical feature in this update is the re-vamp of the Mod System that has added a new level of depth to customizing your arsenal. This part I have a bit of issue with because leveling up no longer gains players power as much as it gains them points with specific gear which they can use to slot different mods which can be swapped out freely at any time. The good thing about this system is that your Warframe and weapon builds are unique to the way you want to play them. On the other hand, mods are dropped at random and even with the cash shop mod packs there's no guarantee you'll find what you're looking for so progression feels more luck based now. Then you have to upgrade your mods as well, which involves feeding other mods or fusion cores to the ones you would like to see improved. I'm still getting used to it but the idea of building my gear how I want is growing on me, even if I have to farm for the mods I need.
Steve Sinclair, chief creative director on Warframe expressed his gratitude to the Closed Beta group. "The road has been wild, but through the fixing, the breaking, the smashing, and the rebuilding, the Warframe community has supported us and it's heartwarming to see their love for the game matches our own," said Sinclair. "Free-to-Play has reached a level of acknowledgement within the gaming community that now demands higher level production values and in-depth gaming experiences. We're delivering that with Warframe and if the success of the Closed Beta is any indication, it's well on its way to pushing the Free-to-Play frontier into the next generation."
Plans for additional content and feature updates will continue through Open Beta. First up: Steam integration - Warframe will be available on Steam starting March 25, 2013.
For those interested in learning more about Warframe, the development team will be hosting a live stream on Twitch.tv March 27, 2013 @ 14:00 EST featuring gameplay from Update 7. In the meantime, gamers can check the game out for themselves at Warframe's site.
Still have no idea what Warframe is? Here's a video showing off the beautiful graphics and animations of the game, and what gameplay can be like to a degree.