Publicada: 26 Abril
So, I've been playing Warframe for around 2 years now, and I have to say I've had fun.
It wouldn't be fair to review this game with a negative bias like the one I have, so I'm presenting facts as objectively as I can here in as fair of an environment as I can.
Warframe is a scifi third-person action game that plays more like a firstperson shooter on steroids. It essentially feels like a cross-over between older fast paced games like Quake and Unreal Tournament, with properties akin to that of a more modern shooter.
That being said, I can't call into question the fun other people have playing this game, so I can't consider that a worthwhile approach to determining whether or not the game is worth paying any money into or not. But I can say it's fair to judge other factors, for example...
This game is based heavily around "Modding", the use of items to upgrade weapons appropriately, and Crafting, the use of materials picked up from fallen enemies / broken containers or enemy storage lockers, to build things like weapons and characters to use. It takes a very long time to gather these materials, and because of this, it has been referred to as "Farming" when a player repeatedly runs the same mission, or runs a mission for a very long time in order to gain more of a material out of it.
Now, here's where my reasoning comes in as to why I don't like this game as much as I could. It takes too long.
I am someone who has a lot more free time on my hands than the average gamer, so I haven't had to buy much in this game using the in-game currency Platinum ( which is purchased with real world money ).
Now, that's fine. Having micro-transactions to skip the time consuming part of a game is okay, because you can still have the option of acquiring it yourself over a longer period of time with simple hard work.
What's not okay is something Warframe players refer to as RNGesus, the Random Number Generator. What's also not okay is the extensive nature of "Farming". A significant portion of content in this game is hidden behind a 'grindwall', or rather, an extensive task or list of tasks that MUST be performed before you can access certain parts of the game. This is not as bad as DLC, and it isn't as bad as micro-transactions in some other games, but it can be fairly irksome at times. All in all, this game is fair about how it treats many things, especially how it treats micro-transactions ( in the fact that a huge number of things can very easily be acquired with time and effort ) except for one problem...
It effectively costs around $10 to get a typical weapon, and $15 or so for some of the more expensive ones. This is a problem that is very hard to argue against or in favour of because of an even larger problem, the value of time. Calling into question the fairness of the pricing of micro-transactions in this game is difficult because you call into question the value a player has of their time. Is it worth spending $10 to get a weapon now, or is it worth spending a day to collect the credits and resources to buy it, then wait an additional 12 hours for it to craft? Is it worth spending $15 to get a Warframe ( Playable Character ) immediately plus bonuses, or is it worth it to spend several hours acquiring the parts and the credits and resources, then waiting approximately 4-5 days on average for it to build?
The problem here in my eyes is that it is not worth it, typically because in the time it takes to acquire these things, I could have done much more in other games, or even worse, for $15 I could've bought an entire other game.
Now we move on from pricing, and Platinum / Microtransaction issues, to another thing that irks me.
I admit that Warframe is technically still in beta, and that many things still do need to be complete, but this does not feel like a beta game any longer. There is a huge quantity of content in this game, which I would easily value as being worth well over $40 ( Generous for a game that has no form of very specific story or singleplayer campaign + no straight up form of sandbox, as well as being restricted to missions that are run from your Liset, which is essentially your 'main menu' of sorts. )
The audio quality is impressive, and the visuals are even moreso; The animations for melee weapons are both practical for gameplay and impressive to actually look at, though the game begins to disappoint when it comes to the secondaries and primaries which all share one unified means of holding primaries and holding secondaries, where you hold all primaries as a rifle and you hold all secondaries as a pistol. There are unified reloading animations for some weapons, although thankfully it also seems many weapons have their own unique reloading animations and firing animations in some cases. Bow weapons all share the same animations, and no one single bow weapon has its own animations unfortunately thus far.
Countless assets are recycled in this game, although this has no significant effect on gameplay so I won't consider that something to tally against. "Recycled assets" in this case being many enemies who share the same model with different colours.
For example, an enemy known as the Nullifier makes Abilities useless ( Abilities in this game are essentially akin to spellcasting from other games, where you can throw fireballs, set up shields, etc. Many things really. )
I personally dislike Nullifiers simply because they detract from an environment where the use of Abilities is one of the main things that makes the game stand out from similar shooter games.
Many enemies in this game rely on actions that knock you down ( Rendering you unable to fight back by any means ) using attacks that, in some cases, are completely unavoidable. Thankfully unavoidable knockdowns are rare, although the true problem is not the knockdown itself, but the fact that knockdowns have no counterplay ( Once you're on the ground, you're unable to do anything to make your character get up faster / unable to defend yourself even if only rolling out of the way of incoming fire ).
This game has plenty of cover, but no cover system to make greater use of it, thereby unfortunately making no use of an otherwise potentially unique addition to an otherwise straightforward gameplay system. The enemies are fairly intelligent, and make use of cover to the point of it even being annoying in strange ways at times, for example enemies will frequently change course repeatedly ( Running back and forth or even running in circles ) because they are trying to move towards two different sources of cover simultaneously. AI bugs aside, the AI is intelligent and fun to fight against.
There are countless weapons to use, but another unfortunate thing is that with how the game treats enemy scaling, the most useful weapon always ends up being the one that cranks out the most damage. Generally speaking, you will always perform better with a weapon that does much more damage than another weapon that operates in a more unique fashion ( For example the flame-thrower weapon does so little damage and has so little effect on enemies that it's generally just a better idea to use a heavy machine gun or rifle that does vastly superior damage overall )
Artificial difficulty is a topic commonly talked about in Warframe, with the most common subjects being the repeated nerfs and buffs being done to characters who typically aren't deserving of the treatment they get. Another topic tends to be the way in which difficulty is "improved" or "upped" as the game gets into higher levels, with enemies becoming textbook Bullet Sponge enemies and increasingly cheap tactics such as unnecessarily frequent knockdowns or locking the players' movement and so on.
All in all, I can't really recommend this game to people who either lack free time, or are at all prone to being frustrated by what can be described as an unfairly balanced environment.