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Review

Warframe Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PC

The fun of nimble combat in cool battle suits peters out too quickly in the repetitive skirmishes of Warframe.

Creeping through the eerily quiet corridors of an enemy space station, you move with a coiled fluidity. You are a potent weapon, ready to unload a clip, unleash a melee attack, or uncork a powerful elemental ability at a moment's notice. That moment arrives when you come upon one of the robotic menaces or armored soldiers that stand in your way, and then all hell breaks loose. You leap into the fray, sword slashing and guns blazing as you make a hash out of those who would oppose you. Warframe's martial abilities and nimble maneuvers can combine to create satisfying combat, but a tendency toward repetition and sluggish progress dampen this free-to-play brawler's appeal.

In Warframe, you play as a Tenno, a member of a species of ancient warriors that have reemerged to lay waste to the various nefarious species populating the solar system. Your foes include the Grineer, a jackbooted army of deteriorating humanoid clones; the Corpus, a mix-and-match crew of robotic and human parts; and the Infestation, a bunch of shambling organic creatures that vaguely resemble the Flood from the Halo series. While your enemies are visually uninteresting, a lot of the Tenno suits and weapons have a great sense of style that imbues Warframe with a spark of personality. Each species has a cursory backstory, and there is some lore to be found buried in the menus, but there's no narrative thrust or intrigue to speak of. And so you run mission after mission, moving outward from the sun as you level up your loadout and become a more proficient killer.

The core combat of Warframe is straightforward. This is a third-person action game in which you wield two primary weapons and a melee weapon against foes who are largely content to come right at you. You also gain suit powers that allow you to dash and slash through a bunch of enemies, or stun all foes within a certain radius, though these abilities can change drastically depending on what suit you equip. You could unleash fiery maelstroms, turn invisible, create a decoy, use teleportation to switch places with an enemy, or manipulate your foes to fight against their allies. Acquiring new suits, however, requires a significant investment of time or money (more on this later).

Regardless of what powers you have equipped, you can often wage effective war against your enemies by firing on them from a distance, then slicing up the ones who manage to get close. This tactic grows tiresome after a while, however, and doesn't serve you well as you take on tougher levels. Fortunately, you can combine your ability to jump, sprint, and crouch into an acrobatic array of slides, flips, jump kicks, wall runs, leaping slashes, and more. Though there's a certain rigidity to your movement, your mobility is one of the most interesting and enjoyable things about Warframe, and it's fun to zip around your enemies, slashing and shooting until the only ones left standing are your fellow Tenno.

Most suit abilities are accompanied by flashy effects.

You can run Warframe missions with up to three other players, and while flying solo is definitely possible in the early going or when you're grinding for experience or resources, teaming up becomes necessary as you tackle tougher missions. Fighting your way through fiendish hordes with the help of some allies can be very satisfying, especially when there's a good mix of powers in play. Coordinating with friends is the best way to get this kind of experience, because jumping into matches or having folks join you can lead to lopsided situations. If there's a gap in player level or a mismatch with the mission challenge, as often happens, your cooperative missions can devolve into all-out sprints as players easily cut their way through enemies they far outclass.

To minimize such gaps, you can focus on playing only new missions, since those tend to scale toward the upper bound of your capabilities. However, many of the environments in Warframe are reused frequently. You may be taking a different route through an enemy ship or encountering different environmental effects in the asteroid base, but you can't escape seeing the same spaces over and over again. This repetition combines with the lack of enemy variety (each species has only a handful of different units) to make many Warframe missions feel very similar to one another.

To spice things up, you may want to acquire a new gun, a new melee weapon, or a new suit. Warframe is free to play, but you must spend either time or money to acquire new items. Currently, new suits range roughly from $5 to $25, with new weapons falling close to the lower end of that spectrum. Alternatively, you can purchase blueprints to craft new weapons and suits using in-game currency. It takes a significant amount of time to save up the money for a new blueprint, and then you must spend even more time acquiring the resources to actually craft it.

Why walk and shoot when you can slide and shoot?

Even if you skip the lengthy crafting process by using real-world currency, you still have to spend time leveling up your new gear. Jumping into a high-level mission with a brand-new suit is a death sentence, so it's back to lower levels to grind for experience. As your gear levels up, you gain more slots to modify it using boosters picked up during combat. Adding abilities to suits, improving the attributes of your gear, and imbuing your weapon with elemental damage are just some of the things mods can do. Unfortunately, the system to apply and improve mods is poorly laid out and barely explained, leaving you on your own to figure things out.

Some problematic menus pale in comparison to Warframe's real problem: a pervasive tendency toward repetition. Whether you're forging ahead with a high-level suit or leveling up a new one, Warframe repeats enemies, environments, and scenarios too frequently. Without new challenges for your combat abilities, the excitement soon dries up, leaving you without a compelling reason to keep playing. This free-to-play shooter is still technically in beta, so changes may come that make a substantive difference. But as of now, Warframe's interesting combat mechanics are too quickly overcome by the grind of repetition.

The Good
Acrobatic suit maneuvers and cool powers
The Bad
Environments repeated frequently
Lackluster enemy variety
Some poorly explained systems
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Chris enjoys aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent.

Discussion

111 comments
Bjornishigi
Bjornishigi

This review is accurate.  I played the game for a year and never saw the devs update gameplay, only content (weapons, tilesets, boss redo's).  I would like readers to consider how unacceptable a roadmap for game development it is to be in beta for a year and never act on any player feedback or improve any aspect of gameplay.  In an entire year one survival mission was tweaked.  It sure as hell wasn't enough for the core group of players that have long since abandoned the game, just as you will when you realize that the only game rationale is to grind for new weapons and frames.  Not to enjoy the process.  Bad, bad game design.

WillyWynn
WillyWynn

This review is fair enough. The game is cool in the beginning but after a while becomes to repetitive... Most of the people like my friends told me exactly the same thing, the games lacks in variety to much... Most of the people also play the game some hours and next they quit, because the game lacks in variety and is to repetitive. 

tushwacker
tushwacker

I don't see the date that this review was made on.. but this game has received a ton of content in the last few major updates.. It is also worth mentioning that if you get new gear or you forma (basically prestige) a weapon or warframe, it's recommended that you only change one item at a time (so if you want to try a new primary weapon, leave your warframe, your secondary weapon, and your melee weapon fully leveled so that you can survive playing tougher levels) -> this keeps you from having to grind through low level missions that won't level your gear up very quickly. 

NeverMore0
NeverMore0

From what I've read, this game is a lot like Defiance. Better than the sum of its parts.

string5
string5

The review was fair. Why does the fact that its in open beta make Chris's opinion worthless? I would only hope that Chris would give the game another chance after launch/update 11.

xjoystix
xjoystix

I give this game a 9.5. The amount of detail is endless, especially from the purchasable unlocks. This game was made to be played in CO-OP mode and it knows it. It's not trying to be anything it's not,  like some games. Not only are the gameplay mechanics deep, there is a campaign mode with some powerful interesting characters sprinkled in the game. But what realy kicks ass is the sense of exploration between the planets as you unlock the what looks like hundres unique quest. This game is superbly polished as far as the graphics go, some of the best i've seen to date. Go get this on the PS4 today, I guarantee you'll get hooked, disregard this editors review. Gotto go play, see ya!

magusat999
magusat999

That score is ridiculous and does not reflect the fun factor of the game in the least. It also is old and does not consider all of the new content - much of it addressing the negatives brought up in this article. The game has new areas, Warframes, weapons, Sentinels and other items. It has new mission types, and has been tweaked and upgraded all around. Why is Gamespot so down on a start-up (beta) game anyway? If anything you should be supportive of new game entities - that's what drives the future of gaming. I have been playing Warframe for the last 5 months, and I would fully disagree with anyone who says the game is not good enough for a better review and a much better score (not to mention your scaring off new players). The game is still in Beta - but its better than a lot of the full release garbage you guys have given higher scores to. and lastly - this article is old - you need to refresh it and re-calculate that ridiculous score.

RT-XD
RT-XD

why was this game reviewed if still in beta?

kasalaba
kasalaba

The game is still in beta but the grind is all the game, so far, as the devs say. If you don't enjoy just killing stuff with ninja skillz and a lot of weapons, don't play. And every week there are more stuff. Its already far better. And free. Its not pay to win, it's pay to skip.

Tyrlian
Tyrlian

I felt this was a fair review and to give the game a fair rating seems accurate right now. There is a lot of room for improvement, but the core gameplay is cool. Just needs more variety, storyline, and things to do other than grinding. It's worth giving a shot, and there's a program for 7 Days double XP for new players now, link is located here: https://warframe.com/signup?referrerId=515220021a4d809939000181

chrisant72
chrisant72

Warframe - what a lot of fuss about nothing!  Also take note - they will retain your card details if not careful and charge make unauthorised transactions.  Hell of a job to get it sorted if you ever do!

kyle756
kyle756

I thought it was policy to wait till a free to play leaves beta before review, thats how it was for tribes and DOTA

mk_ultr4
mk_ultr4

If this had arcade multiplayer modes like Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch etc it would be absolutely incredible.

R4ks0
R4ks0

good review! again as many have say, its still on beta! ill tell you, ive been playing for 2 months now and i never get tired of it, as long as i play 10 missions at most a day and obviously WITH friends. This game is a ton of fun, everyone should try it out, hey its free!

DrMabuseSenior
DrMabuseSenior

The graphics could be better. Am trying a another download-source though.

Otherwise an ok game.

/Dr. Mabuse

I, a pirate of the seven seas,

I get my games free of fees,

I play on the latest rigs,

That is, if they aint seized by the Pigs'

lordingus
lordingus

Pretty spot on review, unfortunately its a review of a beta. Even though I doubt the game will change much from now till release, reviewing something before its creator considers it finished is just bad form.

The repetition of the game is part of its charm, and ymmv, but I did find it enjoyable and would probably rate this game a 7.5. It's not great but certainly didn't deserve a 6.

hitomo
hitomo

good Review ... but everyone has to Play warframe at least for an evening or two !

AshTrai
AshTrai

At worst, this is a review of an unfinished, in-development game. 

At best it's a review of a demo.

Neither are fair or representative of the full game. 

EchoEcho
EchoEcho

Chris' review is pretty accurate to what the experience is. If you're like me and find that the fun of the moment-to-moment gameplay and the excitement of trying out new weapons and warframes that you've crafted outweighs the occasionally monotonous grind and repetitive nature of the missions, then you could probably bump the score up to a 7 or 7.5.

For Chris the grind outweighed the fun, bringing it down to a 6, and that is perfectly reasonable. Beyond that, it is likely to be how most people react to the game. It's not gonna be everyone's cup of tea, and while it might grow on some people if they stick with it long enough, for others it will only get less enjoyable over time as the repetition wears on them.

As someone who has put over a hundred hours into the game and enjoys it despite the repetition and grind, I honestly don't see a whole lot changing about the core gameplay between now and full release later this year. We're guaranteed at least one more mission tile set (outdoor Grineer outposts), with some new enemies to face. But if your primary complaint is the repetition of the gameplay, that's probably not going to change anytime soon.

StaceyBladen
StaceyBladen

You claim repetition. How many games of this collect em up stroke level up have you played where you did not play the same instances over and over. You are an inexperienced gamer. A good reviewer but inexperienced in gaming terms. Warframe has a lot of depth and shines at high level.

This game will fail. I am nearly 100% sure of that as all reviewers give it 6 out of 10 and Digital Extremes always change what feels good for something that drives the gamer insane. They are arrogant because of past experiences with publishers. This is why they and Warframe will fail.

They do however have some amazing ideas and some things in Warframe that other gaming companies will rip off, just as Digital Extremes have ripped off every game or film they have ever seen or played. Give it a year and we will see many fast, fluid games with amazing graphics but with tutorials to explain such complicated things as the Warfame mod system which has amazing depth but is bugged, flawed and hard to understand as a new player.

If you would have seen the progress Warframe has made in such a small space of time you would have said 8 out of 10 and watch out for this one. Still doomed to fail because its in the hands of a company that listens to bad gamers and feels hurt by criticism from good gamers.

Anyway I'm done.

Detriiment
Detriiment

This game was pretty good, don't listen to the GameSpot review... Their reviews have been complete shit lately.

666TRYME666
666TRYME666

This game looked really fun to me until I watched this review. I still want to give it a go for myself, but it was disappointing to see it get the reviews it got. 

dr_Mabuse
dr_Mabuse

Mildly interesting. But, atlas!, nothing new. It appears that the fps-genre has more or less been mainly stagnant since the early 2000's.

Wait... HEY, there's a new thing in town:

A new FPS-game is out with a truely new premise: Play as an aspring footsoldier in the Chinse Peoples Liberation Army ! 

Well, While I do feel that its not fair to beat on the Japanese (dont beat on someone smaller than yourself!), then its refreshing. I'd love nothing more than a game where yyou could play as fx a Chinese soldier/army attacking USA on their soil. Not least getting to shoot some Americans. There's been decades of non-creativity in this genre, so perhaps it would not be too much to ask that a developer guts-up' and takes this inspiration and makes an "shoot the American" game. I'm sure it will be popular in most other regions in the World !


With gamer-greetings from Europe,

/Dr. Mabuse jr.

I - a pirate of the 1000 seas.
I get my games free of fees.

I play on the latest rigs.
That is, unless they'r siezed by the pigs'.

k0k066
k0k066

guys it's been in beta for quite some time (more than a year ) and all the changes so far had to do with new moves or weapons and two new maps about 4-5 months ago the mission structure and A.I. Hasn't changed except for glitch fixes, I don't think that these things are going to change so much that will make this review false but even it happens they can change it, (also it is not a bad score or anything, I believe at best scenario it would get a 7.0) why all these comments complaining about dota?? They did not make review then about that game and they decided to try it now and apparently not ever again with all the complains

edpeterson
edpeterson

Reviewing a Beta? Gotta be a new thing Gamespot is doing since they even waited until Dota 2 was officially out until they reviewed it (which is similar to this in the fact that it's also free to play and I believe has a way to pay for different things too). 

Maybe they'll start reviewing Alpha's soon! "Look for a Prison Architect review out on Gamespot in a couple weeks!" Lol

demondogx
demondogx

Review'ing a game in beta and giveing it a low score for lacking the stuff its going to add in the next update's ?
Whats next reviewing a game in alpha and giving it a low score for haveing bugs ?

m4a5
m4a5

They shouldn't have put a score on a game that isn't finished. Maybe some good points and bad points, but this almost seems like it will be a final score...

-Unreal-
-Unreal-

...nice glowy, flashy, sparkly graphics though, huh?

TERMINATOR-SSD
TERMINATOR-SSD

i for one love this game, Been playing and supporting this game for a very long time now. Its a welcome change to free to play that is not a competitive shooter but a Co Op game instead. LOVE it.


But the game is still in Beta remember and ALOT has changed over the many months, and i mean ALOT. so its hard to give it a review score in all honestly. GameSpot you should have a scores for alphas and betas like 'A for alpha and B for Beta or something. 


http://youtu.be/hFaEDO0L5xg 

Wensea10
Wensea10

Good review man but the game actually looks quite great. Still it still has that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' vibe.

SaltyMeatballs
SaltyMeatballs

Reviewing a beta? Okay, if that is the new thing Gamespot wants to do then fair enough. IMO though reviewing a F2P game is pointless already, even more so a BETA of a F2P game.

Why? It's free to play. If someone likes the game enough to buy content or whatever it offers then who are we to judge really, makes this review pointless. 

For all intents and purposes he could shit on the game, give it a 1.0, and people can still go play it for free and find out for themselves whether they enjoy the game or not. All this review is for is going towards a metacritic score and some editor being bored or with little relevant work to actually do.

BlessTheMusic
BlessTheMusic

@magusat999  You hit the nail on the head. Why should someone base an opinion off something they have been given? What is sounds like is the beta was pretty sub par, and he rated it as that. Also, he gave it a 6, which in my opinion is extremely fair for a game in beta status. This is the reason people like yourself aren't in the video game industry. You can't rate and review things off of hopes and promises to come. If that were the case almost every video game with a good trailer and a lot of hype would be a masterpiece.

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

@kasalaba then why pay to skip?

ohh so you want to win faster than me so you pay to "skip"?

F2P games are P2W and that is a FACT and no amount of blind fanbois can change that , its how things work , nothing is FREE , F2P is a LIE 

Its like you DL a demo and if you want you can upgrade it to full game and if you dont upgrade then be ready to enjoy the bottom of the barrel and being a target practice for Wallet Warriors

NEXT

Tyrlian
Tyrlian

To add to my previous comment, I would like to know how long the reviewer spent playing this game. If it is anywhere within a few hours then it should be considered ill-informed.


Borderlands suffers from repetition as well but plenty of people love it just the same, many games do. The levels are randomly assembled though and the individual rooms are continuously being adjusted and touched up, and new tilesets are being added too.

Tyrlian
Tyrlian

@chrisant72 World of Warcraft will retain your card details if you want them to, so will steam(And yet people let them because it's convenient). This looks like a comment to scare people, and making unauthorized transactions? That's a claim that requires proof.

dr_Mabuse
dr_Mabuse

Ok - the title?

"Glorious Mission". A bit hammed up? Not really.

EchoEcho
EchoEcho

@edpeterson Digital Extremes told review outlets that it was okay to review the game as though it were released. So they did. Gamespot is not the only outlet to have reviewed this game, and in fact they waited several months longer to do so than most.

aovannor
aovannor

@demondogx

Reviewing a game that is taking people's money, has no character or profile wipes come "launch" and is freely available to everyone you mean? I've seen something like this before.. oh yeah, it's called launch.

Calling a cat a dog doesn't make it a dog.

pongley
pongley

@BlessTheMusic Except no-one reviews games based on trailers, they wait for the game to be released. Which begs the question, why was this game reviewed while it was labelled as an unfinished and unreleased game?

kasalaba
kasalaba

@EddyG0RD0 @kasalaba  

There is no "full version" you and i can have all the items and weapons and frames with no money. Even skins are free, if you find them in an alert mission. Events give a ton of ingame money and rare items. And there is no win or end game to rush to. Have you played the game or are you just talk?

DrMabuseSenior
DrMabuseSenior

@dr_Mabuse :  Well, it seems there is a bit of a lack in the freedom of speech on gamespot ?? ;-)

demondogx
demondogx

@aovannor When a game requires you to pay to get in the beta, yeah then its fair game to review it, but if its free to play at least wait till the OFFICIAL launch.

demondogx
demondogx

@aovannor @demondogx No, people like my do oure research first, i got 80+ hours on this game on stream and i havent gone into the microtransactions even once, as they arent forced upon me in this game to get anywhere, if you want to find the real problem in the gameing industry, then go for all the gamers who blindly pre order games just based on pre rendered screenshots and heavely scripted trailers, then bitch about how they got screwed over and next go and pre order another game based on promises and pre rendered sceenshots, those are the real problems in the gameing industry,

i will give you and the writer of this review the point that some beta's should be reviewd, but it should be clear that its still in beta, and it should be done to games that FORCE you to pay to get in it, or where you really need to get into microtransactions to get anywhere, there would be way more games out there they could review that make you pay even more then the 60$ of AAA titles like planetary annahilation, who's beta entry is at 65EU atm, but they picked a free to get into open beta like warframe because its more POPULAIR, not because it forces a payment system on players and wants to show them if its worth it.

aovannor
aovannor

@demondogx @aovannor Nope, the only difference between this 'beta' and 'launch' is that the game isn't finished, the EXACT payment plans are in place as well as the distribution. They have launched the game under a beta guise so they can start generating revenue while they finish the rest of the game. It's common practice these days for many online games and it's shady as hell. They call it a beta so they receive less criticism while they take people's money.. and they have taken A LOT of money so far.

People like you are the reason they can get away with it.

Warframe More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PS4
    • Xbox One
    Warframe is a free-to-play fast-paced co-op shooter.
    7.4
    Average User RatingOut of 238 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Warframe
    Developed by:
    Digital Extremes
    Published by:
    Digital Extremes
    Genres:
    Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood and Gore, Violence