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Warframe Turns To Metal Gear Solid For Inspiration With Its New Expansion, 1999

Metal Gear Solid inspires Warframe 1999's new playable character, setting, and story aesthetics.


While a new Warframe expansion isn't cause for a major surprise, the specifics recently announced at TennoCon about 1999, as it's called, caught the entire audience off-guard. It turns back time from Warframe's futuristic science-fiction space opera setting to 1999, with the trailer starting on New Year's Eve in a subway station littered with balloons and confetti to celebrate ringing in the new year. The unexpected setting isn't the only surprising aspect of Warframe's new expansion, as it turns out it was inspired in part by Metal Gear Solid.

With clunky computer monitors with the sound of earsplitting Internet connections abound, the gameplay trailer starts off with Nine Inch Nails' "Into the Void" (originally released in 1999). We are introduced to a never-before-seen character, Arthur, mowing enemy abominations made up of scrap television/computer screens fused together and given life. Even though this is an entirely new setting players have never delved into with Warframe, creative director Rebecca Ford reassured fans that the core experience is still Warframe. "It is a true core Warframe expansion. All of the gameplay is Warframe," Ford said. "[Gameplay-wise], system-wise--the presentation will be different, but it is core Warframe. Your gear will be there. You will be there. Who else is waiting for you remains to be seen," Ford continued.

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Now Playing: Warframe 1999 Song Reveal Teaser Trailer

Warframe 1999 starts the new cinematic arc of Warframe and is a major update akin to Plains of Eidolon and Fortuna previously. Ford said that the new character of Arthur is just that--he is Arthur. Unlike the Warframes we have in the game, we can clearly see Arthur from the head at all times. "When we had a human head on the Excalibur suit, what if we pushed it a bit more, and gave it a tactical layer. Let's get tactical Excalibur," Ford said.

"Arthur is the NPC. In some ways, he will be a playable character. Arthur is of 1999. How he got to where he is is what you will be playing over the cinematic arc. You as Drifter/Warframe will interact with Arthur," Ford said.

Initially, the way Arthur is portrayed mowing down enemies at the start caught me intensely, so I wanted to circle back to Ford about these specific camera angles I knew from playing Metal Gear Solid as a child. When asked about Gray Fox's possible inspiration for Arthur, Ford said, "[Warframe 1999 is] an homage, but it's truly inspired by some of the greatest tactical shooters in history, and the weirdest, as well, like La Li Lu Le Lo," Ford said. Steve Sinclair, Soulframe's creative director added, "Yeah--we're huge Metal Gear nuts."

Additional information on Warframe 1999 will be shown at TennoCon 2024 with a release expected in the fourth quarter. This year's event also brought news that Warframe cross-saves are finally on the way later in 2023.

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