I watched the TennoCon 2019 livestream that aired this past Saturday and my jaw was dropped the entire time during the last hour of it. Seriously even though gaming sites like Gamespot and IGN have posted articles the comment sections are barren. Even in IRL people don't seem to know about Warframe or acknowledge it much. It's strange how Warframe is such a popular yet unpopular game at the same time especially with how good it is. It ranks as the 7th most played game on Steam and that's not including all the people that play the game on PC without Steam.
The new footage of Warframe's space ship combat and story trailers had me excited like a little kid and felt the magical of experience gaming for the first time.
Forget Destiny and Anthem at this point Warframe is now going after Star Citizen in rivaling ambition! Warframe feels like this weird anomaly in the gaming industry that so how manages to succeed and evolve but doesn't get much attention.
Warframe has one of the best if not the best F2P models in gaming and even makes $60 AAA games look bad. The amount of content this game offers and continues to offer for free is amazing and makes you feel like a thief for not giving Digital Extremes any money. Digital Extremes even gives out free premium items to everyone watching their streams and you don't even have to watch their whole stream to get the items just 30 minutes and you can tune out. Hell they even support the community artist by allowing their skins to be sold in the game and giving them a cut.
The story, lore and world building of the game has gotten significantly better over time. I'd like to explain it but it'd take too much time and spoil a lot that I believe you people should experience for yourself. I always wondered why it was an unspoken rule among the community to never talk about The Second Dream quest around beginners but after doing it makes so much damn sense and appreciate them for it.
The gameplay style of Warframe is very unique and only one or two games comes close to it. A third person Unreal Tournament is an accurate way to describe but also an injustice since it is more than that. The maneuverability in Warframe is second to none and makes playing the game like any other third person shooter incredibly boring. There is a wide variety weapons with uniqueness to them on top of all the customization you can do to them. Not to mention that you can now make your own modular guns and melee weapons how you want. The only game that outdoes them in the variety of fun guns is the Borderlands series. Warframe has fun melee especially the glaive equipped with a pistol in my opinion.
You can tell that DE really loves the game with each and every update and their interactions with the community. They're even giving the game a a big graphical overhaul when they really don't have to especially when they're running on a 7 year old engine.
The art for Warframe is very unique and interesting. Some of the art seems to even take inspiration from DOOM as the Grineer Ghouls strongly resemble some of the demons in DOOM. The new Sentient tile set also greatly resembles DOOM's hell. It makes sense since Digital Extremes has a history with old school shooters due to co-developing the Unreal games. They even stated in one stream they were experimenting with cinematic finishers that give you extra loot and they got the idea from DOOM 2016. The designs of characters, weapons, locations take influence from many cultures, mythologies and other works of art.
The Fortuna song "We All Lift Together" is highly addicting and I always play it at least once whenever I'm on Fortuna.
The Empyrean/Railjack game footage was even better than the first one they showed. Ships can have boss fights on them and we can even steal them. The squad link system manages to connect the open world segment of the game with its space combat part. Any random player in the open world can be a tenno operative that lends you planetary support in your space battles. Skip the last 2 minutes to avoid spoilers if you want.
People like to talk about how ground breaking Death Stranding and Hideo Kojima is with adsurdism but then Digital Extremes comes out with The Duviri Paradox trailer. Me and a lot of people were flipping out over one specific thing. The man in trailer greatly resembles Hayden Tenno. Back in 2008 Digital Extremes released Dark Sector which was suppose to be the original Warframe but they had to change things to please their publisher so it followed the trends of Gears Of War and Resident Evil 4. The gameplay was alright at best and the story was meh.
But what I thought would be really cool is if Dark Sector's universe/timeline was connected to Warframe's with Hayden Tenno playing a role in it. With the Duviri Paradox it makes that possibility even more of a reality. Warframe already has some similarities and connections to Dark Sector such as the origin of warframes, the infested in both games are refereed to as the 'technocyte virus' the glaive's description in Warframe talks about it being the weapon of the very first Tenno which is Hayden and the Excalibur and Nyx designs from Dark Sector are skins in Warframe. The proto excalibur skin's description even says that it possibly existed even before the Orokin empire. The design on regular Excalibur's head and right shoulder even translate to "Hayden Tenno".
Duviri is also the next open world segment of Warframe and appears to break the trend by not having Warframes in it at all and a new form of transportation.
The New War cinematic trailer is also shows how much bigger this quest is going to be in comparison to the previous ones and possibly effect the game for all players outside the quest.
They also made a cool new CGI trailer that first aired in select American theaters for the new Spiderman movie.
Seriously all this yet no one except the Warframe community ever talks about it. Why is this game not more popular?
Why aren't the people that whine about a lack of female representation in gaming praising Warframe? Warframe is a very matriarchal game as the majority of warframes are female and women make up the majority of leadership roles and big parts of the story in the game. For example the Grineer faction is ran by two queens and the most powerful Grineer enemy types you fight are all women.
Well here are the reasons why I think this is happening.
Warframe is basically a PC game despite being on the PS4, Xbox One and Switch. I remember at a New York Comic Con they stated that PC had the largest playerbase. Every Warframe youtuber and streamer is on PC too. It seems the only time Warframe ever got a noticeable amount of popularity on consoles was when it first launched on PS4 which was brand new at the time and lacking games to play. A lot of playstation fanboys just latched onto to it because it was a "console exclusive" at the time and then just disappeared once it came to Xbox One shortly after.
The play style of Warframe is very different from what console gamers are use to. A lot will try to play it like a standard third person shooter and then leave the game because they don't see the appeal of it because they weren't playing it right. Warframe plays a lot like an arena shooter which console gamers in general don't like so that repels them and if not that it is because the limitations of controllers severely limit them. A lot of people I play Warframe with on PC have said they use to play the game on consoles but then jumped ship to PC because the PC version was so much better. Warframe also lacks a big PvP community which a lot of console gamers seem to want.
Top it all off with Warframe it doesn't have huge marketing campaigns like that of Destiny, Anthem, The Division and Borderlands have. So most console gamers won't know about it and gaming media won't cover it much since there isn't much money being pushed for them to do so. Games like Destiny and Anthem are made by much more prominent game developers so even if their games don't meet up to the quality of their previous work the game gets a lot of attention just because of the name behind it. The most popularity Warframe got outside of its community was over Destiny and other AAA games screwing people over with their practices and DE actually taking away a method that made them a lot of money because they found it to be unethical. It is far more popular to bash on Destiny and other AAA games than to talk about how great Warframe is and it seems Warframe is ever and swiftly brought in one of these bashing rants. But then these youtubers go back to playing the games they whine about.
The only other time Warframe got some popularity was with the Fortuna and railjack reveal and a bunch of fake fans/gamers that tried to hop on every bandwagon first like Downward Thrust and Cleanprincegaming and end up parroting others and/or giving it a poor review because they barely played the game and rushed it just to get those youtube views first and then never talk about the game again.
The game isn't beginner friendly as it takes a few dozen hours to actually get a good idea of the game. A lot of new players are mislead into believing it is a pay to win game as when they look to see what weapons and frames they can buy they see the Platinum price tags which is the games real money currency and leave not realizing that if they click on the items they can buy the blueprints with credits that can be earned by simply playing and build the weapons, items and frames as the point of the game is to encourage resource collecting and building. This is a definitely a turn off for a lot of people so Digital Extremes are working on their new player experience. However it seems even their upcoming Empyrean will require that the player have been at least 100 hours into the game. So Warframe is definitely a game that can't just be dropped in and out of casually and give you instant gratification and access to everything.
Warframe is a game that definitely requires you to use a Wiki to optimize your experience with it as there are barely tutorials or guides in the game to tell you how to do things. So it appears despite all this amazing stuff the weakness of the game is its new player experience.