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Free to play monotony

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    Rating: 3.0 – Fair

    Free to play monotony

    The free-to-play revolution is relatively new to consoles, with very few examples existing on PS3 and Xbox 360. However, Xbox One and PS4 have both seen their fair share of free-to-play games already, with one of the biggest ones being the third-person co-op game Warframe.

    Warframe comes to us from the developers of Dark Sector, a Resident Evil 4-style game based around a bladed-frisbee. Warframe has a very similar art style to Dark Sector, and the gameplay is even somewhat reminiscent as well. It utilizes a third-person over-the-shoulder camera, and is mostly a game that is entirely about mowing down enemies from one level to the next.

    There are different mission types that define each level, but they all get old pretty quick. Even with friends, Warframe becomes very repetitive and boring without even playing all that long, though there’s no real pressure to purchase the in-game items with real money, a trait that plagues most other free-to-play games.

    It’s such a shame, too, as there are numerous things that I adore about Warframe. For one, the combat is tight, responsive, and just feels fantastic. The game allows for a variety of different play styles when it comes to the combat as well, meaning players can go in guns blazing, or stick back and pick off foes from afar using silent shots from the bow. There’s also a deep focus on melee combat, and overall, I just found the combat to be very satisfying and very well done.

    I also enjoyed the variety of weapons on display. Even though grinding one’s way to earning the cooler weapons is certainly feasible (albeit extremely boring given the monotonous mission structure), it’s very tempting to use some real-world cash to purchase some of the cooler weapons, of which there are many.

    After playing one of each mission type, however, you’ll have seen all that Warframe really has to offer, meaning that even if you take the time to grind out to get all of the really cool gear, you’re not going to feel that compelled to keep playing. The game is focused on co-op, which also screws the balance quite a bit, and there are many missions that outright require a friend to join if one has any hope of success, which can be frustrating for players that want to go in solo.

    Another issue is the initial load time for the game. Warframe takes an ungodly amount of time to boot up, which makes the simple act of turning it on and hopping in the game a chore. I’m not sure if this applies to other versions of the game or if it is exclusive to the Xbox One version of Warframe, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

    The game’s story is ridiculous and weird. It is a really over-the-top sci-fi game that is deathly serious, yet the characters are goofy looking and hard to take seriously. The cut-scenes are a bit too lengthy and take a while to get to the point, but the voice acting is very well done and helps to sell the story pretty well.

    The graphics are a mixed bag. The art style is pretty much identical to Dark Sector, and for the most part, the game does look pretty good, but there’s also some very poorly rendered textures. The music is also pretty generic and is not memorable at all.

    To fully complete Warframe, one is significantly looking at a significant time (or money) investment, and while it will be a blast for a while, the game’s monotonous, repetitive nature will wear down before too long, making continued progress a chore to get through.

    Warframe is free-to-play, so if you are somewhat intrigued by the premise, by all means, check it out. However, be aware that the game becomes really boring after experiencing all the mission types, and if you’re planning on playing solo, you may want to reconsider.

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