|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows
Warframe is an online free-to-play cooperative third-person shooter video game developed by Digital Extremes for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In Warframe, players control members of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from centuries of cryosleep to find themselves at war with different factions.
In Warframe, players control members of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from centuries of cryosleep to find themselves at war with the Grineer, a race of militarized human clones, the Corpus, a mega-corporation with advanced robotics and laser technology, and the Infested, disfigured victims of the Technocyte infection. To fight back, the Tenno use psionically controlled, biomechanical biosuits to channel their unique abilities — the eponymous Warframes. Available missions are scattered across the planets of the solar system, the moons Phobos and Europa and dwarf planets Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Sedna. Players can also access missions set in a pocket dimension known as The Void through completing junctions on other planets or through Void Fissures, small volatile rifts which react with acquirable Void Relics.
Prior to a mission, players prepare their Tenno for battle by equipping gear from their collected arsenal. Tenno use surrogate biomechanical mechas called "Warframes," each with its own set of abilities and statistics; and are equipped with three weapons: a primary weapon (such as a rifle, bow, or shotgun), a secondary weapon (typically a pistol, but sometimes ranged bladed weapons like kunai), and a melee weapon (such as swords, axes, and hammers). All equipment can be upgraded with "mods" that drop from enemies or given as mission rewards; these can be installed, removed and upgraded into slots on the piece of equipment. Mods themselves can be fused to create more effective variations for fewer mod slots. Some equipment will have "polarised" mod slots to a certain symbol - matching polarities between mods and slots will halve the space the mod takes up; players can also expend resources to polarize or change the polarization of a slot. The mod capacity of a Warframe or weapon can be doubled using rarer resources. The abilities and attributes of the player's Tenno are specifically set by what equipment the player has outfitted their Tenno with, thus the player is encouraged to obtain and equip effective combinations of gear and mods to. There are also Companions that can accompany Tenno on missions, each with their own powers. These can either float near the Tenno's head, or following a quest, players can earn their own Kubrow, a hound-like animal with a horned nose. Players earn Affinity (experience points) for killing enemies and completing challenges and missions, which allows them to level up their weapons, armor, and companions to increase their base attributes, mod capacity, and the availability of special skills that can be used in missions, up to a maximum rank.
Up to four (Trial missions allow eight) players work together to complete missions, such as eliminating enemies, retrieving data from terminals, assassinating high ranking/dangerous targets, defending an artifact, or surviving as long as possible, before they can be extracted and the mission considered a success. Missions are ranked on a level basis, indicating the strength of opponents the Tenno will face. Certain missions enable the players to continue as long as they like, during which the strength of enemies by level will continue to increase.
The camera is positioned over the shoulder for third-person shooting. The player can jump, sprint, slide, and roll, as well as combine techniques to quickly move throughout the level and avoid enemy shots. The game also allows players to utilize parkour techniques to evade enemies, bypass obstacles or gain access to secret areas. Maps are generated procedurally with prebuilt rooms connected together so that no levels have the same layout. At times, the enemy faction can initiate a lockdown of the area, forcing players to hack security terminals by completing a puzzle minigame within a small time limit. Credits, ammo, resources, and mods can be found in set locations, such as lockers and destructible containers, as well as dropped by enemies. If a player's Tenno loses all its health, that Tenno is down; if the player is alone, they can expend one of their revives for that mission to be returned to full health, while if with other players, another player can revive that Tenno. If all Tenno are down and no one revives, or in the case of certain missions if the objective is not met, the mission ends prematurely with players forgoing any rewards beyond what they have already collected.
New weapons, Warframes, equipment, and blueprints to construct such equipment can be purchased in the market, using either Credits earned in-game, or Platinum, a premium currency that can be purchased via microtransaction or traded for in-game. Also, some blueprints are dropped by certain enemies. Gear defined by blueprints can be constructed using resources collected from missions. Players can engage in trading of some of their gear as well.
Digital Extremes's 2008 video game Dark Sector was originally intended to take place in a science-fiction environment in outer space, with players taking the role of a character that inhabits a sleek mechanical suit with incredible powers. However, Dark Sector was overhauled, and most of the science fiction elements scrapped. In 2012, Digital Extremes announced they were working on Warframe, which borrows heavily from the original Dark Sector concept, with character and level design as well as various names making a reappearance.
Digital Extremes started the Warframe closed beta on October 24, 2012. Since then it has had several version and hotfix releases, and open beta was launched on March 25, 2013. A PlayStation 4 version was also developed, and was released at the console's launch in November 2013, while the Xbox One version of the game launched on September 2, 2014.
Warframe received mixed reviews by critics, holding the score of 68/100 on Metacritic, based on nine reviews. The PS4 version of the game has also received mixed or average reviews, holding the score of 64/100 on Metacritic. GameZone's Mike Splechta gave the PS4 version an 8.5/10, stating "If you already enjoy games like Monster Hunter which require you to farm for items in order to craft better ones, Warframe follows that very same formula, except with much more satisfying and faster paced combat." IGN gave the game 7.0 praising the game's co-op.
The game is among one of the most-played games available on Steam. Digital Extremes attributes the success of the title to the frequent updates they are developing for the game and the game's fanbase. Digital Extremes describes the game as a "rogue success", as the game is able to secure and sustain a large number of players without gaining significant attention from other people. More than 26 million players have played the game upon launch.
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