War. War never changes.
The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower.
But war never changes.
Or does it?
This week I picked up the free to play third person shooter Warframe. Developed by Digital Extremes, Warframe sees you ‘do your bit’ in a futuristic war as the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors awoken from cryosleep and at war with the Grineer, a race of odd looking human clones. The Corpus, a mega corporation (not the most original name) and the Infested, who are the victims of the super futuristic sounding Technocyte virus. To help in there fight, the Tenno use advance exo-armour called… wait for it! Warframes. Woah!
Now, I hadn’t really heard a lot about this game, but I had seen it knocking about on Steam for a while, and since its free, I thought I may as well give it a go (Its also available on PS4).
Going in to the game pretty blind, was actually quite refreshing as I didn’t really know what to expect. You start off with a little back story/tutorial type mission, where you are introduced to your character and what they can do. Whilst learning a little about the enemy.
Once you have completed the tutorial you get to choose one of three ‘frames’
Excalibur – A balanced frame, good for beginners. With use of abilities such as Slash Dash, Radial Blind and Super Jump.
Loki – Who is a deceptive fellow, with abilities such as Decoy, Invisibility and Switch Teleport (Not all available from the beginning I don’t think)
Mag – An expert at energy manipulation, kind of like the force. Abilities include Pull, Shield Polarise and Bullet Attractor.
There are about 15 warframes to choose from in total, but the rest have to be bought or unlocked.
I opted for Excalibur, just so I could get a feel for the game.
There are 10 different mission types available, ranging from a search and destroy style to escort, and horde style missions. You can choose to tackle these alone, with random players online, or with friends on an invite only basis.
When selecting missions you are presented with a galaxy map and selecting a planet gives you a number of missions to choose from.
I went to Mercury, and selected the first mission available to me. It instantly started loading a game, with one other person playing that mission with me.
Our objective, eliminate all enemies.
We spawned on board what looked like a spaceship and headed off down the corridor in search of glory.
I think you can try to take a stealthy approach, as a very nice lady was giving us a few instructions and mentioning that we hadn’t been detected yet. But we, or rather I, opted for an all guns blazing approach and was quickly informed that our cover was blown.
We made our way through the level taking out all the enemies with relative ease. And completed our objective.
For me, having not played a proper third person shooter for a while, it felt fresh, and I really enjoyed it. The combat was fluid, going from guns to melee is responsive. I wish it was a bit more of a challenge, as I didn’t really feel like I was fighting against anything other than moving targets, I never felt in danger. I’m sure this will change with harder missions, and as I level up more.
I hope that the 10 mission types available are varied enough to keep me interested in playing it for decent amount of time. So far I think it will.
There also seems to be a pretty detailed crafting system called the Foundry, allowing you to create weapons, mods and more from collecting blue prints and then parts to complete the blue prints. I haven’t had the chance to properly look over it yet. Mainly due to the fact I don’t have any blue prints or parts, but it certainly looks interesting, and adds just that little more depth to the game to make it more appealing.
Alongside the crafting there is also an upgrades and customisation system, which lets you tailor your Tenno in look, abilities and mods and also upgrade current equipment. Again I haven’t had much chance to inspect this apart from changing the colour of my Tenno to red.
You can also purchase platinum for real money (I guess they need to make money some how). This will allow you access to better equipment a lot faster. But as of yet it doesn’t feel like a buy to win scenario, which is good.
So has ‘war’ changed? No, probably not. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still fun (in computer games). So if you are looking for a new shooter to play, I would definitely recommend trying it out, whether that be on PC or PS4, both are free!