Warframe is a 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 the 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 and deteriorated human clones; the Corpus, a mega-corporation with advanced robotics and laser technology; the Infested, disfigured victims of the Technocyte infection; and later the Sentients, an alien force of mechanical beings returning from the Tau system after being driven back centuries ago. To fight back, the Tenno use remotely controlled biomechanical suits to channel their unique abilities — the eponymous Warframes. Later missions reveal that the Warframes are actually biomechanical shells which are connected to the consciousness of the actual Tenno, human children who were given unpredictable powers by the Void. Those powers led to them being demonized and they were exiled into stasis pods on the Moon. The Tenno and their Warframes were used by the Orokin Empire in a desperate fight against the Sentients and stopped their invasion. However, for unknown reasons, the former turned on the latter and caused the Empire to collapse. The Empire shattered with the remnants becoming the Grineer and the Corpus while the Tenno were placed in stasis until centuries later.
Available missions are scattered across the planets of the solar system, the moons Phobos, Europa, Lua (Earth's moon), 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 Fissureed through various in-game activities, such as mission rewards, quest rewards, etc. Players can possess all Warframes in their inventory but may only equip one at a time. Warframes, as well as various other elements in the game, are highly color-customizable. New Warframes are developed and released every 3-5 months. Each Warframe has 4 active abilities and a passive ability. During a Co-op session, players can synergize their respective Warframes' abilities to deal increased damage, restrict movement of foes, or to help and protect each other. Warframes are not essentially designed to a class of gameplay, like stealth or defense but can be modified to suit a more hybrid playstyle by using various combinations of mods The abilities of each Warframe are subject to change by the developers depending on the usage and feedback from the community.
The players 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 are given as mission rewards; these can be installed, removed and upgraded into slots on the piece of equipment. Companions can also be equipped and accompany Tenno on missions, each with their own powers. These can be floating mechanical sentries, or, following a quest, players can earn their own Kubrow, a canine-esque monotreme with a horned nose, or a Kavat, a feline-esque animal with reptilian features. Warframes, equipment, companions as well as various other elements in the game can level up, which increases attributes and/or allowing more "mods" to be equipped.
Players rest and travel in their own small, customizable ship in-between missions. 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 player will face. There are various endless wave missions, which enables the players to continue for as long as they like, with increasingly difficult enemies and proportionally greater rewards.
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 pre-built rooms connected together so that no levels have the same layout. At times, the player will be required to hack security terminals by completing a puzzle mini-game within a small time limit to proceed in the missions. 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 versions 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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