Warframe 2020 Review

Warframe 2020 Review / Test of the Free2Play Koop MMO – 7 years and not a little boring

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig
Warframe 2020 Review
Test of the Free2Play Koop MMO
7 years and not a little boring

Warframe 2020 – A Co-op MMO that was already released in 2013 and was only moderately successful back then, is not only still on the market today, but more popular than ever. What is so special about Warframe? Warframe can be played on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. What made the free-to-play game in the space sci-fi setting with Ninja ambiance so popular? And is it more fun today than back then? All current information about the Co-op Loot shooter with Hack’n’Slash and some Parkour here in the Warframe 2020 Review.

German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Video:

German voice-over, many subtitles

Warframe 2020 Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this episode, I’m gonna do something a little more unusual. Because today I want to tell you about a game that’s more than 7 years old. And I’m talking about the free-to-play action MMORPG, called Warframe. The game has a space sci-fi setting mixed with some ninja charm. It’s been on the market for a long time, but still fresh and gets updates all the time.

I played the game for a few weeks during the closed beta, but then quickly lost sight of it. And by a coincidence, I found it again in February 2020 and now I play it since then almost every day. And from that follows this video, because how can a 7 years old game be so captivating?

I’ll do my best to be brief. But since the game is so extensive, it will be a bit longer anyway, and I won’t be able to show everything in detail. But I’ll try to give you all the information you need to decide if Warframe could be a game for you. And if you ever tried it, if a retry in 2020 would be appropriate.

Warframe – Developer

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 01 Developer - Entwickler
Warframe 2020 Review&Test
Developer

The game is developed by Digital Extremes from Canada, who have been known in the gaming business since the 90s. Everything started with pinball games. They made their debut in 1993 with Epic Pinball.

But already in 1998, the focus of the company changed a lot, because at that time they started to work together with the then still young company named Epic Games on a shooter, which should be the basis for an empire, namely a game called Unreal.

The name will probably be known to many people in relation to the Unreal Engine, and it originated from this shooter from that time. Digital Extremes was also heavily involved in the multiplayer spin-off “Unreal Tournament”.

But enough about the history of the company. The important part for this video started in March 2013 with the beta release of Warframe.

Warframe – Background

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 02 Background - Hintergrund
Warframe 2020 Review&Test Background

At release the game consisted of a handful of maps, most of which were created procedurally, from a small selection of tilesets. It had hardly any story, only a few rough quests and apart from that it was more of a hack’n’slay, with the possibility to shoot as well. Warframe was first released only for Windows PCs but was soon converted for Playstation 4, Xbox, and 2018 then also for Nintendo Switch.

Directly after release, Warframe was very skeptical received and not very well rated. The player numbers were rather low. The abstract characters called “Tenno” and the “Warframes”, which are very similar to character classes, confused many players at that time. It was neither a typical “Elves and Dwarves” MMORPG nor did it offer normal quests and also the level system and equipment were organized completely different, which rather deterred many of the MMORPG fans as well as an action game and shooter players.

But Digital Extremes have not been discouraged by this. With an immense amount of hard work and years of support for this game, Warframe is now a veteran in the MMO industry alongside other classics like ESO, WOW, or Eve Online. Warframe has more than 50 million accounts. It still enjoys a steady popularity.

And just today a lot more people are playing Warframe than games that are much more covered in the press. In the most played games on Steam for example, Warframe is constantly in the top15, sometimes it even slides into the top10 of all Steam games. But what makes Warframe so special now?

Warframe – Free-to-play and Cash-Shop

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 03 Free2Play - Cash-Shop - Free to play - Monetarisierung
Warframe 2020 Review
Cash-Shop – Free to play

What is always important in a free-to-play game is the financing model and its integration into the game. There are a lot of possible ways to spend money in Warframe if you want to. There are numerous packages, there is an extensive in-game shop and on top of that you can buy your own in-game currency for real money, the Platinum.

An important aspect of this is always how important the money is in the game and what is the balance between players who pay a lot and those who want to spend very little or maybe nothing at all. Here Warframe does very well for my taste and compared to other Free2Play games. Because almost all item shop stuff that you can buy for real money is also available in the game. You can buy pretty much any Warframe if you want to, but you can just as well quest it or farm it through different systems. The same goes for weapons, pets, and other things, a lot of things can be bought, but I haven’t noticed any things that are explicitly only buyable.

An exception is the storage slots for warframes and weapons. In general, the inventory is unlimited when it comes to material, mod cards, and most things and does not have to be expanded for money. But Warframe slots, weapon slots, and also storage space for companions are limited and scarce. There are possibilities to get such slots in the game, for example through the daily and weekly quests from the radio. But this amount of slots will only be enough for a few players. So you either have to be very picky about the frames and weapons you keep, or you can help with real money. But with an investment of 10 to 20 Euro you can actually make up for this shortage completely.

Last but not least it has to be mentioned that many crafting processes take 6, 12, or up to 72 hours, and you are offered here again and again to shorten this waiting time against Platinum. But it’s not necessary and I don’t know of any player who would use it extensively. Waiting for a few hours or days is not too much trouble in this game, especially since you always have enough other things to do to bridge the waiting time.

In addition, there are numerous boosters with which you can get more experience, more money, or more resources in farming for a limited time. But on the one hand, this is not necessary and on the other hand, the game gives you such boosters from time to time, for example at the Daily Login Bonus.

Additionally, there is also the possibility to trade with items in the game against Platinum. There are always some rare items that you can find and then sell to other players for Platinum. So even players with little money on pocket have the possibility to get some item shop currency with some farms.

Warframe – The special MMO

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 04 Special MMO - Das Spezielle MMO
Warframe 2020 Review&Test
Special MMO

I think by now, the otherness of the space-setting, the mix of shooter, melee beating-up game and Parkour are part of the appeal of the game. The game also offers an enormously extensive selection of different character classes, which are called warframes here.

Altogether more than 70 different warframes have been released so far. You have to consider that some of them are available in a normal and an improved version. So you can roughly say that there are about 40 different basic types, which all play very differently. Because each of these warframes has its own skills, different basic values, and special features. This is in the MMO typical tank, damage dealer, healer, supporter system, but often goes far beyond that.

There is an astonishing number of mission variations, from simple kill tasks, hostage rescues or boss hunts, King of the Hill-style modes to espionage missions where you have to trick security systems, hack them and proceed rather insidiously. Besides the normal combat, there are also space battles in which you can freely fly around in space with your character. Additionally there are two big Open World-style maps, with a wide range of missions, but also fishing, ore mining or taming animals. And with the Railjack system you can also upgrade to a large spaceship that you can steer together with friends as a team and fight bigger space battles.

And then in addition to that, there is a huge amount of different weapons. At the moment there are about 140 different weapon models in the game, which also differ extremely in handling, functionality, speed, and feel. A Warframe can use a primary weapon like a rifle or a bow, and a secondary weapon, which is mostly pistols but sometimes also throwing stars, knives or laser emitters. And for close combat, there is a huge selection of swords, daggers, staffs up to boxing gloves, whips or gunblades. Then you can partly equip your companions with different weapons or get different equipment for your airplanes and of course upgrade and level them with mod cards.

This scope and complexity is what makes Warframe so appealing to many players today, and to me as well. Warframe is one of the most comprehensive games I know of in terms of game features and progress systems. Because actually almost everything in this game can be improved, level up and rebuilt, re-colored, individualized and customized. And a lot of content makes sure that a game doesn’t get boring so quickly.

Screenshots – Character-classes – Warframes

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Warframe – 4 Player – Coop

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 05 4 Spieler Koop - 4 Player Coop - Co-Op
Warframe Test –
4 Player Coop – Co-Op

Warframe is not a real MMO in the sense that you are constantly confronted with huge amounts of players. There are two (limited) Open World maps, but in general the whole game is map-based, instanced, and designed for one to four players in a co-op.

Most of the trips we take with our characters start with us choosing a mission on one of the planets, deciding whether we want to play solo, with our friends and/or with Randoms. Then we can put together a group accordingly and if we wish, it will be filled up with random players. But there will never be more than 4 players on a mission.

There are cities and space stations that function as quest hubs where you can meet other players. Also, the clans can build dojos, where you can meet a larger number of people. But there is, at least at the moment, no content that is designed for more than 4 players in a team. In PvP there are 4vs4 matches, but the PvP system called Conclave is not a very popular and often used part of the game. If you should be a pure PvP player, Warframe will not be able to make you happy, almost everything in this game is purely PvE-oriented.

Sometimes I wish there would be 8 player content. Or that at least in the Railjack spaceship or in the Open-World Maps you could act together with more than 4 people, but so far this is not included in the game. So if you are looking for really massive multiplayer, you won’t find it in Warframe. Warframe is a 4 player co-op loop shooter or hack-n-slay, depending on the weapons you are using.

Warframe – Basics – Orbiter, the “player house

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 06 The Orbiter - the Player-House - Orbiter - Das Spielerhaus
Warframe 2020 Review&Test 06
The Orbiter – the Player-House

Ok, but how is Warframe being played exactly? At the beginning we have a spaceship, the so-called orbiter. There we get terminals by tutorial quests, which unlock new game features. It starts at the middle level of the spaceship with the station for mod cards or those for robot companions, goes over the mighty forge to the incubator for animal companions, similar to dogs and cats, up to the relic station.

In the cockpit there is a news station, the market, the codex with a kind of library, a station for factions and also the radio, which provides us with numerous interesting side stories as well as daily and weekly tasks. The lower level gets little by little three more rooms. One of them will be a lounge where we can exhibit trophies and successes or play collected music in case we get visitors. I don’t want to spoil the other two rooms now, because they are very story-based.

It is obvious that Warframe is not lacking in features in this player base alone, which is home, control center, workshop, travel vehicle and much more in one. Over the years the game has been steadily expanded and the scope of the game is hard to imagine at the beginning.

But don’t worry, don’t shy away from the complexity. You will be introduced to these things quite slowly and through tutorials, so it shouldn’t kill you with content right away. But even after years of playing the game the permanent players don’t really run out of content.

Warframe – Level-Systems

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 07 Level-Sytems - Level-Systeme
Warframe 2020 ReviewLevel-Sytems

As already mentioned, almost everything in Warframe can be improved and leveled. Different systems are intertwined, most of them are very similar, but some of them are completely different from each other.

This starts with the warframes and all weapons and pets, which can be upgraded from 0 to level 30 and improve their basic stats. It continues with the championship rank, which in the end is the actual “main level” of the player. All kinds of basic values are attached to this rank, and new weapons and game features are activated with it. Whenever you have brought a Warframe, weapon, or pet to level 30, you will receive mastery points for it and at a certain amount of points a mastery exam will be unlocked.

There is also a huge amount of mod cards. With these mods you can equip warframes, weapons, and pets and improve their properties with them, or even give them completely new abilities. Many cards can only be used for warframes, or only for certain weapon types. The number of mods you can use increases with the level of the item and Warframe would not be Warframe if you couldn’t upgrade and improve these cards. To list the full extent of all warframes, weapons, and the effects of all these upgrading systems and the infinite variety of different variants would surely take hours.

Warframe – Factions, Quests and Stories

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 08 Fractions, Quest, Stories - Fraktionen, Aufträge und Geschichten
Warframe 2020 Review Fractions, Quest, Stories

Until now, I was talking about Warframe being a Loot-Shooter or Hack-n-Slay. Both game types are not known for telling epic stories, in many there are almost no quests at all. Warframe doesn’t have a very big focus on storytelling, but they do exist. The game plays a rough main quest series and numerous side quests. These stories are mostly told in episodes and often take place in the normal maps on the side.

The story of the game is on the one hand about a war of many factions, be it the Grineers, the Corpus, or the strangely mutated infested. But on the other hand, many smaller groups play along with the game and pull the strings of power and try to get us on your side.

Here, besides the Orokin and Sentients, there are numerous syndicates and other factions where we can collect reputation and rise in ranks. And through this we also get access to higher value items from their shops. And because that shouldn’t be too easy, some of the syndicates are very hostile to each other. We can’t be everybody’s friend. If we get a positive reputation with one group, we get a negative reputation with 2-3 other groups. This requires some planning and foresight.

There are also some longer single-player quest series, which come along with especially nicely designed and elaborately staged stories and cards, and partly really challenging puzzles and playfully demanding sequences. Partly the game here really astonished me and especially the depth of some stories and the unexpected twists in the main story inspired and surprised me several times.

I don’t want to reveal or spoil any details here, but I think that these single-player quest series alone can provide 20-40 hours of gaming fun. Whereby I can’t give a completely accurate estimate, because even after several weeks of continuous play I still haven’t seen all quest series by far.

Technology, graphics, sound

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 09 Technik, Grafik, Sound, Engine - Technics, Graphics, Sounds and Engine
Warframe 2020 Test Technics, Graphics, Sounds and Engine

Digital Extremes uses the in-house developed Evolution Engine. I can only speak for the PC version. If this should differ from the console versions, please write to me about your experiences. The engine seems to have matured graphically very well, because the models and the textures are almost always very nice and I didn’t notice any muddy or bad quality. The performance is always usefully smooth even on small systems and on midrange PCs you can expect 60 to 100 or more FPS. Since the gameplay is usually very fast and action-packed, the system offers the necessary basis here in any case.

The stability of Warframe was very positive to me. In the last months I played almost 400 hours and the number of crashes in that time is a single digit. And probably some of them were at the expense of my PC because a driver was mimicking or got a component got a bit too warm. Disconnects or asynchronies in multiplayer were also rare.

For my feeling, the setting moves in the good midfield. A lot of English voice output is included in the normal game but also especially in the story quests and everything is provided with accurately translated German subtitles. The screen texts are available completely in German and also here I didn’t notice any significant translation problems. The sound of the game is extensive and varied, the weapon sounds almost always fitting. The music is okay, nothing noteworthy intoxicating, but also no remarkably annoying pieces.

Screenshots – Warframe Gameplay

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Opinion and conclusion

Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig(German, many subtitles) 10 Opinion and Conclusion - Meinung und Fazit
Warframe 2020 Review
Opinion and Conclusion

For a free-to-play game that offers some monetizing but never really forces it and makes almost everything playable ingame, Warframe is a great gaming experience for me. It runs stable, it looks good, it has varied content and almost endless progress. It offers a lot of different game mechanics and also a wide range of graphic settings.

For fans of Loot-Shooters and Koop-MMO games, Warframe can provide very long term entertainment. And that without costing money or at least without requiring huge investments. Those who like and have, can of course spend a lot of money for cosmetic gadgets and for saving time. But as already mentioned, I have played almost 400 hours so far. Together with my wife and friends, I have had a lot of fun playing the game, without having to invest in the CashShop.

I may now be a particularly disciplined MMO player and have played many Free2Play games without spending money. But very often I had to stop playing games at some point because PaytoWin really pissed me off or simply spending no money was no way to get ahead. But after hundreds of hours of playing Warframe, all I could think about was more Warframe slots and weapon slots, and then I shook my head again and again. And so far I have spent exactly zero point zero euros. So really everything that is offered is a can, not a must. But I will probably spend some money soon, just to thank you for the good work of the team on this title and to appreciate your work.

The downside is that there is no content for more than 4 players. Some times we sat with 6 to 8 people in Teamspeak and wished that we could all start something together. Unfortunately Warframe is limited here and I guess that nothing will change in this circumstance. But if you leave this fact aside, Warframe has matured enormously in the last years and offers a great basis for hundreds of hours of gaming fun.

Rarely have I played a Free2play game that takes such a fair monetization approach. Rarely after hundreds of hours I had the feeling that somehow there was still something to earn and a lot of things to upgrade. Hardly any other game was able to surprise me with suddenly appearing completely new game features like Warframe after such a long time.

Most MMOs can be seen after only one year that the developers have given up on them or just want to pump the money out of the last remaining players. And I never got that feeling with Warframe. There seems to be a group of developers at work here who like your project and keep it alive and constantly look for ways to improve it and then implement them.

Warframe has matured extremely well. It is more extensive and varied than almost any other game I know. And that without wanting to sell you 10 DLCs and then on top of that having to pay 10-15 Euro monthly fees out of your pocket so that you can log in at all. I take my hat off to Digital Extremes and their commendable work on this particular game. Of course, not everything is perfect, of course, not everything is for free. But here I feel well entertained as a player, taken seriously and not milked.

My thanks to Digital Extremes for this excellent work and the entertaining gameplay.

Rating

All in all, I would like to give Warframe a 90 % base score. Just the fact that the whole game is only designed for 4 players and there is no activity for larger circles of friends makes me subtract 5% from that. This results in a final rating for Warframe in 2020, seven years after release, of 85%.

Warframe

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Warframe 2020 Review&Test des Free2Play Koop MMO-7 Jahre, nicht Langweilig
Warframe 2020 Review / Test of the Free2Play Koop MMO – 7 years and not a little boring
Warframe 2020 – A Co-op MMO that was already released in 2013 and was only moderately successful back then, is not only still on the market today, but more popular than ever. What is so special about Warframe? Warframe can be played on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. What made the free-to-play game in the space sci-fi setting with Ninja ambiance so popular? And is it more fun today than back then? All current information about the Co-op Loot shooter with Hack’n’Slash and some Parkour here in the Warframe 2020 Review.
Setting
Features
Graphics
Sound
Stability
Variety
Scope
Cash-Shop Fairness

Wertung

All in all, I would like to give Warframe a 90 % base score. Just the fact that the whole game is only designed for 4 players and there is no activity for larger circles of friends makes me subtract 5% from that. This results in a final rating for Warframe in 2020, seven years after release, of 85%.

4.3

Outro

If you’re still in the game now, I hope you were pleased with what I wanted to tell you about the game. Please feel free to write me your opinion or questions below. I’m looking forward to you sharing this content with your friends, Likes and subscriptions are of course also great. You can always find more reviews, gaming news, and tips and tricks here on zapzockt.de – Then have a great day, ciao ciao, your Zap

Warframe Website:
https://www.warframe.com/

Warframe Steam-Page:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/230410/Warframe/

Warframe Wiki en:
https://warframe.fandom.com/wiki/WARFRAME_Wiki

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Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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