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Free-to-play isn't just for Facebook bobblehead games anymore.
When I hear the worlds "free to play," it always brings to mind Facebook games designed with cutesy bobblehead doll characters or MMOs that couldn't make their investment back on a subscription model fast enough for their investors. Warframe is different, a high-production, free-to-play, third-person action game for PC and PS4.
In Warframe, you play as a member of the Tenno, a race that has been in a long cryogenic sleep, who awaken to find themselves under attack by a number of galactic threats. However, you are not without defenses, as you can discover the Warframes, a long lost technology, exoskeletal suits which are locked to Tenno genetic code. It's as if someone left behind a host of the cybernetic technology that powered Gray Fox in Metal Gear Solid; they make you into a badass space ninja.
On the PS4 Warframe is currently running between 35 to 48 frames a second, according to the rep from Digital Extremes, though they're targeting 60 for the final release of the game. The environments in Warframe should never get stale, since the game builds them progressively and new environmental assets are added regularly. It currently has 13 Warframes, over 70 weapons, and 11 different modes.
The game is a third-person action title where you can pack a rifle, a melee weapon, and the different special attacks of your Warframe. On the PS4 the special attacks can be activated by swiping directionally on the Dualshock 4 touchpad. Gameplay is a mix of run-and-gun and hack-and-slash melee, quickly moving from firing with your gun to dismembering one of your Grineer opponents with the slash of your sword.
The development of Warframe is ongoing, and they seem extremely devoted to continuously updating the game to keep it fresh.They recently added a clan feature to the game, with a dojo where you can meet members of your clan and even challenge others to a 1-1 duel. They are currently on a 4-6 week update schedule during which they introduce new content, whether it be weapons, environment sections, Warframes or upgrades, etc.
The demo level shown at E3 felt very similar to Mass Effect 3's multiplayer co-op. However, this may have been because it was locked into one of the defensive game modes, in which you must survive against waves of enemies. It differs, even then, with the customization and powers of the frames, the speed and equal emphasis on melee, and the powers of the Warframes.
While Warframe is a free-to-play game, it isn't pushing the monetization of the upgrades; everything can be achieved in-game. It will be a PS4 launch game, so if you can't afford games along with your shiny new console, there will definitely be good looking games like Warframe with a lot of content to play.