Now that I’ve played Warframe a lot more, I’ve gained some insight into the structure of the game and the means by which it acquires revenue. While I am most likely going to rant a fair bit about certain aspects, keep in mind that Warframe is still in open beta, thus subject to sudden content updates, rebalances, and other changes.
First of all, I’d like to cover the paywall. Paywalls tend to be interest-killers after players are specifically told that a game is free-to-play. Warframe’s paywall is spontaneous and brutal; your inventory is limited, and once you run out of space, you need to buy more slots. There is no way to purchase inventory slots with in-game credits, so don’t bother searching for alternatives. Warframe slots are 20 platinum apiece, while weapon slots are 12 for 2. This isn’t too bad, considering you can get 75 platinum for $5, on top of the fact that the daily login reward has a chance to drop 20, 50, and 75% off platinum purchase coupons. What is brutal is that players are not informed that they will eventually run out of inventory space, thus the spontaneous inability to collect new gear and subsequently level up your account will cause most players to drop Warframe like a bad conversation.
As I mentioned in my prelim review, this one is a game of patience. Things take time: The crafting system, finding good mods through alerts, grinding for drops, waiting for the login reward to be a decent discount… It’s hard to be a casual Warframe player, as most of the perks come with regular activity. If you can tolerate the early stages and the sudden but cheap paywall, you’ll have a lot of fun.
Regarding solo play, it would be best if you knew that this is a game you absolutely cannot one-man-army unless you are specifically equipped to do so, or are a total pro at third person shooters. The revive system is built around multiplayer, and is not forgiving to lone wolves. Enemies spawn in full force, deal full damage, and the like. In multiplayer, your team can revive you within 20 seconds if you get downed. Without even having a team to revive you… yeah. No mercy. Down is dead. Bad luck, chummy. A bit of good news is that you receive four revives per Warframe per day, so if you have a lot of Warframes, you can afford to screw around alone.
In my opinion, the best way to play Warframe is to binge on inventory slots and craft as much as you can. The weapons and Warframes available are all unique and fun, so by experimenting, you’re more or less guaranteed to find something that suits your style. On top of that, crafting and leveling items provides dramatic experience boosts to your overall rank, which will in turn allow access to higher level gear.
On the flipside, frequent play makes you realize just how redundant the game can get at times. Grinding for experience and items and levels can be a real chore, especially if you’re playing with randoms. Playing with buddies, taking occasional trips to the Orokin void, derelict, and being escorted to stupidly high level areas can be great fun if your boredom is becoming terminal.
Two final personal notes: One, why the hell does Zephyr take 600 rare as hell Oxium to craft? Rhino does her job better in almost every way. Two, this Phage trend is making me feel irate whenever I see glowing tentacles. Don’t look too deeply into that last statement.
Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer played the Ps4 version, which doesn’t seem to matter because he firmly believes that both versions are utter bullshit. I don’t blame him! It’s a casual game that locks out casuals. Pack rats be warned, however: this game will eat your soul. Here’s the alt review if you want to read about Warframe in a very negative light: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-02-warframe-review