What Would You Change About… Warframe?
We’re checking out Warframe for our next “What Would You Change About…?” article, the action packed free to play shooter that lets you take on the role of Tenno, an ancient race locked in deep stasis that have woken up to a war (harsh); with a variety of skills, weapons and superhuman acrobatics you are essentially a space ninja. The game has a solid focus on PVE co-op where teams of 4 go up against the AI opponents through a variety of randomly generated maps or engage in some of the PVP against other players. The first impressions of the game are glowing, great look, great design, fun and fast gameplay, but beneath the surface there are cracks that ultimately allow the game to slip from its pedestal of potential greatness and suffer with some fundamental problems, at least as far as we’re concerned. So what are those problems I hear you ask? Well read on…
The Shallow Tactical Combat
The combat is fun, it’s just not that difficult. Getting into the game with a capable group can pretty much mean you roll over the majority of enemies that are going to come your way, no matter how many waves they send; this in mind it’s quite hard to get excited about playing or nervous about the outcome, it feels like it is pretty much a dead cert that you will win it’s just a matter of how long it will take you. Take a look at raid content in MMORPGs, players can pretty much master them and will rarely wipe when everyone knows their role, but the mechanics and level of communication needed over voice chat is quite intense and a few small missteps and the bad times can quickly snowball and end up with the raid having too much on their plate. Warframe doesn’t even require voice communications, with its 4 man teams the level of strategy needed is shallow, the AI tactics are quite weak and whilst they may occasionally take some cover they typically rely on just trying to overwhelm the group with sheer numbers. The result is that all you need to do is focus on shooting everything.. and this is the same for every fight; if there was a need for players to support with suppression, or dash from cover to cover against insanely difficult threats, if there was a greater chance to be defeated then the game would offer a greater challenge and a greater feeling of achievement.. and overall make you want to play.
Stale “Random” Maps
The maps become very similar after a while. Whilst the maps are relatively random they can also be quite generic at times and it doesn’t take that long before you feel like you’re always walking down the same corridor or heading into an all too familiar room. Whilst we love the dynamic approach to creating random layout dungeons the problem is more in the lack of new tiles/themes that are used and so what is available gets a little repetitive all too quickly. Combined with the same kinds of enemies that you constantly face, paired up with the above shallow tactical combat, it does start to feel like a bit of a grind. The game needs more atmospheres and environments to really break up the monotony of the already bleak looking maps (albeit we like the dull/cold look and style).
No Real Team Play
Combat feels like a bunch of solo players in the same group. In part due to the lack of tactics required as we already mentioned meaning that “shoot everything” is the go to action what you typically see is a group entering a room and then everyone splitting off doing their own thing to try and get the most kills and wave their e-peens. Combine this lack of regional servers means that, as an EU player, we can typically end up in a group where not everyone speaks the same language so there’s very little ability to communicate even if there was a need and so few people seem to be willing to use the voice chat. We’d like to see a more universal “Ping” system like what you see in MOBA so that players can communicate with each other without the need of chat or voice, some typical commands such as guard this area, move forward, flank the target, assist me, etc. to give instant commands.
Interest Drops Off Quite Quickly
The game just becomes samey all too soon. There comes a point where you’ve gotten to grips with the controls and mechanics, you’ve worked out how to play a couple of Warframes, you’ve played the maps enough times to start seeing some repetition in their layouts, the AI is getting progressively more difficult, but the combat is staying very much the same. This epiphany comes only after a few hours of gameplay, round about the time you’re really starting to look at tracking down materials and schematics to open up the crafting system to really start modding your Warframes and weapons. With the realisation that the game is offering less and less and you finding yourself in the position of needing to acquire a LOT of materials… the grind begins, and it doesn’t ever really end. The mid to end game just sort of… plateaus, it feels like it is building up to something, some new feature, some more strategic bosses, but then it doesn’t deliver and you’re left feeling disappointed. Taking the tedium out of the game is a multiple strike attack: more maps, less grind, more difficult enemies, the result will be that the pace of the progression feels much more worthwhile than the relentless slog to play through the same content with different Warframes over and over.
These are some of the things that we would change about Warframe, but what do you think? What would you change about this game? Would you add anything else to the list? We await your opinions! Let us know!!!!!