+New Lighting engine allows for a subtle change in how shadows and lights work.
+Storytelling follows a familiar trail that was witnessed with “Second Dream” content.
+New Warframe offers not seen before mechanics in the game that works quite well.
+New tilesets offer a breath of fresh air to older tilesets.
+New weapons and character skins offer quite a new appeal to the game.
–Various bugs that are being reported on the forums regarding interface bugs and performance ones..
–Inaros quest objectives can be difficult to find for some without a guide.
There’s always been a place in my heart for new additions to games whether they are new and old. This has been something that has been amazing about Warframe with each passing day. The game has received more content than one would expect to keep the game fresh, but not ultimately changed to the point of being hard to notice due to these changes. The latest addition to these subtle changes comes in the element of mission objectives and storytelling that once more drives this content update home. This time around the game doesn’t revolve around many protagonists we’ve come to know such as “Natah” aka Lotus or even people such as Teshin, but instead our story evolves around a lesser known character by the name of Baro Ki’teer. The update itself also revolves around the game’s mechanic upgrades that evolve around mechanical and systematic upgrades such as lighting, texture collision, and even small tweaks to offer a more fleshed out experience for those who have been playing the game, but also for those returning to it.
At the heart of Sands of Inaros is the campaign, something that Christopher Adee and myself spent plenty of time with in order to experience it for both the “E.O.D. Tech Site” as well as this review. In Sands of Inaros we are given the glimpse into a civilization that had been wiped out due to a mysterious invasion, one that left a once thriving village in peril upon attack, and eventually lead to them having been wiped out. In turn it has become a task for the player to uncover the truth of what happened and the truth behind the Tomb of Inaros that has caused this Warframe to go hidden. While players do this they will find themselves undergoing the game with several new features such as lightning, particle effects, and even more detailed shadow effects. This truly shines while doing the Sands of Inaros missions where players will see several new tilesets that offer a variety of appearances for the game.
As much as the story would be one to discuss, the story is one of the several things about the update that truly shines. While I wish I had footage that could compare pre-Update 18.5 to 18.5, I truly wish it were plausible to emphasize on how well the lighting and shadows have been vastly improved upon, but so has the Sabotage missions, which now stand at Reactor Sabotage 2.0. This new variant of Sabotage is quite fun as it is no longer a single ball that spins repeatedly forcing players to shoot at it until each reactor shard is broken, but now has reactor pipes that players must destroy in order to start the complete melt down. This alone has offered up a nice change for the game. Along with this subtle and welcomed change, we are also greeted with new change on how we can gain Focus for the Tenno, which allows for players to have a chance at getting even more XP towards their focus and giving them the ability to level it up or to unlock their new focus they are using if they’ve already moved onto the next one. Convergence, however, is what causes these Focus items to drop as Convergence is a unique pick-up that lasts for a short amount of time and will spawn at a random point on the player’s current tileset in a short distance from them. This is indicated with a new icon and allows players to have a 6x Focus multiplier for 45 seconds that allows for players to enjoy their killing spree.
With this new change, player focus has also been increased from a daily cap of 75k to 100k as players will be able to get an increase with the type of lense they are using in the following increments:
Normal Lens: 1.25% without Convergence
Normal Lens: 7.5% with Convergence (multiplied by 6)
Greater Lens: 1.75% without Convergence
Greater Lens : 10.5% with Convergence (multiplied by 6)
With these lenses players are able to increase their chance at upping their abilities for their Focus and enabling their Tenno to become one of the most powerful enemies that the universe has ever seen. We can only assume this will change overtime since the Focus system is in early beta at this time.
Along with these changes comes Season 4 of the Sortie Missions, which are quite addicting, albeit they are challenging enough that some players will skip their daily sorties for the current day. Sorties now have two reward seconds: repeatable and non-repeatable. The rewards window does now emphasize what awards players can and can’t get multiple times as they play through. The non-repeatable missions are checked off when obtain and will not allow players to obtain them again for the season. Instead it is replaces with things such as Rare 5 Fusion Cores, Bundles, etc, depending on the players unlock. This could change overtime and allows for a nice change of pacing for players who are dedicated to sortie missions on a daily basis.
For many, Inaros himself will be the focus point of this content update as he offers a unique twist to Warframes known combat systems. As a first, Inaros does not come with a shield at all. Instead players will find themselves relying on his abilities to control combat by blinding enemies with Desiccation, which blinds enemies as Inaros knocks sand in their eyes and debilitates them, opening them up for a completely powerful blow that can one shot just about any enemy on the field. If he does? His health is restored, which is quite important as combat is already fast enough and enemies die quicker than needed at some point in combat. His second ability is another unique twist, one that takes notes from Nekros’ “Shadows of the Dead”, which is called Devour, which allows him to kill an enemy, heal while doing so, and summon a sand form of them self. Amidst battle he excels and changes the battlefield rapidly by turning into a sandstorm. Lastly is his ultimate ability, “Scarab Armor”, which allows him to decrease the damage taken while combat. In turn he can also turn this ability into an offensive capability where he will unleash it upon enemies so that his scarabs may damage the enemy and heal him at the same time.
For those wondering about the new weapons called Lesion, Mutalist Cernos, Staticor, and Dual Toxocyst will not be disappointed with just how powerful these weapons actually are. Their enjoyment is actually brought forth a unique experience that some may be familiar with while exploring the game with them. The Lesion is a rather powerful polearm that delivers a powerful blow as it increases in attack speed with status procs. Much like how the Mutalist Cernos fires off Toxin damage where it’s arrows land, but the Dual Toxocyst also speeds up as it kills targets with critical hits. As for the Staticor? It delivers a powerful blow that knocks enemies back while taking them out of the fight if they can’t take a hit from it once it’s charged up. Each of these weapons offer a unique twist to battle as enemies will learn to fear the armament of the Tenno. While we wish there was a new sentinel, the new weapons and appearance items offer enough for us to enjoy and keep at what we are doing and how we are doing it.
While this update could be even bigger, it’s nice to see that its overhaul, a whopping 7.8GB’s on PS4 and Xbox One, brought a nice bit of changes to the game and keeps on making the game feel as though it is a triple “A” title. While it is a free-to-play, the development team has been loyal to it, bringing the title forth even more with new mission types, more titleset possibilities, constant giveaways, and even playing with their own fan base during their weekly live-stream. Even though this review could be much bigger, it’s hard to truly dig through what this content update is about and leaving Christopher Adee a chance to talk about more-insight to this update via his upcoming “E.O.D. Tech Site”, but much of the content appraisal is because of the content that is still up and coming, that will leave this review as in-progress for this time being. We’ll add more as the patch gets underway with future updates to it. As it stands now? Digital Extremes has had a great track record with their DLC releases and remains doing so as they help keep the game alive. Now if only we could get that tie in with Dark Sector one day.
Our review is based on the public release of the game, which is Free-to-Play. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writers:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.