+Adds unforeseen elements of psychological horror elements into Warframe
+Continues to extend the lore behind the Tenno
+Rell is an absolutely captivating character
+Earths re-modeling is absolutely amazing
-Harrow is hard to find and must be farmed from random targets
-Mission complete screens take away from player immersion
Editor’s Note: This review does contain spoilers. We suggest you pass on reading this write-up if you plan on enjoying the story. If you do read below here, please acknowledge that you have been warned, and we are not to be held responsible for you doing so.
Since the day Digital Extremes released Warframe, there’s no doubt the developer has made strides to continue growing their smash-hit free-to-play title. It’s a game that has yet to even cease its growth over the past three years. With the game now having a lore, in-depth backstories, and an upcoming open world; Digital Extremes has set up an amazing future for their game. Last week PlayStation 4 was given the long-awaited Chains of Harrow update, which features an entirely new story, and even a new Warframe by the name of Harrow.
To usher in his approach, they also introduced Harrows unique set of weapons, his syndana, and the frames former users backstory. To begin, Chains of Harrow isn’t what you’re expecting. The recent content update comes with a unique take on the Warframe universe and even delves into some of the games backstory (you’ll know what we’re talking about if you’ve done Second Dream). The story behind Chains of Harrow begins when players take on the quest it starts out weirder than any of the games previous quests.
Players are introduced through a séance as the event gets underway, the story unfolds. The Red Veil have been up to something, but what’s creepier isn’t the words that they listen to. Instead its the way the audio has been worked, which shows Digital Extremes has tapped into their inner horror fan. Their use of audio queues is phenomenal from start to finish with Chains of Harrow, and for those of you looking to experience the questline, you will want to do so with a pair of surround sound headphones if they are available. We can guarantee that the hair on the back of your neck will be raised within the 45 minutes it takes to complete the quest.
Once the transmission ends, players find themselves arriving upon an abandoned Steel Meridian ship. The mission is simple. Search for clues, the crew, and the source of the hints at whom is behind the sudden anomaly taking place. Once done players are introduced to one of the newest Tenno, our first Tenno outside of player characters. His name? Rell. Rell is unique in video games because he’s one of the first autistic characters that players will ever meet in gaming. There’s very few characters like this whether or not that developers intentionally push the uniqueness of characters such as Rell.
His portrayal as an autistic is what makes him even more unique than what one would think. It’s his uniqueness that is displayed through how he talks, how he acts, but also scenes where players are given a chance to see Rell with cards displaying emotional facial expressions. These expressions are things he does not understand as his autism is severe enough the world for him is seen through a very different aspect. One such moment is how he reacts to the happenings in his past and lets his void energy show this throughout the entirety of the questline.
The update does not forego this approach in any means, even tot he very end. This very value and use of a disorder such as autism is what makes Rell one of the most unique NPCs players will ever meet with in Warframe. This is where Digital Extremes deserves a high five for their unique drive to bring a story home through emotional values. Even Rell himself, will make you wish you knew him, you could help him, and that you could even know more about him. Luckily enough, you can if you jump onto the official Warframe website here and read his story by clicking the little image on the top right of the screen.
Overall the update also features something players have been rallying for. Earth has been heavily revamped with graphical overhauls that could very well occur within Warframes entirety. This overhaul isn’t something ground breaking, but it is something that fans will be excited for none-the-less thanks to the enhanced lighting, new foliage, and even particle effects. The changes are more noticeable on the PC version where graphics can exceed that of consoles, but it doesn’t go without saying. The console version has been stabalized quite a bit by this update. Additionally the upgrade on Riven Mod drop chances has been rather appealing as the drop chance has been upped from 23% to 25%, allowing players to obtain Riven Mods for all weapon classes now.
Even Iron Wake, the new Steel Meridian hideout has received a generous appearance to it and could very well serve as a future stronghold due to the events of Chains of Harrow. To wrap things up, Chains of Harrow exceeds where many updates have not. It continues on delivering a story that feeds upon the games previous lore. Lets just hope we get to see more of Rell in future updates even with the occurrences of the most recent story.
Stay tuned for our guide on how to master Harrow and his weaponry this week.
Our review is based upon the free-to-play game’s latest update. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer:
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.