Warframe: How Digital Extremes finds success while others of the kind struggle

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How is it that a free-to-play title remains more relevant than some of today’s biggest blockbuster should-have-beens? Suit up, buckle in, and prepare to enter the world of Warframe.

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Warframe’s Fortuna update is headed to consoles on Dec. 10 (Updated)

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The wait is almost over as Digital Extremes announces that Fortuna has been submitted for certification on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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Opinion: There’s a lot that developers can learn from Warframe

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Warframe is a premium free-to-play game that is constantly evolving and growing as a living-and-breathing entity featuring millions of players around the world across three different platforms with the Nintendo Switch joining in soon. But what sets Warframe apart from the rest? Let’s talk about that.

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Warframe Beginner’s Guide – How to Master Harrow in ‘Chains of Harrow’

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As the games newest Warframe, Harrow offers a steep learning curve as this warframes approach to combat isn’t your typical one. Harrow, at heart, is a combination of support and tank. Its abilities allow the frame to sustain your group through health regeneration, damage mitigation, and even energy regeneration while in combat.

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Review: Warframe: Chains of Harrow – Horror Comes to Space

Pros:
+
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

Cons:
-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.


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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.

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Warframe’s Update ‘Chains of Harrow’ Lands on Consoles Today

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Fans of the independent developer and publisher Digital Extremes can rejoice on consoles as the Warframe Update ‘Chains of Harrow’ has launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting today. The new update features quite a few changes that fans have been looking forward to rather new or old or even returning.

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Trying to Obtain the Helminth Charger in Warframe? Here’s a Guide

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If you’ve been playing Warframe over the past year, there’s no doubt you’ve been working side by side with your furry friends, and having them take to the enemies of the Tenno. If you’ve also explored your liset (ship), you’re well aware about the infection wrapped around a singular door, and what it may contain behind its sealed airlocks.

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Warframe’s ‘The Plains of Eidolon’ is Open-World on a Massive Scale

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When it comes to free-to-play games such as Warframe, the grow in an attempt to become organic. So much so that new features are constantly added into the game in order for it to grow. They are games that want to feel as if they are living, breathing entities, and seek to invite their players to continue their gameplay as their games grow.

Among these additions comes the idea that the game must add in new features, continually push itself in new ways that were never before seen, and allow the fans to continue a games efforts in growing. This is the case with Warframe – Plains of Eidolon. The update is one that will be bringing in more than just an open-world however.

If you are to watch through the trailer as far as you can get, there’s a massive amount of new features from crafting your own weapons, to naming those weapons, and even working with the local villagers of Cetus in order to complete quests for them. While no definite date has been given for this massive update, we do know it’ll be out later in 2017, and will be playable by PC then both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

You can also read, by taking the link below, how we view Warframe and why it should change your view on both F2P and Pay-to-Play games.

Warframe Can Change the Way Players Should View Triple-A and Free-to-Play Titles


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

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 TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Review: Warframe: The War Within – War, War Never Changed

Pros:
+
Massively immersive solo narrative campaign that is driven through cinematics
+New Grineer enemies are a fresh breath for the game
+More depth to the Warframe universe through a AAA like gaming experience
+Proves that Warframe is more than a free-to-play game through another massive update

Cons:
The War Within being locked behind the Sedna relay requirements proved to be a bit more work than needed to enjoy a story.


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Over the past three years players have brain-stormed together to figure out much of Warframe’s backstory. It’s a game that has both intrigued the curiosity of fans, but also their creativity, and their need to know more about the games universe. Most recently we decided to sit down and give all the campaigns a rather large whirl here at Blast Away the Game Review. What we found? A game filled with lore, rife with content, and one that could expand upon such things over time.

In this latest update (followed by today’s new content update featuring a brand new Warframe), we get to take a look at one of the most anticipated features ever, and that one is the Queens of the Grineer. Before continuing, I do want to note that this is going to be filled with Spoilers. It is advised that if you do not want spoilers, it’s time to turn away from the page, and enjoy the content we have hidden throughout our site.

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Sit-Rep: Sword Coast Legends – Do Swords Clash Well on Consoles?

Pros:
+Beautiful top down cRPG that follows a play style close to Baulders Gate
+Class system is very much along the lines of pen and paper DnD in real time
+Character creation is in-depth, intuitive and does require attention to stats

Cons:
Extremely Limited Dungeon Master Mode
Character classes at start are limited as are race selections
Horrific quest markers that seem out-of-place and rather misleading

 


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A lot has happened since Sword Coast Legends launched on PC earlier this year. Thanks to our friends at Digital Extremes I was able to get my hand on the original PC release. A lot has honestly changed since then thanks to the DLC content, but also some fine tuning that the game needed rather badly. In my previous review, I also stated I’ve experienced some in real life hysterical moments with my friends Matt and Ben when we sat at a table to play Dungeons & Dragons on weekends.

For this review, we’ll once more pretend I didn’t play with my friends, that I don’t know what D&D is, and I certainly don’t know the legendary Gary Gygax. In this review I’m also pushing to the side I have previous experience of the game and approaching it from a new view all together thanks to Digital Extremes and my friend as well as colleague Christopher Adee. So let us get this underway.

Sword Coast Legends Keeps the D&D Fans Know Alive

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When it comes to D&D we’ve all had that feeling that we’ve walked in circles many-a-times. We’ve seen games such as Baldurs Gate, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, Neverwinter Nights, and even an MMO-version of Neverwinter release across all platforms. Among these many titles we now have Sword Coast Legends, which is oddly familiar in many ways. Much like Neverwinter Nights, Sword Coast Legends fills a much needed gap when it comes to D&D Games, unlike the publishers game Warframe, it doesn’t sate a deeply hungering desire that players have.

As one would expect, Dungeon Master is something that’d be rather important within the game and honestly it is one that should have performed the best. Unfortunately, this isn’t where the game shines in all unfortunate circumstances. Much like any game, D&D titles survive based on story, which is where Sword Coast Legends shines the best out of it all. Much like any D&D title, players begin the game as a part of a mercenary band, a member of the Burning Dawn guild, and one that must guide their caravan to the pirate city of Luskan. Being attacked by a group of mercenaries being led by a Knight of Helm, players finds their guild is being condemned by him for possibly being composed of demon worshipers.

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By the end of this beginning sequence players find themselves investing the city of Luskan around the Sword Coast and looking for answers to what is happening to them. While the opening cut scene was one players will be rather familiar with, it’s an issue that this game comes across besides the fact it had a chance to be intriguing, albeit difficult at the same time. The game comes out with a default “defend the caravan” scenario where players will get acquainted with combat by fighting rats, goblins, and the infamous mercenaries we discussed.

While the game grabs our attention by killing off a caravan member early on, players could easily cringe if they’ve played Pillars of Eternity since both games begin almost on the same note. If you’re like myself, don’t equip all your party members with the best gear you find, there is a chance you will lose them and the gear itself won’t remain permanent. Once getting this out of the way, the game effectively joins the collective of games that Bioware has inspired after the release of their Knights of the Old Republic titles. Players will find themselves growing accustomed to wandering around multiple landscapes such as sewers, woodlands, abandoned castles, dungeons, caves, and the likes. Sadly, this is something that remains rather common within Sword Coast Legends.

It Gets a Bit Weirder for Sword Coast Legends

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While one would assume enjoying a game wouldn’t be a common occurrence, it’s something that does tend to happen quite often, which makes it odd to the games pacing. Players will find themselves doing it quite often to level up their party members, choosing items, placing points into spells, and even itemizing themselves properly so that they may become insanely overpowered. This all, of course, requires a bit of Dungeons and Dragons know-how players may be unfamiliar with at first. Trust me, it happened to me to, and I know D&D somewhat well as long as it sat within the 2.5 guidelines.

While the A.I. knew what it was doing, I did find myself swapping to my healer, more-so to ensure healing would be done properly, and would provide proper buffs needed to complete each battle. Trust me, it worked, and quite a bit. One thing that players will find problematic isn’t that the difficulty isn’t there, but it’s the fact it isn’t there when it should be and is there when it shouldn’t be. A few rats or a few goblins? No problem. Have your caster blind them, freeze them, and annihilate them with their most powerful AoE spell.

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While Chris and I did take time to notice the difficulty didn’t scale in our favor, we wiped a few times, picked up the pieces and tried once more. With the few kinks in our mistakes cleared out, we ran off, grabbed our objective, and were on our merry ways due to our excessive amounts of healing items and defensive potions. Not that this is problematic at all, but the reviving friendlies without a spell doesn’t help to alleviate this issue. The only time I found a real problem was when Chris took over the tank only to have our cleric waste a healing spell that wasn’t needing to be used a few times. The other issue? The AI loved to use our healing kits, potions, and resources without really needing them, which left us in fear of never having them when they are truly need in things such as a boss fight.

With that aside, the game is quite enjoyable thanks to the character classes that are in play, which puts each character uniquely crafted as you start recruiting your party. With the new leveling system, players will be able to build the characters they want through these rather in-depth skill trees. For those unfamiliar to D&D, these may be a bit dumbfounding at first, but once figured out, they’re quite fun. Want a battle caster? That’s fine, craft your caster to do so based on the large array of skill trees to do so. My fire mage? He quickly went battle mage, which isn’t uncommon in the game. I made him good for close range combat while wearing light armor. I’m sure Hommet was calling me dirty things in the background. It happens, but he’ll fight through the storm. Our rogue? I made her more useful at picking locks, revealing secrets, and dealing delicious amounts of damage without being spotted.

Our little elf friend cleric? She quickly became our dedicated healer. While many would frown upon my choices, it’s because this game easily made this capable of happening as characters level up, and offer players a chance to designate characters to how they want them. If you are out adventuring and have a class missing from your party that synergies with your build? You could find yourself troubled, but thanks to the class system that shouldn’t happen, and won’t if you prepare properly. The only thing dumbfounding is that characters can communicate from camp by the means of magic. Wait, dwarves can’t use magic can they?

Oh, Dungeon Master… You Need Some Upgrades

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While finding people to play with on Sword Coast Legends was enjoyable, I found myself cringing on several instances, but not because of the multiplayer. The game honestly has one of the most solid netcodes I’ve experienced to date, but the fact the game goes beyond the campaign and leaves players to an opportunity to play the Dungeon Master mode, which is troubled due to its rather lacking amount of content.

Just like in tabletop D&D, players are given a chance to allow players to build their own dungeons and play them shortly after. Sound familiar to anyone? We did this in Neverwinter Nights also. Players can select from traps, monsters, and loot tables for players to enjoy. While it could be heavily edited, it’d have been nice to see more complex codes so that players could add in interactive NPC’s, secret rooms, and even special loot sets for players to discover.

Sword Coast Legends – PC, PlayStation 4 (PlayStation 4), Xbox One
Developer: n-Space
Publisher: Digital Extremes
Cost: $19.99
Release Date: Now Available

 

Much as you’d expect, once your dungeon is build, you can take your friends or internet friends on an enjoyable spin through your carefully crafted world. Players can directly manage the party so as to make the progression of their friends even more challenging and unpredictable. Of course, this can be done without intentionally making them fail like I did a few times to show what DMs are capable of. The Dungeon Maser can openly place new traps, new missions, and spend resources (threat) to provide an elevated sense of difficulty to their dungeons.

Unlike my chances at home, Sword Coast Legends’ difficulties have proven true as to what I had expected. While some could harp on the game for such a lacking feature, it’s one that the publisher Digital Extremes could have had developer n-Space improve upon post launch. The downside to this is even more painful – n-Space has closed, which means no new content will be headed this way. We can only hope that Sword Coast Legends gets improved upon by famed publisher Digital Extremes by providing some of the love they’ve shown to Warframe.


Our review is based upon the final version that the publisher provided us with.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 6 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

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 TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.