IGN is currently offering Beta testing keys for Warframe, an upcoming co-op based action/ shooter, set for a PC release in the fall of this year. The game places you in a dangerous future as a member of the ‘Tenno’, the only race capable of wielding exoskeleton war suits known as the ‘warframes’, and the last line of defence against the onslaught of the aggressive ‘Greneer’ faction. Gameplay is set over a number of bases and requires you to complete missions whilst driving back the enemy, who were thoughtful enough to set up their bases in single file. Over at www.warframe.com, Beta testers are being offered the chance to purchase exclusive and temporarily available ‘founders’ content, along with competitions and of course a free closed Beta version of the game itself.
Although the pretext sounds a lot like other games on the market such as Halo Infinity, there are definitely some interesting features on offer. There are 8 diverse classes of warframe for Beta testers to try out, each offering different abilities based on strength, battlefield manipulation, enemy manipulation and other increasingly epic ‘space ninja’ action. From there one can utilise different techniques such as the telekinesis-like ‘mag pull’, or a unique ‘enemy switch’ which allows a player to flank their enemies by switching places with one of them. More abilities are unlocked as you level up, and though at first the game may seem relatively lacklustre without them, the combat itself is well flowing enough to convince gamers to be patient. The swordplay alone is a joy to utilise in such close quarters.
According to Creative Director Steve Sinclair, gameplay is based on mission based raids ‘with a gun, a sword and a crazy power suit’, and a single session hosts up to four players. It moves away from cutscene laden console shooters, and aims to create a universe where players can ‘share stories’ of their own making. Relying on the over-arching conflict with no characterisation may work for a lot of games, though the excitement in the gameplay and levelling system will need to remain consistent to keep people interested.
There is definitely space for a great game here, and I’m looking forward to the final fine tuning which will make it complete. Definitely worth keeping an eye on, this one, so make sure you get your Beta key while you can.