Thank you Digital Extremes for providing us with 5,000 platinum!
Warframe is a free to play cooperative third person shooter set in a sci-fi universe. You can create/join factions and form four person squads to complete various missions across the galaxy. Liberate planets and harvest resources from them to create and modify your weapons and armor. Tenno warriors are a force to be reckoned with, can you live up to their reputation?
Tenno warriors are masters of the Warframe armor, swords, and guns. They are the ultimate warriors. Not many have survived the old war, but there are some scattered in cryostasis chambers across the galaxy. Even in their cryogenic state, they are still seen as a threat and are being hunted by the Grineer faction. The Lotus computer has woken you up Tenno. It's time to get ready for war.
There are many Warframe/warrior types to choose from. No matter your fighting style, there's a Warframe available to compliment it. I went with the well rounded Excalibur model. There are stealth, elemental (fire, frost, water, magnetic, electric), acrobatic, and healing Warframes to choose from.
Once your Warframe is chosen it's time to learn how to use it and equip your primary, secondary, and melee weapons. The tutorial will explain the controls which are fairly easy to learn. Once you have the basics down it's time to complete some missions.
In order to unlock new sectors and planets to explore, you have to complete a set number of missions. Each of the 250+ missions have a suggested level range. Fortunately, there is some variety in the missions as there are eighteen different mission types. Some have you gather resources while others have you take control of and defend radio towers to intercept enemy broadcasts. There are rescue missions where you have to infiltrate a prison to locate your target and safely lead them back to the extraction point.
If you like tower defense games you'll enjoy the defense mode where you have to survive five increasingly difficult waves of enemies before given an option to extract or stick around for better rewards. After completing a mission you may be rewarded with experience, credits, and mod cards.
Experience gained makes your character more powerful and the more you use a weapon, the better you get at it. Modifying your weapons with mod cards can make them even more lethal. Like many games that revolve around grinding, there's always a better weapon to strive towards getting.
There are hundreds of weapons available to buy, craft and modify in the market place. While most can be purchased with in-game credit, there are some that are only available with platinum currency that is purchased outside of the game. Besides weapons, you can also buy holiday themed outfits and companions. I had a Dethcube hovering over me and shooting enemies that got too close for comfort.
Unfortunately, the Dethcube's description contains a word I would not like my kids to be repeating. Like many online games you can chat with other players and there is a swear filter that is enabled by default. Fortunately, the people I have played online with were pretty respectful and assets to my squad/faction.
Inside your ship you can browse the marketplace, change your weapon load out, browse missions, chat and recruit players into your squad. While browsing for missions you'll see how many squads are currently playing them. If you're not in a squad you may be put into one or you may start a new squad and hopefully players will join you. If you don't have any teammates to revive you, you can revive yourself up to four times a day. (Naturally, there's an option to buy more revives.) Having teammates is not required, but it sure makes missions a lot easier.
Even though Warframe is not cross platform, I had no problems finding people to fight alongside. Sometimes as you're playing you may get a host migration delay as it switches player hosts due to the declining internet performance of the current host, or a host disconnecting. These host migrations can be annoying when you're in the heat of battle.
The battles are intense and the visuals are stunning. I'd expect no less from the developers of Unreal Tournament 2003/2004. If you don't mind the third person perspective, I think FPS fans can find a lot to like in this Warframe. There is a wide variety of large maps and they are nicely detailed and colorful. The only problem is that I found a few of them to be too dark to thoroughly enjoy them. Despite the poor lighting, I was able to see the blood splatter as I sliced up or shot down my foes. This game definitely earns it's Mature rating when it comes to violence. However, if you don't like the blood and gore, it can be disabled it in the game options menu.
Overall Warframe is a fun but mature online shooter. While many of the weapons can be created without spending real money, there are certain things like more player slots and unique items that can only be purchased with the platinum currency. Regular price for 1,000 platinum is $49.99, but it does go on sale often. If you can refrain from spending too much in the market place, there's a lot of fun to be had here. If you have friends that play, make sure everyone is using the same platform. Like many MMO's there are frequent updates and added content to keep things interesting. There are people who have spent thousands of hours playing this game, while I don't recommend spending that much time on it, it is certainly worth giving the game a try.