Warframe First Look

Free-to-play action comes to the PlayStation 4, just in time for launch.

Nov. 13, 2013, 9:10 a.m. by Robert Workman

When you pick up your PlayStation 4 system on Friday, you won't have any shortage of games to play. Even if you aren't investing money in software right away – you did just spend $400 plus tax, after all – there's Warframe, a free-to-play shooter from the team at Digital Extremes.

Featuring an original storyline and a number of modes available to choose from, Warframe promises to deliver plenty of third-person shooting excitement – though it helps to have a good team backing you up, as the game fully supports four-player co-op.

In Warframe, you play as a Tenno, an ancient warrior awakened from cyber sleep and thrust right into the middle of a war between two factions. On one side, you have the Grineer, a group of humans who rely on military skills. On the other, there is the Corpus, humans of a more technical nature who let their machines do all the dirty work. You'll decide which side you're fighting for, then set out to overtake enemy factions using good ol' fashioned firepower.

The name Warframe stems from the suit you wear in the game, as it provides a small amount of protection, as well as increased maneuverability. Along with being able to roll and find cover out of harm's way, you can also perform parkour-style stunts, such as running along walls to reach higher ledges or go around deadly obstacles, such as a turret cannon. That way, you can take it from behind with ease.

Various Warframe suits are available to choose from, but they all generally work the same, and come with three different weapons to choose from.

The first is your primary firearm, which is usually something along the lines of an assault rifle or, if you prefer, a more powerful shotgun. The rifle is the way to go if you're trying to blast enemies from afar, on top of bridges or at specific sniper points; but if you prefer to clear out foes on the ground, the shotgun is your best bet.

Next up is a secondary weapon. Usually this is reserved for a smaller gun, such as a pistol, which is useful when you run out of ammunition for your main weapon. You should be able to find refills in nearby crates, but in case you can't access them, this firearm will keep you in the fight.

Finally, you have your melee weapon. Though this isn't recommended in a large group, it's helpful when you've got an enemy close by and need to finish him or her off in a hurry. This usually consists of a small blade or a longsword, depending on which Warframe suit you're using.

In addition to main weapon firepower, you also have access to mods, which you can remove or add any time during a mission with mixed results. Some provide increased firepower, while others may bump up your accuracy or strength, depending on what you're using. You can take a look at your loadout and modify as you go along, in case you want to see what a mod is capable of.

The game is free-to-play multiplayer, and comes with ten different modes in all. They include the following:

Assassination, where you hunt after a boss enemy on a map

Capture, where you try to obtain a VIP target from a rival's structure

Survival, where you fight endless hordes of incoming adversaries

Rescue, where you attempt to rescue a hostage in an enemy stronghold and escort them to a "safe" location

Sabotage, where you need to destroy a foe's electrical generators or the machines it's powering

Deception, in which you hunt down a "datamass" to an enemy ship's navigation core, upload it and then escape to extraction before it's too late

Spy, where you must find and locate a certain number of terminals and gain information, before the rival team can

Defense, where you protect a certain artifact from incoming waves of soldiers

Mobile Defense, where you carry a "datamass" across defensive perimeters and try to reach a safety zone with it

Extermination, in which all hostiles must be eliminated from the map completely

On top of this, Alert missions are also provided. They last for only a short amount of time – ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours – and whoever's online can take advantage and earn special rewards, which can be applied to their Warframe soldier to make them stronger.

Those seeking a greater challenge in the game can also try out the Nightmare missions. These bump up the difficulty significantly, depending on which mode players take on. For instance, Survival features increase enemy strength, while Extermination requires you to take on a higher count of foes, with bigger numbers.

There's no word yet on exactly where you'll need to pay money in Warframe, though it's likely with leveling up certain features on your soldier, or taking part in certain missions. Thankfully, most of the game should remain free-to-play when it launches this Friday alongside the PlayStation 4. We'll have plenty of strategies and information following its release. You know, besides the obvious "stay alive".