Shacknews Most Improved Game of 2017: Warframe

Warframe is a game that I've found myself coming back to time and again ever since I first got my PS4. Initially, I gave it a shot because frankly, there wasn't a lot to play back in those early console launch days. Still, its almost abstract, alien style and acrobatic third-person combat struck a chord with me that has kept me playing consistently. I've watched Warframe go through many changes both from a visual and gameplay standpoint, but this year the team at Digital Extremes really came up with something special by adding an open-world gameplay feature for players to explore. Their persistent effort has landed Warframe the title of Shacknews Most Improved Game of 2017.

For the last 5 years missions in Warframe have been pretty straightforward: you choose a mission, execute with your fireteam, then head back to your ship to run the cycle again. There's a healthy amount of variety as far as objectives are concerned, but you could consider it a lather, rinse, repeat process in many ways. With the release of this year's Plains of Eidolon expansion though, they took a formula that's worked for them and did something completely new.

Fans of Warframe were given an open-world hub, new abilities like being able to hunt and fish, a day/night cycle, new enemy threats and five square kilometers to explore. I can't personally recall an MMO ever pivoting so hard half a decade into its existence. Heck, it's noteworthy that a free-to-play even make it five years, let alone adds so many new features. If you had told me I'd be using my honed Tenno skills to catch fish when I first started playing Warframe, I would not have believed you. 

Plains of Eidolon isn't just an expansion, it's a whole new game within a game. It's a chance for players to have more choice over what kind of experience they want and gives old players, like myself a reason to return to the Warframe universe. To say that Warframe is the most improved game of 2017 is almost an understatement of the future greatness that potentially awaits this new path their content appears to be heading down. 

Be sure to keep up with the rest of The Shacknews Awards as we celebrate the Year of the Games: 2017.

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