Shacknews Most Improved Game of 2017: Warframe

Teach a Tenno to fish and they'll never go hungry again.

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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.

Reviews Editor

From The Chatty

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    December 30, 2017 12:00 PM

    Blake Morse posted a new article, Shacknews Most Improved Game of 2017: Warframe

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      December 30, 2017 3:21 PM

      I really ought to give that game a try.

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      December 30, 2017 4:27 PM

      Good points but they wouldn't qualify the game for most improved in my book.

      Eidolon is another endgame activity grind with typical MMO progression. Yet the whole game is unable to get past its seriously antiquated on boarding and tutorial design that recalls pre-WoW games in their obtuseness.

      It's absolute madness for returning players. Somehow my 80 hour progress from a different game has been ported into this modern Warframe. There is barely anything in the game to explain itself. Some upgrades and items are absolutely critical to enjoy Eidolon and there is no obvious "road to" path that welcomes back older players. And power creep has rendered my existing frame + gear outclassed and nearly useless.

      My biggest gripe remains unadressed after ~2 years. The PC HUD is tiny on 1440p and above. It seriously impacts my ability to play the game well.

      I wouldn't call Warframe most improved, but it has transformed and expanded itself a great deal while managing to retain the unfortunate clunky charm of an "indie" project. It's been one of my favorite weird worlds to dive into, I wish it would be more accepting of casual and returning players.

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        December 30, 2017 4:46 PM

        YES!! I have about 90 hours in this game from a few years back and recently tried to play again (like a few months ago) for the first time in years and it was absolutely unrecognizable. Even the controls had changed in some way that I just couldnt figure out. I spent a fair bit of money back in the day on this game, and dont regret it at all, but jesus fuck its a mess to return to.

        It was impossible to figure out so I just quit.

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          December 30, 2017 6:57 PM

          Warframe Wiki... it's all you can do.

          i have about 2000hrs (2800 according to steam) and i still look at the wiki all the time. its not impossible to figure out, but you must be a very stubborn person indeed.

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            December 31, 2017 4:26 AM

            2800 hours... wow, not bad at all

      • rms
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        December 30, 2017 7:15 PM

        My biggest gripe remains unadressed after ~2 years. The PC HUD is tiny on 1440p and above. It seriously impacts my ability to play the game well. That would be a absolute dealbreaker for me!

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        December 31, 2017 5:21 AM

        Re: HUD scaling, I think you missed some options: https://i.imgur.com/JAqEYfz.jpg

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      December 30, 2017 4:50 PM

      Kind of surprised no man's sky didn't get this

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      December 30, 2017 4:51 PM

      I will have to check out warframe. From the buzz I've read, I would have guessed Titanfall 1 -> 2, Splatoon 1 -> 2, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev -> Rev 2.

      Injustice 1 -> 2 is a big improvement because it doesn't put so much emphasis on long distance stuff (there is a little more meat on the bones when it comes to close up combat, which i found lacking in the first), but that already got the nod for fighting game of 2017.

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      December 30, 2017 7:03 PM

      Plains of Eidolon didn't feel like an improvement when it first came out to me. It mostly just felt like another game inside the game, i hated that it had a separate resource system and the Archwing being nerfed was a big turn off... but now that is has been out awhile i feel like it does blend well into the overall game (atleast as a veteran) and it does feel like just a step up in the improvement catergory more so than just a sideshow ....

      anyone on the fence should definitely try it out... but be ready to use Warframe Wiki and realize it is not for weak people. lol. this game is the reverse of most, it starts hard and gets easier as you progress. Jump into a clan early, as that is the most helpful way to find a guide in this game.

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      December 31, 2017 8:11 AM

      Would I be fine starting fresh in Warframe, will it at least explain things to new people, or will I need a Wiki from the Jump? I would love to try it out, but not if I'll need to read an entire glossary and manuscript to be able to enjoy it.