Quality online game offers free fun

Kristoffer Hayward
Staff Writer

“Warframe” breaks away from the crowd of the usual ‘free to play’ games and traditional MMOs [Massively Multiplayer Online games] in general, thanks to its third person shooter gameplay.

From the development team of “The Darkness” and the new “Star Trek” game comes “Warframe.” The game is set in the far future where humanity, known as “the grineer,” plays the part of a horribly oppressive dictatorship. The players take control of armored soldiers known only as “the Tenno.”

Rather than the cooldowns, raids and cries of ‘OOM’ [Out of mana, or a character’s energy] that usually come with this type of game, the gameplay is styled over a fast-paced third person shooter.

Instead of wide-open areas and hours of travel time between quests, the players are able to choose a mission and play through in a manner similar to a traditional “PvE” dungeon used in games like “World of Warcraft.” Experience points are also shared via proximity and coordination, instead of the more common kill stealing.

Aside from the open-ended and readily shaped storyline, the gameplay is classed as free to play. Usually games that call themselves free to play like to gut their game and make the players pay micro transactions to make up for a lack of monthly dues.

Though these transactions still exist, the developers allow the free players to earn the same equipment in a more roundabout fashion. The money route exists in “Warframe” as an easy way rather than the only way.

From longarms and pistols to gauntlets and warhammers, the players are able to customize their gear and even buy armor more suited to their play style. “Warframe” is an example of a free to play MMO doing things right and there haven’t been many games able to pull off the free model without having to cut corners.

“World of Warcraft” lets members play free to level twenty, though the level cap has been increased to eighty. “World of Tanks” lets members play for free, though the party system and some special tanks are available through real money trade.

Either a game has to cut content or has to give the paying customer stronger equipment to get the money they lose by allowing a free option. It’s a good sign to see someone try to win a player over before expecting their due.