With “The New War” the newest and biggest expansion of will be released on December 15th Warframe. MeinMMO author Marko Jevtic was allowed to see more in advance. His impression: “The New War” is more than just an exciting new story quest. It’s also the first step towards something like Warframe 2.0.
Warframe has been playable for almost 9 years. Since then, the game has continued to evolve; has grown more and more. The Warframe that can be played today is much more mature than the Warframe of then. But it’s still recognizably the same game. Tenno, Lotus, Warframes: New players today will find the same core structures as old hands – one of which I count myself.
So I was all the more surprised when the story trailer for “The New War” came out. It makes clear indications that Warframe wants to go beyond these core structures. The trailer makes fans very emotional.
My deeper look at the expansion even gives me the impression: After “The New War” a kind of Warframe 2.0 begins. And I think that’s exactly right. Because for me this is the most exciting and best direction that Warframe can currently take.
When is the enlargement coming? “The New War” will be released on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 on Steam, Epic Games, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X and Nintendo Switch. Like all Warframe expansions, it is free, but unlike most of the content in the game, it can only be played solo.
What did I see of the extension? Digital Extremes showed more of “The New War” in a virtual press event. Rebecca Ford, Community Director and Live OPS, showed about 30 minutes of gameplay. The journalists and content creators present were then allowed to ask questions that were answered in detail.
Expansion sounds like a ‘season finale’
Above all, the press event gave me the impression that “The New War” should be more than just good new content.
To me, the expansion looks more like a season finale for the exciting story that Warframe has been telling since 2018. The second season of Warframe will start in 2022 – apparently with a new story and new ambitions. So to me it sounds like a kind of Warframe 2.0.
What was said about enlargement? Rebecca Ford is the voice of the Lotus and in a way the face of Warframe in the community. It was therefore noticeable to me how exactly she talked about “The New War”. For Rebecca Ford, the time after that was just as important as the expansion itself. This is exactly what solidifies my idea that “The New War” is a kind of season finale for Warframe. As well as several other reasons:
“The New War” aims to close Warframe’s most important storylines so far – and then tell new ones. The expansion is the first major story advancement in almost 4 years.
The expansion itself should take about 5 hours. New players will have to play for around 30 hours to get to the New War. As with a story-heavy series, you have to be there from ‘the first season’ to understand everything and to have fun with the season finale and the new season.
Therefore, for the first time ever, the marketing of the game is openly dealing with one of the greatest plot twists in Warframe history: The operator is no longer the best-kept secret in the community. That is why the personal story of the operator plays a bigger role – and as in some series, the actors for the operators have been replaced. The new voices go better with the story they want to tell from now on, it is said.
What should come after the enlargement? Rebecca Ford has spoken of the “world after The New War” repeatedly. Everything that happens in the world of Warframe from 2022 onwards will happen after the expansion ends. The story of “The New War” will “leave scars” on the world of Warframe, says Rebecca Ford. She didn’t want to give details. However, the changes should be clearly noticeable.
Players must finish playing The New War if they want to experience the latest content in 2022. The developers therefore expect that all players interested in the story and new content will play through “The New War”.
How do I classify the extension? Even if Rebecca Ford didn’t put it anywhere near that and would probably not formulate it that way: The Warframe, which will be playable after “The New War”, sounds to me like a successor under the old name.
Old storylines are completed while new ones begin. New narrative methods are intended to give the world and its characters more depth. And the hitherto top-secret, biggest story twists are seen as the basis for the future.
That sounds to me as if we could speak of a “Warframe 2.0” in 2022. This is very exciting news for me. Especially if the Warframe of the future maintains the direction that “The New War” appears to be taking. This can also be seen in exciting and ambitious gameplay experiments.
New gameplay elements like in Persona 5 confirm my impression
Rebecca Ford showed a longer sequence that is completely untypical for Warframe. In the scene, in a legendary location for Warframes lore fans, you play an unfamiliar person from a first-person perspective. The context is a classroom, the “final boss” an exam. As a player, you have to answer the questions correctly and show that you were paying attention in Warframe class. This Persona 5-inspired classroom sequence shows Warframe’s new ambitions: the game wants to be more than just a good shooter.
Already with the first gameplay impressions of “The New War” at TennoCon 2021 (via YouTube) one of the biggest changes was brought to the fore:
With “The New War” Warframe tries for the first time to tell the story from several active perspectives. This includes characters who were previously your opponents. These new perspectives change the Warframe experience significantly – and not just thanks to significantly different gameplay:
Thanks to the many perspectives, the world of Warframe appears more alive. The conflicts in which the player participates carry more weight. The play figure of Tenno therefore appears more mystical and less alone in the universe at the same time. Digital Extremes also speaks of a 3-act structure in “The New World” – and thus indicates the greater story ambitions.
I didn’t expect Warframe to lure me again
I played Warframe for the first time on the PlayStation 4 release day – that was November 2013. In the years since then I’ve come back time and again, but the game has never captivated me in the long term. That was also due to the limited narrative style and the well-known gameplay structures: As much fun as it is to glide through the levels as a space ninja – that alone was not enough for me in the long run.
My impressions of “The New War” are therefore much more positive than I would have expected. Digital Extremes has always understood that looter shooters are fun because of their repeatability. With “The New War” they also show understanding that a story should not follow the same strict and low-risk structures.
Because they loosen up the game with bold and experimental narrative styles and perspectives, the developers of Warframe can lure me back in. I would not have expected that. But that’s exactly why I’m all the more excited about the expansion and the unofficial “Warframe 2.0.”
As a game, Warframe remains a looter shooter. But from “The New War” onwards, the Warframe universe will appear to be more than a collection of farm routes for the latest weapons and armor. The Warframe of the future apparently sees itself increasingly as a collection of exciting stories, interesting characters and profound ideas.
This direction is not only ambitious, it is the right one for Warframe. If the Warframe of the future delivers what “The New War” promises, it will be an unofficial Warframe 2.0. And are really popular with new and old players.