Warframe is all about the combat. It is this element, more than anything else in the game, that helps to keep things feeling fresh and new whether you’re slicing your 50th bad guy, or your 50 millionth. A majority of the combat plays out as a mixture of shooting, melee attacks, and special abilities. The general flow to most encounters plays out as running behind cover, shooting a few guys from a distance, then closing the gap with the remaining foes to slice them up. Depending on just how many baddies you’re facing, you may use one of your Warframe’s special abilities to help even the odds in your favor. It can be a fairly standard formula when viewed like that, but the way it plays out is entirely different.
Imagine you’re at the top of a set of stairs looking down at two guys. You could stay at the top of those stairs, swapping gun fire back and forth until you eliminate both. Or you could slide down the stairs while shooting one, continue sliding past him, and then spin slice the other one that’s right in front of you. Maybe you prefer wall running above them, raining bullets down on top of them, before getting behind them and letting your blades do the talking. Whichever way you decide, it’s up entirely up to you. The important piece of all that is that Warframe provides you with the means to feel like you’ve got B.A.M.F. written on your wallet. This isn’t to say that things are always perfect with the combat system - some of the dodge/attack moves I had to look up to even know they existed and melee attacks don’t always connect quite like you expect - but when you are start stringing together all of the different elements (i.e., parkour like movement, shooting, and melee), then many of those imperfections fade away because “oh, man! Did you just see what I did to that guy?! There’s half of him over here and another half over there!”
As you’re mowing down foes like it’s going out of style, you’ll pick up crafting materials and mods. Once you’ve completed a level and you’re back at the mission select screen, you have the ability to start making use of these. All materials you collect can be used towards crafting new weapons, as you initially only have an automatic rifle, a pistol, and a sword. However, in order to craft these new weapons, you’ll first have to earn enough credits, which are found in lockers/chests throughout a level, to buy the blueprint. Now that you’ve got the blueprint, you’ll need to collect all the materials to actually construct the thing. Many of these materials only become accessible by the third or fourth planets, which roughly equates to around three hours of gameplay time if you’re absolutely blazing through things. Often you’ll require several hundred or a couple thousand of a certain material, so you’ll be grinding your way through the same missions over and over again to acquire these materials. Once you gathered the blueprint, all of the materials, and the credits necessary to build the thing you want, you then have to wait some amount of time (usually at least 12 hours) for the thing to be made.
“Wow, so much fun,” you’re thinking. There’s no way around it, the crafting system is absolutely Warframe’s barrier to entry. If you want use different weapons, or even a different Warframe, you’re going to have to work for it; unless you decide to pay. Platinum, the “premium currency” you have to pay for, will allow you to buy weapons and Warframes outright, but this premium is a bit high at the moment. 75 platinum, which is enough to buy a different skin for your Warframe, will set you back $5, while 570 platinum, enough to buy a new Warframe and maybe a weapon or a sentinel, is $30. Occasionally, they run deals where you can get that for less, but overall, you’re going to be paying quite a bit to unlock some of this content.