Warframe is a game grounded in familiar ideas permeated with distinct style and flair. You, a mysterious warrior with an unclear past, wield gun, blade, and the spectacular power of your Warframe. You contend with a totalitarian clone military, a high-tech merchant cult devoted to profit, and an ill-fated bioweapon designed by a fallen super-civilization. In your battles and adventures, you become a savior of the weak, a saboteur of the wicked, and a survivor against immense odds. Uncover your past, unlock the power of your weaponry, and unite with other players against the game's villains and its difficulty.
Warframe is a free-to-play cooperative action role playing and third-person shooter video game developed and published by Digital Extremes. Originally released for Windows PC, it was later ported to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. In Warframe, players control members of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from centuries of cryosleep to find themselves at war in a planetary system with different factions. The Tenno use their powered Warframes along with powerful weapons and abilities to complete missions. While many of the game's missions use procedurally-generated levels, newer updates have included large open world areas similar to other massively multiplayer online games as well as some story-specific missions that don't use procedural generation. The game includes elements of shooting and melee games, parkour, and role-playing to allow players to advance their Tenno (ancient warrior) character with improved gear.
The concepts for Warframe had been in place at Digital Extremes since 2000 under the name Dark Sector. The company reintroduced Dark Sector in 2004 in preparation for release on the upcoming seventh generation consoles but could not find a publisher due to its theme. Ultimately Digital Extremes released a game called Dark Sector in 2008, far different from their original plan. By 2012, looking at the success of free-to-play games, the developers took their earlier Dark Sector ideas and art assets, to present it as Warframe.
Initially, the growth of Warframe was slow, hindered by moderate critical reviews and low player counts. However, since its release, the game has experienced positive growth through development by Digital Extremes over the years. The game saw nearly 50 million players in 2019 and it is now one of Digital Extremes' most successful titles, with it receiving a large chunk of developer attention through the introduction of new game content and modes. The game is supported by microtransactions, which lets players purchase in-game items for real money that would otherwise normally be obtained through grinding.
Warframe received "mixed or average reviews" on all platforms according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. GameZone's Mike Splechta said of the PlayStation 4 version, "If you already enjoy games like Monster Hunter which require you to farm for items in order to craft better ones, Warframe follows that very same formula, except with much more satisfying and faster-paced combat."However, as of 2018 PC Gamer said that "Warframe's growth doesn't resemble a well-tended plant—it's more like a mutant science experiment. Game systems are haphazardly stitched onto one other in ways that are sometimes incoherent, but oddly charming all the same."
The game is among one of the most-played games available on Steam. Digital Extremes attributes the success of the title to the frequent updates they are developing for the game and the game's fanbase. Digital Extremes describes the game as a "rogue success", as the game is able to secure and sustain a large number of players without gaining significant attention from other people. More than 26 million players had played the game since launch by April 2016, and by March 2018, five years from its open beta, had reached 38 million players. The game had nearly 50 million players by the time of its sixth anniversary. In July 2016, Digital Extremes launched its first Warframe-dedicated "Tennocon" in London, Ontario, an event that drew 1000 players, where they announced news of upcoming features and updates to the game. and has since run the event annually.
The game was nominated for "Best Ongoing Game" at The Game Awards 2017, and won the People's Voice Award for "Action" at the 2018 Webby Awards.It was also nominated for the "Still Playing Award" at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards, and for "Fan Favorite Shooter Game" and "Fan Favorite Fall Release" with Fortuna at the Gamers' Choice Awards. At the 2019 Webby Awards, the game again won the People's Voice Awards for "Action Game" and "Best Sound Design".