Today I am writing a critique on one of my favorite video games. Warframe. In particular I will make my very own critique of the latest update, Chains of Harrow, which I recently had the chance to fully experience.
Before starting with the critique I must warn you that the critique will have nothing to do with cosmetics or PvP gameplay. I simply do not feel necessary to talk about cosmetics, and I rarely play PvP, so I never had the chance to form an opinion on it.
The first thing I would like to talk about is the latest quest in the game. the titular quest, Chains of Harrow. As someone who took a major in English Literature in college, I know a lot about writing. And the new quest has solid writing. I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum in case you, my dear reader, have not played the quest yet.
To keep it simple, the quest revolves around a troubled soul that is now haunting one of the main allied factions in the game. Your objective is to solve the issue and unveil the mysteries surrounding a transmission sent to the Operator. The story combines elements of science fiction and horror in a tone similar to that of the Dead Space series, but of course with Warframe’s signature style and story development, uncovering secrets as you proceed through the quest, with fascinating plot twists that only increase the mystery.
As a reward for the quest you obtain a blueprint for the new Warframe, Harrow. Which will be the next part of my critique.
To begin with, Harrow is not exactly easy to obtain. Each component to build harrow is obtained based on almost random chance. With rather low probability of obtaining the components, and them being scattered all over the map, it can get rather frustrating and repetitive to obtain them. I was fortunate enough and got them during the week. Of course that meant it took me a whole week of grinding and wait to build Harrow, but it was worth the effort, and felt rewarding after all. Another advantage of constant grinding is that I gathered a large amount of resources and credits.
In terms of gameplay harrow is a Warframe I am still getting used to, since I just began to play it yesterday. Within this short span however I was able to test his powers and see what he can do. Since I play solo, most of Harrow’s powers are not as effective as i I played on a team. Harrow is a support frame, which uses acts of self sacrifice to benefit him and his allies, especially his allies, honoring his theme of penitent priest.
His first ability is an efficient all purpose ability, chaining several enemies to allow for easy shots. Hs second ability is more useful in teams, where the player may sacrifice his shields to give his allies a boon. His second ability is more useful when there are allies short on energy around, since the amount of recovered energy is not enough to compensate for it, and has little benefit beyond energy recovery. His ultimate in general is useful, but does its best in a team.
The most important question is. Is it fun to play with? The answer is yes. Harrow is a very fun to play warframe, even though you will probably spam his first ability to have fun.
The new weapons, Scourge and Knell are designed to work specifically with harrow. Scourge is overall a common weapon within its category, and very useful. Knell however is a weirder weapon. With limited ammo and its special effect being based on headshots, it is better to use the weapon on paralyzed enemies (Hence working great with Harrow’s first ability).
The next area I would like to address is the Earth visual rework. Now Earth tilesets look a lot more alive, with new environmental visual effects. New background plants and animal sounds make Earth look a lot better than it did in previous updates. There is however one negative effect resulting from that. Scannable objects on the map are harder to notice. With all that many plants covering the ground, it is easier to miss one or two threshcones.
Finally I will talk of the last major change to the game. The addition of dual wield melee and secondary weapons. So far it only works on thrown melee weapons, and probably will stay that way, and they can only be combined with single handed secondary. When in dual wield mode, your thrown melee weapon acts similar to the one in Dark Sector. The player is able to aim his melee weapon and charge the throw, the crosshair will show a symbol which marks when it is charging and if thrown at the right moment, will release a stronger “power throw”. The downside is that in this mode it is no longer possible to simply launch quick melee strikes.
With that I conclude my critique of the new update. There are some things I left out, like new mods, the new Grineer unit, Nox, and melee riven mods. But there is a reason for that. That is, I am yet to encounter them. Well. I fought a Nox, but my Kavat killed him too quickly for me to evaluate him.
In conclusion, Chains of Harrow is a fun to play update, that unfortunately does not make it any different of other equally great updates in Warframe, which means it could be easily ignored due to it being just as good as all the other great updates the game had recently.