Since its debut in 2013, Warframe has grown past its simple premise of so-called space ninjas slashing and grabbing loot across the universe and evolved into an action-RPG that dabbles in open-world gameplay and quests with a strong focus on narrative. At TennoCon 2019, the annual community event celebrating all things Warframe, developer Digital Extremes revealed what’s to come for the evolving online game in 2019 and beyond. Along with a new cinematic questline, yet another open-world setting, and an update on the new ship combat mode known as Empyrean–the developers also revealed a new cinematic sequence to help ease new players into the game.
During the closing TennoCon presentation, Digital Extremes unveiled a new cinematic trailer detailing events before the game, focusing heavily on the three starter Frames: Excalibur, Volt, and Mag. In collaboration with film director and Totally Rad Show alum Dan Trachtenberg, whose past works include 10 Cloverfield Lane and the upcoming Uncharted film, the new CG trailer aims to offer context for the game’s expansive universe and overarching narrative. The trailer is unlike anything that Warframe has shown before, and it’s certainly an exciting way to kick off the massive campaign.
We also got to see some new updates for the core game’s systems, which includes a new installment in the cinematic questline. In the trailer for The New War, it is revealed that the next cinematic quest will focus on a new threat that comes to Earth, which will pull together Lotus and the Tenno into an even larger conflict. Moreover, the developers also teased the next open-world expansion, called The Duviri Paradox. Not much was shown about the new setting, but it does seem to present one of the most visually distinctive areas to explore in Warframe yet.
The highlight of the main presentation at TennoCon 2019 was the re-reveal of the upcoming gameplay mode focusing on large-scale ship combat. According to creative director Steve Sinclair, this new gameplay mode is all about the “connection” with other players and core features of the game. This new activity is called Empyrean, and it’ll have a squad of players collectively control a ship to face off against AI ships and rival players. In your clan Dojo you can customize your Raijjack ship, outfitting it with new weapons, engine upgrades, and even decorations. You can also recruit new members and interact with some of the new characters that will be introduced with the update.
However, a new aspect of the Empyrean that Digital Extremes showed off was multi-layered objectives. Along with controlling the ship as a squad, select players can exit the ship and enter derelict ships to secure resources and clear goals. During this time, the away team of other players will still coordinate with players on the ship, and the crew can even offer support. Another new feature that was shown off was Squad Link, which will allow clanmates and friends playing in different modes to assist one another. In the demonstration, players in the Planes of Eidolon could take on missions in the open world that will directly help other members of the team fighting it out in space. It felt very much like something out of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and seeing it play it out goes to show how much Warframe as evolved over the years.
In addition to these announcements, we also saw the reveal of Prime variant of Wukong, who recently had an overhaul just last month, and a new installment in the Nightwave seasonal event called The Emissary–both of which were made available after TennoCon’s completion. Also, the developers teased two new Frames in the form of Gauss and Grendel. Aside from The New War, which will launch Holiday 2019, The Duviri Paradox and Empyrean don’t have a date at this time. However, the developers state that more info will be revealed in the immediate future.
For more on what’s to come with Warframe, including when these new updates and gameplay modes will drop for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, be sure to check back with GameSpot.