So, the wonderful people at Digital Extremes have done it again. The second open-world update for Warframe is here on PC and man is it good. The update in question, Fortuna, was teased at the last Tennocon promising a newly frozen wasteland on Venus to explore, hoverboards, a new faction of cyborg debt laborers, and MOA pets. Not only did it deliver on the developers promises, but it is also so much better than I hoped.
You first go to Fortuna and get treated to the wonderful cinematic that was showcased at the recent Tennocon. The camera flies through Fortuna as “We All Lift Together” is being sung by the workers. After you gain control of your character again and talk to some of the NPCs, you start your quest to aid the good cyborg people of this new land. Through a short series of missions which I recommend bringing a mobility type Warframe like Titania or Zephyr, you eventually get your first K-Drive, the new hoverboard that can do all sorts of tricks and makes travel much easier. After finishing the quest line the reward is a K-Drive launcher module for your List so you can always launch your first K-Drive.
And that is where the fun begins. In Fortuna, there are NPCs for mining, fishing, the MOA pets, bounties, a build your own secondary weapon vendor, and even a place where you can pay off resident’s debts for tokens that can be traded in for reputation to get to the next reputation rank. I bought some debts and traded in tokens to get enough for the new fishing rod, tranq gun, and the first animal lure. I went out after equipping it all, selected the lure so I can see where to go on the map for some animals, launched my K-Drive and rode to a site to check out some of the new features.
Trapping is fun and simple. After you get to a paw mark on the map there is an item on the ground that you interact with to start tracking the trail of the animal. After getting to the end you get the lure out and use it to imitate the call where you will hear it in response. After that, a mark will appear and the trapper NPC will tell you to match the mating call, so you use the lure again, keeping the part you control on the lure inside the slow-moving white box that is on the screen. Then you equip your tranq gun and wait. Zooming in will show a yellow shape of the creature if it is in the site, even through obstacles and hills. Patiently wait for it to venture into view and put it to sleep with your tranq gun and tag it so it can be taken away. These little missions net a nice amount of reputation and a token that you can take back to Fortuna to trade in for stuffed animals.
After spending a while trapping animals and getting the next rank of reputation, I decided to try and fish. The fishing is similar to how it is on the plains, but when you hit the fish with the new fishing pole a long horizontal bar shows up and you have to click when a selection box moves over into the red zone. If done right, the fish will get zapped then reeled in. You can then take them to Fortuna and either trade in for a bit of reputation or dismantle the robot fish you caught to get parts needed for stuff such as buying someone’s debts.
So the city of Fortuna and the “Snowstorm in the middle of a fire.” which is the open world area of Orb Vallis are a lot of fun and look amazing but what made me drop some cash for the new Prime Access was the Warframe that came with this update: Garuda. She is very very fun and benefits from being extremely balanced. Having minimal shields and health but a starting armor value of 300 putting her on the high end of frames she can take a bit of a hit. Do not let those low health numbers fool you she can survive with the best of them. Her first ability, Dread Mirror, has her lunge at a nearby target knocking them on the ground doing some damage and creating a blood shield in front of her that absorbs damage. A bleeding heart is shown above it that shows how much damage has been absorbed and will stay even if the ability is recast or the duration runs out. However, if you hold down the ability button after a short charge, Garuda launches the heart out to the targeted area with a blast, dealing all that damage right on back to any enemy caught in the explosion. The second ability is called Blood Altar and it is a really good ability that also helps Garuda and her team to stay alive. Garuda lunges forward and summons a spike that impales an enemy making them invulnerable but unable to do anything and Garuda and her team get health when they are in the circle around the altar. It has a duration before it ends or the enemy dies.
Bloodletting is the third ability and is fairly self-explanatory. Sacrifice half of your max hp for energy. Plain and simple, if you do it twice in a row Garuda goes down to 2 hp. So combining it with her second ability can help you live. Now you may be thinking “Well that’s nice and all but we can throw down an energy pie and get all the energy we need for the whole team. Why sacrifice health for it?”. That is a good point, but the passive ability for Garuda is her damage goes up the lower her health is. So if you want a quick damage boost, cast Bloodletting a couple times and hit them with Dread Mirror or her Warframe ability so some serious damage.
The final ability is Seeking Talons. Charging this ability increases the are of effect and after releasing it sharp talons go out seeking enemies dealing good damage and if they live they are very likely to bleed with the slash proc. So a good way to do things is getting a Dread Mirror going so she does not die, cast Bloodletting for some energy, place an enemy on her Blood Altar, get more energy from Bloodletting again and use it to get down to 2 hp, then charge up and cast your Seeking Talons for big damage. Fun to do and not a bad frame for defense missions either. Good Damage, good healing, and good defense make Garuda one delightfully sadistic Warframe.
So if you have been playing Warframe on PC, why are you reading this? You can play this update. GO! play it! It’s amazing. While the Fortuna update won’t be on consoles for a while longer, it is something to definitely look forward to. If you have taken a break and are thinking of getting back in or are new and thinking of playing Warframe then hopefully this review/overview of the new update will make you want to get back into Warframe like it did for me. Venus is off to the left of Earth so it should be easy to get to and Fortuna and Orb Vallis are fairly early on in the planet. Digital Extremes has once again struck gold and continues to make amazing updates for what is, in my opinion, the best free to play game on the market right now. – TS
Warframe is now available and free to play on PS4, Xbox One & PC
Warframe releases for the Nintendo Switch on November 20th, 2018