Players looking for hours of engaging and intense science-fiction multiplayer combat are in for a treat. Warframe is a fast-moving shooter that takes you zooming through space exploring spaceships, planets, and moons. Missions can be taken on alone or with others; either way, you earn resources and experience points (XP). The idea is to gather enough currency and resources to upgrade your armor and weaponry, which means lots of exploration and replaying missions. Thankfully, mission environments are randomly generated, which cuts down the tedium.
Naturally, missions are easier with other players, and Warframe's slick matchmaking system takes the intimidation factor out of cooperative play. You could stay busy for a long time just joining up with other players, fighting and upgrading your skills, but the recent Plains of Eidolon expansion offers you new ways to interact. The scavenger town of Cetus offers lots of shopping options, the option to learn fishing and mining, and the ability to create your own weapons. It also offers bounty-style missions you can complete within a large, open MMO-like area. Both the expansion and the main game are cool to look at thanks to good graphics, effects, and sound design. At its 2014 launch, the game had unfortunate camera and connection issues and lacked a tutorial. Thankfully, those things have improved. Admittedly, the game's upgrade/mod system remains almost overwhelmingly complex, and players' complaints about the time and effort needed to earn resources remain valid. Still, the game is constantly changing as the community makes its needs known, and all signs point to it continuing to change for the better. Parents of younger kids are right to be concerned about the constant violence and unmoderated in-game chat, but Warframe's easy matchmaking and tons of content make it a solid choice for older teens and adult fans of sci-fi shooters.