A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Warframe: The Jovian Concord is a free update to the downloadable free-to-play third-person shooter, Warframe, which is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. New content can only be accessed by advanced players with high-level equipment who've spent many hours in the game. Free play is possible, but the temptation is high to accelerate progress by spending money in the online store. The game's online multiplayer contains text and voice chat – both can be turned off. Players can trade in-game items among themselves. The game's main focus is combat with both ranged and bladed weapons, and though missions can be performed with a stealth approach, they always involve killing (sometimes to the point of total enemy extermination.) Defeated player characters simply collapse and reappear, but slain enemies bleed and can be burned, electrocuted, and dismembered.
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What's it about?
WARFRAME: THE JOVIAN CONCORD digs further into Warframe's complex backstory, revolving around the schemes and sketchy business doings of mad scientist Alad V. Intent on re-establishing himself as a power player in the Origin System, he sets out to create an unbeatable army by blending Corpus and Grineer soldiers with a monster race called the Sentients. It's up to players to stop this nefarious plan. As the Tenno, descendants of an ancient warrior race, players will infiltrate Alad V's sprawling (and newly redesigned) Gas City on Jupiter and destroy the Amalgams – Alad V's monstrous new hybrids. They'll also face off with a new boss monster, a huge flying Sentient called the Ropalolyst. Players who defeat this winged behemoth can earn the blueprints of a powerful new support Warframe (biomechanical battle armor) called The Wisp which grants players the ability to float invisibly in the air, teleport, and shock and burn enemies. In addition to new Gas City graphics and a new Warframe, players can earn new weapons, mods, and cosmetics, and team up for the new endless co-op multiplayer mode, Disruption.
Is it any good?
Like a fine Fortuna wine, this online multiplayer game keeps getting better with time. Warframe: The Jovian Concord points to the game's high-fidelity future, with a visual revamp of Jupiter's Gas City that shows how far Warframe has come. The new environments are both surreal and challenging, with dizzying drops, broken catwalks, and acid-filled corridors that require you to draw upon your most advanced parkour skills. The new enemies, the Amalgams, don't necessarily represent a greater challenge, but with their Silent-Hill-like blend of mechanical/insectile/humanoid traits, they're definitely creepier. The new boss monster, the Ropalolyst, is also a nightmare—a giant alien chicken that can snatch you out of the air or fry you with its laser beam. Beating it is definitely a group activity, one you'll have to get used to since you'll have to beat it repeatedly to get all the blueprints for the Wisp Warframe.
It's hard work: the kind of work that's fundamental to Warframe. Getting to the content in The Jovian Concord takes hours and hours of gameplay to unlock planets and upgrade your weapons. Upgrades especially take a long time since they require both resources and in-game currency. (The process can be sped up by buying premium currency in the online store.) The good news is, revisiting the Gas City gives you plenty of opportunity to collect resources and hone your parkour skills. And once you've gotten ahold of The Wisp Warframe, you're unstoppable. The Wisp's support skills come in especially handy in the new multiplayer mode, Disruption, where you and your squad defend security systems from Amalgams and earn useful void relics. While all this is great, Warframe's a sci-fi shooter for older gamers. The online community's more tolerant and civil than many multiplayer games, but its blood and gore make it too much for kids. All told, for adult sci-fi fans, Warframe: The Jovian Concord is a satisfying update, not only for what it contains, but for what it hints at —years of uniquely dynamic, story-driven gameplay.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the concept of "pay to win." Does your favorite freemium game give paying players an unfair advantage?
Do you prefer co-op or competitive play? Which do you think fosters a strong, supportive fan community?
Have you ever created fan fiction, fan art, or cosplay for your favorite game?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Free (Contains link to online shop with optional purchases.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Digital Extremes Ltd.
- Release date: May 22, 2019
- Genre: Third-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Violence, Blood and Gore
- Last updated: September 13, 2019
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