It’s been a long time since I’ve been engrossed in a game that has given me the chance to rack up three figures in hours played. There’s MMOs, there’s Team Fortress 2 and the Mass Effect series. Since I started playing Warframe, I’ve seen my playtime soar, and I’m feeling better for it.
I played it once before but I don’t think I gave it the attention and head-space that it needed to show off everything it had. With it being in Beta at the time (though it still is now), I wrote it off and moved on. I came back to it about three weeks ago and I’ve honestly not been able to stop since.
The game itself has a very MMO feel to it, though it’s entirely instance-based as opposed to a huge overworld with instanced areas. The game has such a flair to it that it feels like a combination between a shooter and a spectacle fighter, and it looks gorgeous even on my old machine.
I managed to drag Julia into it and now it seems to be (by choice or otherwise) our game of choice. I love the fact that there’s some missions that just can’t be done alone, as it means we have to work together. Julia and I are working together on getting Mirage (another Warframe), because it doesn’t make any sense to do it alone.
I’m glad she doesn’t take offence to me lunging ahead in terms of ‘progress’ in the game, though. I have no problem helping her (although the navigation in some places is a pain and ‘over here’ isn’t a direction apparently) and hopefully she’ll have a couple of crutch weapons soon that she can punch above her weight and level other weapons or Warframes faster with. That’s been my strategy since I started ranking up two weapons at once, or a weapon and a Frame.
Honestly, the main reason that I play it so much is because I have a sense of restlessness now; my hands have to be doing something otherwise I find myself scratching my skin until I do damage or, the more common one, I eat. The medication I’m on gives me two speeds; stop and go. Finding a way to channel that into something either worthwhile or just recreational is what gets me through the bad days. It’s why I find work more enjoyable now I’ve changed to a role where I can’t afford to stand still and let the machines do their work.
I’ve ranked up nearly seven Warframes now and more weapons than I can think of, but I still want to do more. I have my favourites like Equinox and Oberon for difficult missions, but I have Chroma cooking and I have Nekros waiting in the wings when I’ve ranked up Hydroid completely. I’ve spent more than what I would on a console game, and I’m OK with that because I feel I got my money’s worth. You always have a choice in the game to earn or to buy, and sometimes, the smart thing is to buy 80p worth of product to save you working away for hours only to then get the chance to grind that product.
Is it a crutch for me right now? Maybe. But it’s a jet-powered crutch with machine-guns on the side; because of course it is.