I was up way too late last night. I usually am but this time it was worth it – I finally got to play Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon expansion for myself and I am most certainly impressed. Cetus and the Plains of Eidolon are a giant leap forward for the game, even if it’s ultimately just the beginning of what promises to be a bold new era for the space ninjas.
The Plains are on Earth, and positioned in a way that lets new players take part immediately after the tutorial missions. Meanwhile, content and bounties scale up for veterans, and every 100 minutes the Plains go into a night cycle which is decidedly more dangerous and appropriate for long-time fans. During these times, my relative newbish self either needs a party or I wander off into space for one of the dozens other instanced missions.
Cetus is the new “hub” zone for all Tenno. Think of it as The Tower in Destiny, or Ironforge in World of Warcraft. Dozens of people are roving about, crafting, buying, selling, and exploring the sights. It’s also here that players take up Bounties, essentially on-demand content in the Plains for gear, experience, and reputation with the Cetus people.
The new quest series, centered around unlocking and finding the Gara frame can be done in an hour or less, though unlocking the frame will take longer. It’s a solid narrative of love, loss, old flames, and new beginnings but it’s over too soon. The real meat of Eidolon comes in the form of bounties, hunting down Eidolons themselves (massive monsters that take some real teamwork to tackle), and exploration of the whole giant locale.
You can free-roam the Plains alone, with others or on missions and bounties. But it’s still just you and whatever friends you bring with you, not a truly “MMO” zone where hundreds of players swarm the hills. Think more Guild Wars 1 than Guild Wars 2. There’s even fishing, mining, and tons of new gear to craft for your warframes.
For those coming into Plains of Eidolon expecting a lengthy new explorable world filled with hundreds of quests and content, you might be disappointed. If instead, you’ve been wondering what Warframe would be like with wide open spaces to explore, this is your first taste of what’s to come from Digital Extremes over the next several months and years. More will be added to the Plains, more zones will probably follow, and it’s only a matter of time before even more players fall under the spell of being a Space Ninja.
Our full review of The Plains of Eidolon will come next week from resident Warframe addict Aaron Couture, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Warframe is free on PC, where the expansion just launched. Why not go give it a try?