Warframe is a great game with a notoriously difficult learning curve. Amazing quests like The Second Dream can be locked behind dozens of hours of gameplay, and there’s a lot in the way of mechanics and goals to take in. So, when the new expansion Empyrean was announced at Tennocon, the Warframe fan convention, it seemed like an exclusively endgame activity.
Happily, that won’t be the case. While only advanced players will be able to construct and customize their own Railjack, new players will be able to jump into Empyrean content at any time.
Empyrean offers four player co-op spaceship action, similar to Sea of Thieves. Players have to manage their ship, keep it repaired, and fight off hordes of enemy ships. Empyrean also offers traditional Warframe combat with boarding parties. Players can either hijack enemy ships to control or destroy them, or enemy boarding vessels can connect with the Railjack.
There will be a queue available for players with an Archwing to join a Railjack mission. The space-faring ultrafast Archwing is relatively easy to get; players will acquire it after the tutorial, around the time they complete the second planet. Players will earn affinity, the experience resource needed to level their gear, along with experience and rewards in the Empyrean content trees.
The Railjack was designed to be accessible, even for those who haven’t dug deep into Warframe.
“A new player should easily be able to intuitvely pick up the pilot controls and the side turrets and have fun immediately. When it comes to putting out fires, there’s a little bit of teaching — you have to go into your gear wheel to get out your fire extinguisher, so that’s one level deeper,” Dave Kudirka, Warframe senior producer, told Polygon. “Right off the hop, you can jump in and fly, shoot, jump out of the plane and be an Archwing and understand how that works right away.”
Polygon experienced Empyrean through a test build at Digital Extremes; the mode is still a work-in-progress, but there is promise in the chaotic, team-based gameplay.