Darkness developer announces free-to-play shooter Warframe

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 26 June 2012 04:03 GMT

Digital Extremes will launch its first free-to-play PC release, Warframe, during northern winter.

Described as “a fast-paced co-op shooter”, Warframe is apparently an idea the Darkness 2 and Star Trek developer has been kicking around for a while.

“Warframe is a new name for an old game,”chief creative director Steve Sinclair said in a statement.

“It was a shelved concept we kept coming back to. High-tech machine-gun Ninjas set in a far-future, over-hyphenated, Manga-Dune mash-up. Free-to-play lets us take risks. It allows us to build Warframe with our players.”

CEO James Schmalz said the move to free-to-play is something of a return to form for Digital Extremes.

“In many ways, we’re going back to our PC action-based roots. Free-to-play is like shareware 2.0! Once again, we’re connected directly to our end-user,” he said.

“They decide whether or not to pay for their experience and we listen to their feedback and continually improve the experience to make it worth paying for. Game development as it should be.”

Warframe is set in space during a dark age, in which a race called the Tenno is dying out under the enslavement of the Grineer. Luckily, just as the Grineer are about to wipe out the Tenno, the latter discover Warframes, ancient technological exoskeletons only they can operate.

The result is a PvE shooter for squads of four players, with unlockable upgrades to Warframes and weapons, customisable arsenals, and procedurally generated levels.

Sign up for the beta, reserve your alias and secure your tester bonuses here; a closed test is scheduled for northern autumn, with more details expected by the end of the summer.

Check out some pre-alpha footage of the game in action in the video below.

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