E3 Hands-On: Warframe and the PS4 Controller

Warframe for the Playstation 4 looks to be a great port that translates well onto a comfortable controller.
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Before E3, there was no contest: I am getting a Playstation 4 on release day. The launch titles seem cool and it is almost unanimously agreed that it is the most promising of the next-gen consoles. Nonetheless, I still wanted to see it in action and get a feel for the controller. I did this by playing a port of a game I am familiar with: Warframe.

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I, for one, welcome our new Sony overlords.

I’ll start with my impressions of the Playstation 4 controller. It feels like a more comfortable Dual Shock. It’s slightly thinner which makes it a bit more comfortable to wrap your palms around (at least if you have baby hands like me.)

Baby, I’m gonna touch that pad all night long.

Everything felt more or less the same about the controller except the grip. Oh yeah! There’s also this awesome new touch pad.

I was pleasantly surprised by the touch pad. It felt natural to use in Warframe. It took a little getting used to to use while aiming, but it’s a possible task. It adds a new dimension for inputs and feels a lot less gimmicky than I thought it would.

I play Warframe for the PC and use the keyboard and mouse, so, I was worried about how the game would translate onto the Playstation 4. I can safely say that it feels completely natural.

It is still easy to pull off impressive acrobatics like the wall run, flips, etc. The touch pad is how you use your Warframe’s abilities and even that felt right. I played as Excalibur and found it really simple to pull off his dash attack by sliding up on the pad.

By using those inputs instead of the other buttons, it frees up the controller so that you can have the PC’s maneuverability and ease of use on a controller which is essential for Warframe.

The game played exactly the same as the PC version from what I can tell. It seems like a pretty faithful port.

What I am most excited about for Warframe for the Playstation 4, though, is the possibility of cross platform play and being able to use everything you have on your PC account.

Sheldon Carter, the Studio GM of Digital Extremes, was at the booth. He was a very friendly guy and I didn’t even know how key of a member he was until I got home and looked him up on Google. He was there to answer any and all questions, as well as help new players learn the ropes.

Too much text. Here, have a picture of the game taken with a crappy digital camera.

Before I got a chance to play the demo, we talked about the game. He asked about the Warframes I use and seemed stoked to talk about the game with the players at the setup.

I asked him about whether or not a PC player will be able to use their same Warframes, weapons, mods, etc. and have the same levels on the Playstation 4 port as they do in the original game. Carter said that, so long as Sony gives the team the okay, they are going to do just that.

He also said that cross platform play is possible, but it wasn’t a sure thing. From his tone, it sounded like even though the team was interested, it might not happen. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one either way.

I had a lot of fun trying out the demo, but the greatest part for me was seeing everyone who was completely new struggling with the basic concepts of the game. We played a defense map and the new players would just shoot at everything that moved, including other Warframes.

All in all, I am looking forward to the Warframe port and I am definitely looking forward to getting some use out of that swanky new Playstation 4 controller. It’s just so sleek and ooh.

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Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.