Warframe developer reveals Soulframe, a melee-focused spiritual successor

Digital Extremes, developer of beloved science fiction third-person shooter Warframe, has revealed a nature-focused spiritual successor called Soulframe. Yes, it is also a free-to-play live service MMORPG. Many (including me) were hoping for a single-player game, but after all the success Warframe has seen, it’s no shock that the company is continuing this format.

The only footage out there thus far is a cinematic teaser trailer, but The Washington Post conducted an interview with Steven Sinclair and Geoff Crookes, Soulframe’s project leads. In this interview, we learn that Soulframe is heavily inspired by works like Princess Mononoke and The NeverEnding Story, and will focus on themes showcasing the “collision between industry and nature.” They will also possess procedurally generated environments. 

We can also expect the game to feature exploratory elements that Warframe never had, including allowing the player to travel on long-winded journeys, log out for the day, and expect to come back in that same spot later. But what might shock them is how their environment has changed since they last logged off, as the world will feel “like it’s been going on without you.”

Soulframe’s teaser trailer gives off good vibes. We quickly get the sense that a powerful high-tech government is the antagonist after a lady in intricate armor chops the main character’s head off.

We see them wash upon shore before donning their own weaponry and facing off against a series of tyrannical knights. Shortly afterwards, this main character further communes with nature and gently stares in the eyes of a giant wolf.

(Image credit: Digital Extremes)

While Soulframe’s first trailer showcases a fascinating world with industry clashing against wildlife, what struck me most about is the protagonist’s design. It’s rare to see the primary character of a trailer in a game this huge possess a mix of masculine, feminine and gender neutral traits. I’m an enormous fan of this androgynous look, and it should happen far more often than it does.

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