Warframe's TennoCon 2021 fan fest is officially over, capping off with a reveal of its next major expansion. It was an all day event with a lot of information to cover, but if you weren't able to watch the whole thing here's some of the biggest and coolest moments from the show.
The New War is the big expansion coming to Warframe later this year. It's a "cinematic quest"—Warframe parlance for their big story quests, heavy on the cutscenes—and the biggest one Digital Extremes has ever made. The New War marks a new era for Warframe, as the evil Sentients from beyond the solar system finally arrive on Earth to destroy all life in the Origin System.
Unlike previous expansions, The New War isn't a new open-world zone or an update that introduces complicated progression systems. Instead, it's a linear narrative mission that takes players through the Sentient invasion from multiple perspectives. That's right: During what appears to be a large chunk of The New War quest, you'll be playing as people other than your Tenno.
Switching between multiple characters is rad
The big feature of The New War quest is the way it jumps between several perspectives as the Sentient invasion kicks off. During a 30-minute extended gameplay demo, Digital Extremes played through the beginning of the quest, giving us a sneak peak of how this new system works.
These transitions between characters appear to be scripted, but do a wonderful job of communicating just how massive the scale of The New War is. Early on, players take control of a Grineer soldier stranded on the Plains of Eidolon as Sentient warmachines slaughter his comrades and raze the nearby settlement of Cetus. Before long, we're transported to a Corpus battleship in orbit above Earth, as a Corpus engineer repels Sentients by taking command of various combat robots. Lastly, players take control of Teshin, a major NPC from previous quests, who infuses his sword with different elements to fight Sentients aboard one of their own ships.
What stands out to me, though, is how much Digital Extremes have ramped up the quality of the cinematics. Cutscenes and combat flow seamlessly together, and the big setpieces all look really spectacular.
Rejoice! Warframe is officially getting cross-save and crossplay, meaning players will be able to play with whoever they want regardless of console—and our accounts will no longer be locked to just one platform. This is easily my favorite announcement of the show, since it means I can now play Warframe on my Switch in bed (or at my TV) instead of always being stuck at my PC.
Starting with The New War, Digital Extremes will also be rolling out major updates simultaneously across all platforms so everyone can play new patches together instead of console players having to wait a few days.
One of the biggest surprise announcements from the show is that Warframe will one day be playable on your phone. Digital Extremes says it is hard at work on a mobile version that will let players log in from anywhere and play, and they even showed it in action. At first glance, it looks pretty similar to the Switch version of Warframe, which runs at 30fps with a lot of graphic options turned off (but is still very playable). Though I can't imagine touchscreen controls will feel all that comfortable, this will be great if you're wanting to login and knock out some non-combat activities like selling items in a Relay or decorating your clan dojo.
New warframes, armor, and weapons are incoming
Before The New War's flashy reveal, Digital Extremes hosted several panels with artists and developers about other exciting features coming to the game later this year. During the art panel, for example, we got a look at Nidus Prime, the new Prime variant warframe. It's not clear when Nidus Prime will be available (most likely before the end of the year).
We also got a look at a rough concept of an entirely new warframe that is partially made with Sentient technology. Digital Extremes also showcased a new Sentient bow and Sentient cosmetic armor that "grows" as players complete an unspecified objective.
That mostly covers the biggest reveals from TennoCon 2021. You can read more in-depth coverage of its crossplay and mobile version here, or check out our synopsis of The New War gameplay reveal. If you want a complete look at everything showcased throughout the day, users on the Warframe subreddit have rounded up all the concept art and other smaller announcements.