For a game set across space, Warframe has a love-hate relationship with taking players to the stars. Especially when it’s tied to desirable new content, like farming the newly released Sevagoth blueprints. Fully space-based combat like Archwing missions — which placed players in jetpacks to swat enemy ships in the void — took a while to get, well, fun. It was buggy and felt disconnected from the main game at launch. Though it slowly but surely worked its way into the core third-person shooter loop. Now the Call of the Tempestarii expansion has done the same thing for the more recent Railjack missions that finally brought true ship-to-ship combat to Warframe. Railjack finally feels more complete.
It helps that the accompanying story mission kicks ass. It sets the player searching for a legendary rescue ship (the titular Tempestarii). The vessel was lost during the ancient Orokin Era that Warframe so often references. A captain for the Corpus (evil space capitalists that comprise one of the game’s major enemy factions) is also hunting the ghost ship. The plot plays out across capital ship battles that also served to refresh me on how to play Raijlack — the player-created vessels that saw significant changes in the last couple of updates.
Call of the Tempestarii is short but sweet. There are some terribly evocative scenes featuring a new Warframe, Sevagoth, who’s tied to the cruiser. “He is: not conventionally alive,” says your shipboard A.I. upon your first meeting. It rules. As does the new song “Sleeping in the Cold Below,” which is a clear follow-up to another popular Warframe track. Its deployed well in the expansion. And observant players will likely take it as setup for the new “Corpus Queenpin” nemesis system arriving in a later update.
But much has been made about how this update and its predecessors are meant to combine more of Warframe’s core activities: Archwing, Railjack, regular-ass gunplay, and even a dollop of the open-world stuff. In Call of the Tempestarii, you seamlessly move between Raijack space combat and objective-based corridor shooting. Then back again. This is meant to be the new status quo for Raijack content. It’s still a bit shy of the feature’s original promise, where players were meant to start on one open-world, hop in a ship, and fight in-flight to the next mission. Though it remains an effective blend of old and new.
Farming for Sevagoth blueprints really drives that home for me. It’s a classic Warframe pastime: running the same mission types over and over to get the drops you want. The difference is that Sevagoth blueprints are tied to Void Storms. This new activity type is much broader than a single mission type — such as the Infested Salvage quest where players could collect the Warframe Nidus. It’s a series of rotating Railjack missions that also serve up other useful loot.
The kicker is that each piece of Sevagoth is tied to an escalating tier of Railjack missions. So as you hunt for the blueprints, you also earn experience, gear, and resources along the way. All in a quest type that many players were ignoring until now. It takes an old Warframe tradition and makes it a useful exercise for progressing, too. Even more so than combining on-foot and space-based battles, this feels like a good step towards making Warframe flow better.
Plus I’m gonna be listening to that new song a lot.