(dramatic music) – There aren’t many games that make me feel as cool as Warframe does when I’m bullet-jumping through the air at breakneck speeds. This free-to-play co-op shooter has wildly outgrown its simple space ninja reputation since it first came out in 2013. Its updates have added tons of stuff, including open-world areas, deep story missions, and even a hoverboard with a Tony Hawk-style scoring system, to the point where it can be confusing and tough to get into, but the way it makes everything you do feel fast, powerful, and just plain awesome keeps me coming back to its almost endless well of loot. Warframe is a dense game, a tangled ball of yarn made up of almost six years of updates and reworks. It can be overwhelming to even think about trying to untangle it all, but that also means there’s a ridiculous amount of deep and often extremely entertaining content to discover. For better or worse, this is a game that you’re gonna need a wiki a play, because loads of essential information just isn’t explained well in-game.Thankfully, Warframe’s player base is one of the nicest and most helpful communities around, which makes an intimidating game more inviting. Once I made it past the initial confusion and started setting clear goals for myself, which was usually making a cool new weapon or getting to the next planet, Warframe felt more like a sandbox full of treasures waiting to be dug up. There are tons of weapons and titular Warframe battle suits to track down, craft, and collect, and enough curated quests to keep pushing you forward for dozens of hours. Those quests can be hit and miss, with some like The Glast Gambit being downright painful to get through, but they’re generally interesting and a lot of fun.The more recent story-driven quests in particular are a huge standout thanks to impressive writing and acting I wouldn’t have expected after Warframe’s earlier missions. – But of course you are impressive just as she was. (painful groaning) (dramatic music) – The actual run-and-gun gameplay is so dang satisfying that it’s worth digging into for. Movement is lightning fast and incredibly versatile, and every gun and melee weapon feels unique. There’s real variety here beyond just raw stats. Pinning enemies to walls with the heavy-hitting Boltor is a very different feeling from the rapid-fire Furis pistols, and slamming someone with the Fragor hammer is satisfying in a different way from slicing off limbs with the Heat Sword. The Warframes themselves let you flex your preferred playstyle as well. There are straightforward options like Mag or Frost, which use magnetic and ice abilities respectively, but also stranger options like Limbo, which can temporarily put enemies in another plane of existence. I love that you can generally pick your loadout based on what’s fun, not necessarily what’s objectively strongest. If I saw a cool Warframe that can breathe fire, I could research how to get it, collect the crafting materials, and then breathe some dang fire.That process takes far longer for some things than others, but picking and pursuing goals like that is the point, and it was endlessly gratifying for me. One double-edged sword is Warframe’s mod system, which lets you buff up your gear. It’s rewarding and offers a ton of customization, but this system is also convoluted to the point of being downright hostile towards new players. I still don’t really like dealing with it even after years of playing. Crucially, Warframe’s free-to-play nature generally doesn’t get in the way. Pretty much everything except for most cosmetics can be acquired through playing. It’s a commendable model, but the one place it really hurts is inventory space, which is limited unless you use a premium currency called Platinum to expand it. Warframe is fundamentally a game about collecting, and the restrictive inventory space is antithetical to that, but I’ve had so many hours of enjoyment playing Warframe that a couple bucks to carry more guns wasn’t a hard call, and spending money on anything else besides cosmetics sort of felt like pointlessly paying not to play.(exciting music) Warframe isn’t an easily approachable game, but it’s one that’s worth getting comfortable with because it never stops growing and just feels amazing to play. Its satisfying kill-collect-craft loop is supported by a mountain of choices and some wonderfully responsive movement mechanics. Learning to navigate its overly complex systems pays off in the long run. For more PvE co-op shooters, check out our reviews of Overkill’s The Walking Dead and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Zombie mode. And for everything else, keep it right here on IGN. (rapid gunfire) .