Digital Extremes, the studio behind Warframe, announced over the weekend their brand new game: Soulframe. And the latter is most definitely not the sequel to the former.
Where Warframe is a fast-paced shooter set in a sci-fi universe, Soulframe is a fantasy MMO with an emphasis on melee combat. Not exactly a sequel then, or even a spiritual successor, but having overseen the same game for a decade you can’t blame director Steve Sinclair for leaving Warframe behind to go and make something new.
Here’s the very long, strange and very buttocks-heavy announcement trailer:
“Where ‘Warframe’ is focused on shooting, this one’s focused on melee,” Sinclair told the Washington Post in an interview discussing the new project. “Where ‘Warframe’ is super fast and crazy high-speed, this one’s going to be a lot more slow and heavy. But it still has a lot of similarities to the genre that we have experience in.”
While it’s easy to look at that trailer and think “OK, Digital Extremes have been playing too much Souls”, Sinclair says that the inspiration for the world itself comes from stuff like Princess Mononoke and The NeverEnding Story, with a game world that’s “a little angry about what’s been done to it”, meaning “the grounds underneath tend to shift throughout the day”, leading to procedurally-generated areas set in places like caves.
Soulframe is also going to have a large, open-world hub serving as its overworld, with Sinclair adding that the team wants this game to have a much greater focus on exploration. “I’m chasing that ‘short session but high immersion’ thing where you sign in and you come out of your yurt and you are where you last signed off,” he told the Post, “but the world feels like it’s been going on without you.”
If you think that all sounds very vague and “back of the napkin” in terms of design and goals, that’s because it is! This game is very early in development, in case you couldn’t tell by the state of that trailer, though the team are hoping to get some fans in playing rough builds of it “within a year”.