Warframe's New Heart of Deimos Expansion is a 'gorgeous, ghastly' 'fleshscape'

Warframe Heart of Deimos
Upon further inspection, it seems that the ghost-tentacles also double for liquid-cooling

Digital Extremes pits space-ninjas against Lovecraftian cosmic horrors

Warframe developers Digital Extremes have been consistently updating and tweaking their free-to-play, third-person shooter-RPG-stealth hybrid since 2013. And with the release of 'Heart of Deimos,' players will focus their fighting on a "disease-like" faction known simply as the 'Infested.'

Heart of Deimos Teaser Trailer

The Infested, according to PC Producer Dave Kudirka, is “strange and uncomfortable with its assimilated forms and unusual biology." They are described as a biomechanical, hive-mind pathogen that has completely taken over the new playable moon of Deimos. Like the Flood in Halo, the Infested seems to be an ancient, all-consuming mass of flesh and intelligence with no intent to stop.

Having a whole moon dedicated to the Infested, Digital Extremes hopes to convey an adequate sense of scale that should come when facing existential threats of this magnitude – it's literally you against the world. "When you first start playing, it feels like the whole moon is moving under your feet, alive and changing. Because it is,” wrote PR Director Douglass Perry.

The Infested are already entrenched in the Warframe lore. Still, Associate Art Director Kary Black stated that even though they felt they had good material to work with, they'd never had a chance to develop the Infested more with their own landscape. 

In addition to further exploring a known faction, the new expansion aims to improve the procedurally-generated tileset system by making the layouts more dynamic. “With the Infested, it felt right to do a proper procedural dungeon crawl,” Black said.

New enemies will take the form of slimy, slithering masses, giant centipedes, and many “new creepy crawlies to discover on Deimos,” according to Kudirka. Falling in line with the theme of body horror combined with biological evolution, players can also expect to craft new gear items using a bunch of “organic nature" themed resources one would expect on a living, crawling flesh-mound.

Fortunately for players who are new to Warframe, the expansion will be available early on in their career so they won’t have to grind just to access new content. Veterans will notice narrative threads between Heart of Deimos and the content of the past and some hints to future ideas.

Including Heart of Deimos, Digital Extremes will have added twenty-nine major updates to a game that doesn’t require a single cent to play. Even after seven years, Warframe can still maintain a healthy player base with 50 million total registered players, 12 million of which signed up in 2019 alone. Even though they emplement a premium currency to skip grinding, it seems that Digital Extremes has managed to execute the ‘games-as-a-service’ model without angering too many players.

The Heart of Deimos expansion will be available for all players across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on August 25th.

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Jose is a left-handed techno-mancer with an affinity for IPAs, big dogs, and black-and-white movies. Rebels are scum, Empire for life.
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