Travelling between planets in Warframe’s vision of our solar system is governed by access to Solar Rails. Railjack hints at subverting this system, but Digital Extremes says not to expect a fully free-roaming open-world experience when the spacefaring expansion arrives later this year.
Railjack, if you’re just tuning in, is an upcoming expansion to Warframe that will let you board, crew, fight, and travel in large warships. You’ll be able to embark from a planetary surface and head into space, where you’ll be able to fight enemy ships together and even exit the craft as Archwings to board enemy vessels. The goal is for Railjack to be an environment that ties the rest of Warframe’s multiple environments together.
Don’t worry Tenno, you’ve got plenty of options. Here are the best space games on PC.
However, that isn’t to say Railjack is turning Warframe into an open world – that’s not the case at all, according to creative director Steve Sinclair.
“We’re not a space simulation game,” he told to us on Saturday. “We’re not trying to be Elite Dangerous where you’re flying over this whole planet.”
Instead, Railjack will help create the feel of a seamless universe, using streaming technology to help reduce the time players have to spend looking at loading screens or menus. Once you board your ship on Venus, for example, you’ll stay in-game as it lifts off into orbit around Venus, but the Venus you see below from the conning tower while in orbit won’t be the same game environment where other players are busy hunting animals.
“You call in your ship, you get on it, you go up, and now you’re in space, and there is this really cool transition that feels more seamless,” Sinclair explained. “We’ve been trying to do that with the game, using more streaming technology. We did that last year, and we did it with Venus where you get in the elevator and go up and the world is already loaded. We’re doing more of that to remove loading screens from the game.”
Beyond the astronomical (get it?) amount of work and development time it would take to create a functional, fully-open solar system to fly around in Warframe, Sinclair said he doesn’t think the concept fits with the game’s core vision.
“We’re trying to keep true to the spirit of Warframe, which is that high fidelity action gameplay,” he said.
Railjack is due out by the end of the year, and you can expect to see the next major expansion, Fortuna, sometime this autumn.