Warframe’s next major update, Deadlock Protocol, is fast approaching, and with it comes a new Warframe, a boatload of backstory, plenty more. But probably the flashiest addition is developer Digital Extremes’ continued efforts toward refreshing the look of some of its rough edges – and this time they are modernizing the oldest area in the game.
Part of Deadlock Protocol will include a remaster of the Corpus tileset, an environment made of procedurally pieced together sections that are among the very first ever added to Warframe. That means adjusting the layouts, incorporating new backstory beats, and, of course, making all of it look shiny and new.
Watch the exclusive trailer above to see how much the Corpus tileset has changed.
“When you look at everything we’ve remastered so far,” Digital Extremes’ Rebecca Ford explains to me, “it’s actually a shock we haven’t done [the Corpus tileset] yet.” Previous remasters include tilesets for the Earth and Gas City environments, as well as Warframe’s first open world called the Plains of Eidolon, which was remastered less than two years after its introduction in late 2017.
In contrast, the Corpus tileset was first added back in 2012. “It was literally our first environment in Warframe,” Ford says, explaining you can even go back and see it shown in all of the original marketing for Warframe, like this 2012 teaser trailer. “The main goal is to bring the quality and design up to 2020 Warframe standards.”
Exclusive Screenshots of Warframe’s Corpus Tileset Remaster (The Deadlock Protocol)
Flip through the slideshow above to see more exclusive screenshots and comparisons.
“We also have a very significant goal of tying more lore and story into environments,” Ford continues. “We’re introducing a pretty big Corpus backstory and a new Protea Warframe quest in this update.” She describes the Corpus faction as “a cult worshipping money,” and making both that obsession and their mastery of robotics come through in the environment was key.
One part of making that come through in a way it didn’t previously is with the addition of the Corpus’ founder, seen in statues with a golden gauntlet around their ships – which you can see in both the video and slideshow above. Ford says this new character is “weaved into the infrastructure,” letting the environments tell a story themselves that didn’t exist beforehand.
Move the slider above for a before-and-after look.
Ford describes these remasters as “well-rounded projects” about more than just a slapping on new coat of paint. Adding new lore and quests is part of that, but she also says “it’s a matter of identifying what people like about the corridor shooter in our traditional levels, while adding a bit more room for true parkour masters.” For a game that’s nearly eight years old and still going stong, these remasters are essentially the closest thing to a sequel Warframe is likely to see.
As I mentioned before, this tileset remaster is only one part of the Deadlock Protocol update. It’s a part of a larger whole that includes a complete rework of the Corpus Jackal boss fight, a brand new warframe called Protea (complete with their own story quest), and more.
The Deadlock Protocol is coming in a free update soon, and Digital Extremes’ annual TennoCon event is scheduled for July 11. Additionally, it was recently confirmed that Warframe would come to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Tom Marks is IGN’s Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.