Warframe's Empyrean expansion promises Star Wars-style co-op missions

Digital Extremes shows off Railjack, story trailers and the Duviri Paradox at TennoCon. 

It's been a whole year since Digital Extremes first announced its space combat project Railjack at TennoCon 2018. While the expansion's release date remains elusive (and the name has changed to Empyrean), thanks to today's TennoCon presentation, we now know a few more details about the expansion's gameplay. This includes a mission which feels like it's straight out of Star Wars, albeit with fewer Ewoks.

Oh, and there's also new story trailers, a cinematic opening and a teaser for the upcoming Duviri Paradox open-world expansion. Phew.

During a live demo, Digital Extremes showed off Empyrean's squad link feature, which will allow separate squads to connect their objectives. When one team got in trouble after a disruptor beam hits their Railjack, they called for help from a friendly ground crew, who took a pause from fishing to take out the enemy base. Digital Extremes described this to press as its very own "recreation of the Battle of Endor", which is frankly all I need to know.

The demo showed one variation of a squad link mission - but a press release mentions squads will also be able to help each other steal data "and more".

Along with the squad link feature, players will be able to use their Archwings to infiltrate and steal enemy ships as part of Empyrean's epic space battles. To make things fair, enemies can board player ships, meaning you'll have to watch your back to fend off hostile boarding parties.

The demo also gives a first look at Warframe's kingpin system, which essentially gives players their own reactive nemesis that improves with every death. They seem to be quite sassy.

Meanwhile, fashion frame enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that the Railjacks will be fully customisable, giving players the option to decorate their ships in a variety of colours and decals. On more practical lines, you'll also be able to personalise your battleship's "equipment, cosmetics, systems and reinforcements" - including your crew members, who each come with specific perks.

If this wasn't enough, Empyrean's bringing changes to the entirety of Warframe: as part of the expansion, the game's engine is getting a revamp, which should result in some sweet-looking graphics. Say hello to real-time shadows.

In other (non-Empyrean) news, Warframe's also getting a fabulous new cinematic opening. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg (of 10 Cloverfield Lane and Black Mirror: Playtest), it's a pretty epic way to introduce new players to the game, and provide older Warframe players with some interesting lore - all while subtly foreshadowing key events in the story. It's scheduled to arrive in-game sometime between late 2019 and early 2020, but you can check it out in the video below.

In a surprise twist, Digital Extremes also released a teaser for another big expansion, the Duviri Paradox, which will provide an "ominous new environment where Operators have grown up to become mature adults". As the game's third open-world expansion, it sounds like familiar territory - except this update promises to take players on a "reality-bending journey of the surreal". Spooky.

A whole load of other additions got announced during the conference today - including Nightwave season 2 and Wukong prime access, which are both immediately available for players. The New War - a cinematic quest teased last year - also got a new trailer. And, earlier in the day, a mysterious new warframe called Grendel was also unveiled during an art panel - but we're yet to hear exactly what this frame can do. Nonetheless, I'm sure players will wulf it up when it arrives.

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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