Veilbreaker is Warframe’s latest content update for the game. For the longest time, Warframe has not focused too much on its endgame activities. There is a lot to do after finishing the game’s Star Chart. But there has never been a clear and focused form of endgame activities like other similar online games have, especially since the removal of Trials years ago. There has been no end to progressing the story of the game. Along with powerful rewards and interesting activities attached to each expansion.
But none of these activities ever required the best of the best gear and knowledge of the game to overcome. This is where Veilbreaker comes in and shocked me. Bringing with it a very exciting new endgame activity, a new warframe, and new weapons. Alongside interesting and exciting returns for characters from The New War. All of it breathing new life into the game for me and making me excited to return on a weekly basis.
Developer & Publisher // Digital Extremes
Platforms // Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4|5, PC
MSRP & Release Date //$29.99, Sep. 7, 2022
Reviewed On // Xbox Series X
Kahl of Duty
Veilbreaker sees the return of Kahl-175 from The New War. A Grineer soldier you play as briefly during the quest. His veil has been broken and he aims to use his newfound freedom for his own heartfelt objectives. Simply to break the veils of brainwashed soldiers and save them in the ongoing fight with the enemy faction “Narmer”. In a short but sweet introductory quest where he is saved by Kaelli from Deimos with the help of the player.
While this is a simple premise for a major content update, the story week by week focuses on progressing the character of Kahl who just realized he should fight for his brothers during the war. From a simple Grineer speaking in broken English to a courageous and fierce soldier jumping into frays with impossible odds. Overcoming the worst Narmer throws at him without the help of the player in his weekly missions.
The strongest component of this story is the companionship Kahl and Kaelli develop over time. Kaelli despises Kahl initially due to him being a Grineer, but witnessing the dignity and drive he has slowly changed her tune. The dialogue in each mission between the two is expertly written with great chemistry and there are plenty of comedic and emotional moments for the both of them. I could listen to their exchanges for hours and hope if and when there is more to this story, that I get to enjoy their company again.
Because while it is a shift in direction from what I usually experience in Warframe, how this story fits the companionship element, well despite the troubled history of what species both Kaelli and Kahl are, is nothing short of brilliant.
Weekly Veilbreaker Missions
Kahl has his own weekly missions on a three-week rotation. One centered around stealth, another centered around infiltration and the final being a full frontal assault. The stealth mission is very mechanic-heavy, revolving around the idea of using cameras to unlock doors and activate hazards in the level. A first for the game and its usage of it is very fluid. It was easy to learn and felt creative in its incorporation for the missions that have it.
The infiltration mission uses similar mechanics to the stealth mission. But it leads up to a bombastic second half. Where you are accompanied by a lot of Grineer soldiers whose veils you break. While the full frontal assault is sadly a rehash of Veilbreaker‘s opening mission. But it does have a different finale with a unique boss similar to the previous missions.
These missions are very fun and engaging. With a lot of hidden collectibles and puzzles that are not difficult to solve. Kahl’s movement is very clunky compared to the fluid movement in normal gameplay in Warframe. But the missions are balanced to accommodate that. The infiltration mission is my favorite since it perfectly blends the mechanics and combat arenas with a fantastic boss fight at the end.
I never felt like I could fail these missions and the collectibles were meaningful in the narrative. If you find every collectible and do other weekly challenges in these missions you can earn a new currency and trade them in at a new vendor for the latest batch of awesome new rewards.
The Spoils of Veilbreaking
Veilbreaker came with a batch of new weapons, the fiftieth Warframe Styanax, and disappointing “Archon” mods. Three weapons, Slaytra, Aegrit, and Afentis are an interesting bunch. As the Slaytra is strong but very uninspired as a melee weapon. The Aegrit is an overwhelmingly strong weapon but the ammo economy it has requires more work in the mod department to fix.
While the Afentis is a strong weapon with a synergetic element to it. Where you can throw it into the ground to grant yourself and your allies weapons increased ammo capacity, higher fire rate, and lower recoil. While also having the ability to stun enemies by throwing it at them. Afentis is the signature weapon for Styanax and it matches. Since Styanax can grant energy to his allies and cause shield regeneration. All of these are pretty great additions to the game, but the Archon mods are pretty disappointing.
Archon mods are very situational and only seem to work well on very specific warframes. This would be fine but the currency needed to max these mods out for full effectiveness is inane. I regret both purchasing these mods and maxing them out since their quirks are just not noticeable. But overall, the new equipment in Warframe is great, Styanax and Afentis especially, and needing to spend to do every challenge possible in Kahl’s missions are fun for me.
The final addition in Veilbreaker was the Archon hunts. These are three-mission activities similar to sorties. However, there are some unique twists to them. For starters, there are no respawns, if you go down and you are not picked up by an ally. You can not come back during the mission. Each enemy is triple digits in their level, while also doing more damage and having more health if you are in a full group. You can not use summoning items and can only use regular items once every three minutes.
These on the surface seem like just a harder version of a sortie, but the Archons are the cherry on top. There are three Archons that you take down one by one on a three-week rotation similar to Kahls missions. They all have their own unique mechanics and are very difficult to take down. Boreal can have multiple invincibility phases, Amar can trick players and be very nimble. While Nira can slower players down and one-shot them while being able to heal herself.
Overcoming these bosses give you an “Archon Shard” unique to them with special stat increases for your warframes. A Boreal shard can give more armor, or shields to a warframe. While Amar’s shard can increase warframe ability strength or increase weapon critical damage. While Nira can speed up casting speed for warframes or increase the benefits of health or energy orbs.
This system is the highlight of the update for me. I love the Archon hunts and the shards. They give permanent bonuses to warframes that I can use in every other activity and feel more powerful. While also having a generally exciting time doing these activities. I hope more activities like this are in the future of Warframe because these are amazing.
Overall Thoughts on Veilbreaker
After the launch of Angels of the Zariman, I was concerned for the future of updates in Warframe. While it was a fantastic update due to the new zone, the Void Angels, and the Incarnon weapons. It lacked heavily in the story department and there was very little to look forward to after getting certain items. Veilbreaker, however, is a very stuffed package. The Kahl missions are expertly crafted and the dynamic between Kahl and Kaelli kept me invested in each mission. While the new weapons and Styanax are great as well.
The Archon hunts, however, steal the show and offer a very meaningful long-term reward system in the game moving forward. If the Archon mods were not underwhelming, it would be a flawless update running just as well as Warframe usually does. But Veilbreaker is an easy recommendation to players who are looking to come back to the game, it is worth your time.
Veilbreaker is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4 and 5.