Soulframe is the next game from Warframe developers Digital Extremes, and this new project, inspired by Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, looks like a “mirror universe version of Warframe” set in a fantasy world.

As reported Washington Post, Soulframe was announced at TennoCon 2022 and is directed by Warframe director Steve Sinclair, who stepped down from his current role to pursue this new adventure.

Soulframe is a free-to-play open-world adventure “heavily influenced by themes of nature, recovery, and exploration” alongside the likes of Princess Mononoke and The NeverEnding Story. These inspirations will help the team build a world where “industry and nature collide.” In the service of this, the world will show its displeasure against the players who occupy it.

“Arrogance [in ‘Soulframe’] so the world itself is a bit angry because of what’s been done to it, and the ground beneath it tends to change throughout the day,” said creative director Geoff Crookes. “So there will be procedures under the world within cave networks and rifts and so on.”

The game is still very early in development, but Sinclair notes that it will share Warframe’s focus on cooperative player-environment combat and procedurally generated environments. In addition, Soulframe will be a “weird take on sci-fi” and will differ from Warframe’s “mechanized spin on the sci-fi genre.”

The differences do not end there.

“Whereas ‘Warframe’ focuses on shooting, this focuses on combat,” Sinclair said. “Where Warframe was super fast and crazy high-speed, this will be slower and heavier. But there’s still a lot of similarities to the genre we’ve experienced.”

Soulframe Official Cinematic Reveal Screenshots

Soulframe looks to have a very open hub world, similar to Warframe’s more recent open world planets, but will focus more on exploration than its predecessor. The team also wants to make it “feel more alive as a memory for players.”

Given that the game is called Soulframe, it might seem that Digital Extremes is also taking inspiration from FromSoftware’s Dark Souls or Elden Ring. However, this was not their original plan.

“I think it’s certainly not the original ideas or the inspiration for what we want to do,” Sinclair said. “Ironically, other Warframe titles might have had the opposite effect. But Ring of Elden has absolutely been the subject of some conversation—maybe with the camera, maybe because of how good their combat speed is. And, you know, screw those guys because damn [‘Elden Ring’] it was absolutely fantastic.”

The “basic concepts” for Soulframe began floating around the studio in 2019, and until this February, the only people working on it were a very small team of mostly artists. So, why did Digital Extremes decide to announce the game now?

“Our business is extremely community-driven,” Sinclair said. “It’s dishonest not to say [players] about the changes and who is leading ‘Warframe’. It’s too early to announce ‘Soulframe’, actually! But in terms of transparency and making sure they understand how we think, we tend to be more open than most studios.”

Sinclair and Crookes also said that they don’t plan to stay silent for years, as some games announced too early tend to do, and instead plan to give fans a “behind the scenes look” as soon as possible. Additionally, “Digital Extremes will be able to play a version of ‘Soulframe’ for a fatal year.”

“What we’re trying to do is do something like ‘Warframe,’ which is, ‘Hey, watch us make the game and get your hands on the rough bits and tell us what you feel,'” Sinclair said.

For those who want to learn more about Soulframe, definitely visit official site of the game. Although you have to solve a little puzzle to gain access, the website has a few pictures and a way to sign up for updates.

In addition to learning more about the game as new details emerge, fans can also reserve the Envoy’s Title (in-game screen name) and instantly receive Alca’s Eye when the game launches.

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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and continues Twitch.

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