• FTL: Faster Than Light

    FTL: Faster Than Light is one of the latest Indie titles to hit the market, and one of the biggest success stories from Kickstarter. The story of FTL begins way back in February 2012 with a small Kickstarter to help fund the creation of "a spaceship simluation roguelike-like". The Kickstarter surpassed its modest $10,000 goal by over 2000%.

    So what is FTL in the first place? Well, it's a Roguelike, which to those not in the know is a genre of game based around a unique little game called 'Rogue'. Rogue is unique because the game is almost entirely randomly generated, you run around randomly generated dungeons finding randomly generated loot in order to progress further, and this is pretty much the premise for all of the Roguelike games. FTL is no different, you fly your spaceship across the galaxy encountering random events until you get to the final system, in which you have to face off against an incredibly hard boss.

    The game is unforgiving, and it's meant to be, it's meant to be very difficult and as such you'd be forgiven for playing it on easy mode (lord knows I have) and still dying less than 20 minutes into a session.You have to take a leaf out of Dwarf Fortress's book - "Losing is fun."

    Back to the point of what is FTL? FTL is a spaceship simulator, you start out with a standard ship and 3 Human crew members, there are a number of subsystems on the ship such as weapons, shields, engines and pilots. Those mentioned are ones that can be manned by your crew members, others such as oxygen, sensors and doors are automated. You
    warp from system to system finding events such as stations being on fire, pirates attacking, violent nebula storms and asteroid fields, and you have to pilot your ship through these events with a quick mind and calculating patience.

    As you progress through a sector you're slowly chased by the rebel fleet, which forces you to progress through the sector quickly so you're not caught by the fleet and forced into difficult firefights against top notch Rebel attack ships.



    The combat will appeal to those who are fans of Star Trek as it allows you to divert power away from systems and into others, for example you can shut down your med bay in order to squeeze a little more power into your shields, or if you're really in a fix you can shut off the oxygen supply, a risky move that can prove to be your undoing. You can target your individual weapons on different parts of the enemy ships, either targeting their subsystems or even empty rooms. The effects of attacking are two way, hulls can be breached, causing oxygen leaks, fires can be started (forcing you to either make a crew member extinguish the flames, or venting the affected rooms of oxygen so the fires will starve and die down) and if you make critical hits on the enemy subsystems, or take hits on your own the systems can become damaged. Your opponents shields too strong for your lazers? Fire a missile into their shield system to shut it down, allowing your lazers to make clean shots.

    The game itself is full of potential and is brutally difficult, but in a fun way. Many of the random events require certain prerequisites in order to be fully explored, but if they are then they often allow you to unlock new features, mainly new ships which allow you to play the game in a new way, with new starting weapons, bonuses and crew members that increase the playability tenfold.

    If you're into roguelikes, space or unique and interesting games, FTL is a great game to check out, it's fairly cheap and DRM free from the website. This also allows you to activate the game on steam, which is a good quirk that appeals to many.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Chalex4's Avatar
      Chalex4 -
      Nice review, somehow I was completely unaware of this project. Seems like an instabuy.
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