Game Review: ‘FTL: Faster Than Light’
Everyone likes getting behind the indie game developer…especially when it offer such awesome value for money. Coming in at only $9.99 this strategy based sci-fi game has minimalist presentation but any and every type of geek is about to become addicted. You are the pilot of a spaceship who must deliver important information to the Federation. Rebels are on your tail so you must use your FTL drive to hop across space to beacons.
The gameplay occurs around an overhead cross section of your ship. Every jump through space gives you a random encounter – an rebel ship, slavers, pirates, SOS beacons or traders. Often you’ve got a choice to make about how to handle a situation, with unforeseen consequences. When you head into combat you pick your targets on the enemy ship and manage the crew. Much of the game will be spent managing resources by collecting scrap and upgrading your ship. Most systems of the ship feed on the energy supply that must be distributed according to your situation. Using the plan of your ship you direct your crew members to different areas to control systems and make repairs.
At first it seems almost insultingly system but as you’d expect it doesn’t take long before the situation becomes more complex and you have to make quick decisions to survive. Sometimes players have to think outside of the routine – instead of sending the crew to put out an engine fire it might be prudent to keep them working the weapons and shields while you open an airlock and sacrifice some oxygen to put out the flames. The difficultly curve is a steady one, meaning that you never find yourself in a situation that you can’t think or fight your way out of. That said, it is a highly challenging game that you’re not going to finish (and unlock new ships) on your first or second attempt (or ever, which is the case at the time of writing for this gamer).
Like with any good simulator you can customize the names of you ship and crew meaning that you can send the ‘Serenity’ out to the black. More options for ship, design and the like become available with more playthroughs, but they have to be earned to enjoy. Different weapons and drones will also become available through-out the game, making rash decisions with resources regrettable.
All in all you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal on Steam this week. Imaginative, fun and damn addictive.