*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file-names.
FTL: Faster Than Light* gameplay from the Video Games and the Bible YouTube channel:
FTL: Faster Than Light makes you the captain of your own starship (ala Star Trek), with a unique focus on simulation rather than traditional first-person combat.
This means you can open airlocks to extinguish flames or suffocate an enemy boarding party:
Reroute power from your oxygen system to your engines to dodge enemy fire:
These are just some of the many tactical options available. However, many of these decisions–from defensive positioning to when to fire your battery of flak cannons–must be made quickly.
To ensure players of all skill levels can enjoy the game regardless of reflexes, you may pause the action at any time by pressing the Space bar. This places any tactical mistakes squarely on the player, as you are given essentially unlimited time to plan your strategy.
All of these opportunities for emergent tactics wouldn’t mean much if confined by a traditional “campaign” structure. FTL solves this potential issue with a clever Beacon/Sector map system.
You hold information vital to the survival of the Federation and must navigate through 8 randomly-generated Sectors to confront the Rebel Flagship. To get through Sectors, you’ll move between the “Beacons” inside while trying to stay ahead of the encroaching Rebel fleet. Each Beacon contains a situation reminiscent of early Adventure games:
Your choices determine how events unfold and may result in rewards or permanent damage to your ship/crew. In the example below, your actions earn the Stealth Cruiser vessel for use in future playthroughs.
No matter what quests you take and what decisions you make, everything leads up to “The Last Stand” at Sector 8.
Here, you will battle the Rebel Flagship for the fate of the Federation:
Since FTL: Faster than Light is a roguelike, death at any point is permanent.
Permanent death, combined with the various simulated/randomly-generated elements above makes FTL an extremely challenging game. Getting to the 5th sector for the first time is considered an achievement (and unlocks the Engi ship for future playthroughs).
However, investing the time to learn the games’ systems and how to be an effective player make this Victory screen one of the most rewarding sights in gaming.
The numerous achievements/side quests and their associated unlockable vessels breathe replayability into the game. Knowing you only have one more task to complete before receiving a new ship provides the motivation to try again:
The incredible design of FTL: Faster Than Light shines from every random encounter, every last-ditch flooding of the airlock and every panicked slam of the “Retry” button. Unfortunately, we also see some attitudes regarding God and religion that seem out of place.
One of the systems you can have on board your ship (such as Hacking, the Medbay, etc.) is Mind Control. This turns one of the crew members of your opponent into an ally, wreaking havoc on the enemy ship.
One random event has a crew “Thank the Gods” after you supply them with fuel. A Mantis rescued from an escape pod can also consider you “a messenger from the god of mercy” and demand to join your crew.
Although these are hardly referencing the biblical God, the following random encounter contains an interesting attitude regarding religion in general:
If you respond by saying their god sent them to be a part of your crew you will receive one of two messages:
“They barely hear out your appeals before yelling, “These are the lies I sought to escape!” Looks like they’re charging weapons!”
“They listen to your appeals and whisper, “Traitors to truth. You’re no better than them!” Chaos ensues.”
On the other hand, if you promise to share with them the “truths they’ve been denied” or your suite of scientific data, there is a chance for them to join you as members of your crew.
Some instances of profanity are present, mainly involving the word for an illegitimate child:
“The outpost hails you, “The pompous [expletive] expected free service just because they defeated the Federation. Take this for the help [gives reward].”
There are a number of alien races, including:
-The Crystal (race composed entirely of crystals)
-The Rockmen (race composed entirely of stone)
-The Slugs (race with the power of telepathy)
Buy Now! (Steam)
Buy Now! (Humble Store)
Purchasing this game through the Humble Store (above) not only gives you a Steam code, but DRM-free copies of the game on every available platform.
10% of each purchase through Humble Store goes to charity.
*This title was received for review/coverage. See our statement of ethics here and game review criteria here.
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