FTL: A must play by Brandon C. Hovey

FTL (2012)

Platform: PC

Publisher: Subset Games

Developer: Subset Games

Price: $9.99 on Steam

FTL (2012), is a game that has been on my radar for quite some time. But I needed to upgrade my sensors first before I played it. You’ll need to play the game to understand that joke. This is a game that when it was released I just wasn’t interested in it. I believe I was still playing the epic Skyrim. Furthermore, I believe I discovered the wonder of Deus Ex (2000). Although, I missed it when it was first released, I’m happy to share it with my readers now.

Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the Star Trek franchise envisioned Star Trek to be a wagon train in space. FTL is The Oregon Trail in space practically. You have a party of people, a trail to follow, and in some cases blaze, and encounters with aliens, pirates, robots, cyborgs, and sometimes you are threatened by space itself. This is a game that rewards you for successes and punishes you when you are defeated. Every choice you make has a consequence. And ever consequence has considerable weight. After all, this is a rogue-like. This is a ‘no mercy to the player’ style of game.

I have had final scores ranging from the low hundreds to almost nine-hundred. This is a game that’s hard to learn. But the learning curve isn’t as high as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind(2002)  or the original DeusEx (2000). I should have played the tutorial. But, I value my time. I’d rather learn by doing than throw myself into a ‘classroom’ style of training when I’m pursuing recreation. Let’s cut to the fun, right?

In FTL, no one play through is the same. I’ve not made it to the finish yet, but I’ve had a great time exploring space. I’ve done sensor sweeps, upgraded my shield, destroyed enemy vessels, out ran enemy vessels and upon occasion, accept the surrender of enemy vessels. These are conditional surrenders, by the way. You’ll get some decent loot now and then when you let them surrender. You sometimes miss out big by turning them into little Alderaans.

2016-02-15_00001
I turned this slaver into a little Alderaan.

You can upgrade your ship by improving the life support, medical, sensors, engines, piloting, shields, and weapon systems. You can cycle in and out weapons like burst lasers, or missile launchers. I’ve not really used the drone system yet. Maybe that’s why I keep fizzling out in sector five? Who knows? The game is challenging at easy, medium, and hard. I’ve only played on the easy and medium difficulties with the advanced edition content enabled and even then the game feels twice as hard as the listed setting.

I do not really have any complaints with FTL. I hope they make a sequel. Frankly, I hope this franchise can be a stellar Oregon Trail in space. They’ve got something good going on. It would be brilliant if they keep it up. So what are you waiting for? Board your ship and tear through space as fast as light.

 

 

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