FTL: Faster Than Light is “A Spaceship Simulator Real-Time Roguelike-Like” game that will teach you the terrors of the random number generator. The fate of your entire crew rests on your hands as you’ll be constantly be thrown in situations that could easily wreck your entire operation. It’s you, your spaceship, your crew, and the unrelenting force of randomness.
FTL is much like a roguelike in that you will be traversing down a path that is randomly generated every time and death is permanent. However, instead of going through dungeons and leveling up a character, you’re going through the galaxy while building up your ship. Think of each jump as climbing down further and further into a dungeon, each with their own little surprises that could very well be the end of you.
That’s not to say that FTL will instantly kill you even if you’re doing well. The ship can be upgraded to be a powerhouse of badassness, equipping it with the strongest shields, weapons, and sensors. Wear-and-tear will happen, and the game puts you in a constant balancing act between using your resources and staying alive. Needless to say, you will be kept on your toes all the time, and even with the perfect fortress, the game will shove a knife right between your defenses and probably right through your armor of emotions.
Trust me, I’ve never felt so sad watching a ship just slowly die, especially mine. Titanic doesn’t even come close.
Every time you jump to a node, you have a chance of getting something good or bad. You might find an abandoned ship that has a bunch of spare parts, but you can also find an abandoned ship that has some sort of plague that will instantly kill one of your crew mates. You might do battle in front of a star, spewing out solar flares and eating away at your ship. You might get invaded while in a ship fight, thus having to micro-manage your crew mates and your ship at the same time. Thankfully, the game does have a pause function for when you need to think. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in pressured situations on a constant basis, probably to the point where you start mashing buttons in hopes that it will do something to save your crew. (Hint: It won’t.)
As you keep playing, dying or winning, you will unlock more ships and options that will carry on to the next game. Thankfully there is a definitive end, for better or worse. Once you manage to go through all of the galaxy jumps, you’ll be deemed a winner, but perhaps an unsatisfied winner because you’ll most likely play the game again.
Each time you go through, you start thinking of some clever ideas that would work to your advantage. After looking through the internet and hearing what people have experienced, ways to manipulate the strengths of your crew mates and using your various ship functions and finding out all these clever little tricks that… well, make you feel like the most cleverest person in the world.
FTL is an addicting game that could pretty much be played on any computer. I’d be more afraid of the fact of people potentially sneaking it onto their work computers and end up disrupting their work flow. Believe me, this could ruin your work flow. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that the game does have a definitive end, I would say avoid it if you value your productivity time. FTL will feast on your time, and it doesn’t matter if you’re one to take your time or to quickly rush through things, all that precious time will be lost.
This review of FTL: Faster Than Light is based on a review copy provided by GOG.com. DRM-free too!