Random Review #2: FTL (isn’t FTL travel impossible?)

Faster Than Light is a role-playing game developed by Subset Games, and it’s out of this world! Bad puns aside, this is a strategically adept game where you take the role of a Federation ship carrying vital information to your base that could ultimately defeat the Rebels that are terrorising the galaxy. It is a deceptively difficult game, despite its initial ease, and you will find yourself dying umpteen times before reaching the end, and as the game includes permadeath, you will have to start from the beginning every time you die. This sounds like it would get annoying, but no, it actually spurs the player on to try again and again, however annoying it is to see your ship exploding before your eyes after all your hard work. The permadeath feature makes the game much harder, but it is intended to allow the player to learn from their mistakes, for example they should learn that challenging a highly advanced Mantis ship is a bad idea when your Hull (this is your ship’s health) is on about 5, especially if you also only have a couple levels of shield.

ftl_1

The way the battles work is that you have a few bars of power (on the left at the bottom). You must allocate this power to your ship’s different systems, but choose wisely, as increasing power for one system may mean another important system has to be powered down. Of course, you can upgrade how much power your ship has in total and how much power each system can take by spending scrap, the game’s currency, which you salvage off any ships you destroy and earn from in-game events. One tactic I use is to upgrade all my shields as far as possible near the start, then use drones (which are not available on the first ship, the Kestrel, unless you purchase this system from a shop) to take out the enemy. Strategically planning your game session from the start is what this is all about. It is an addictive experience, one you will persevere with until you win the game.

-Daniel

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