Review – FTL: Faster Than Light

Game Review

FTL: Faster Than Light, a year-old game published independently, takes place in a universe where clashing factions are attempting to take control of a now-expanded universe consisting of various races, groups, and new technology. Players take control of the protagonists of the story, the Federation, and fly a small ship that contains extremely important info to ensure the Federation’s success against the opposing Rebels.

It is unknown what caused the Rebellion or what either side stands for, but the game still has a good story nonetheless. During the game, you run into four other factions including Pirates, Mercenaries, Slavers, and Civilians. They play a lesser role than the Federation and the Rebels but are important during your journey. You will run into Pirates looking to take you down, Slavers attempting to gain a business opportunity, and sometimes Civilians who need nothing more than a little help. 

The gameplay of FTL is simple yet involves a lot of quick thinking. The combat will have you on your toes as you have to constantly watch your ship and crew. The rest of the game is more strategy, you have a lot of time to choose which direction you're going to take. You get to choose from a variety of ships that you can unlock during your journeys, assemble and customize your crew, and choose which build of ship you will disembark in. You go on a turn-based journey through space, choosing the next point your ship will fly to on the map. Each point has a variety of encounters and opportunities ranging from defending against Pirate attacks to encountering friendly ships that will give you extra items for your journey.

You have to pay close attention to the inside of your ship at all times to make repairs to different rooms, help crew members fight off boarding parties, and put out spreading fires. The combat system has a variety of different components including weapon augmentations to fire at enemy ships, drones which are automated to either attack or defend depending on their model, and other ship augmentations such as force-fields. If you aren't careful, your ship can be lost in a matter of seconds, which provides a strategy game that will keep you on your toes. Overall, this is a fun game if you have some time to kill. Each session is different from the last and is up there with some of the best Indie games making their way onto the market.

The game is extremely popular right now after being included in one of the Humble Bundles, an organization that raises funds for charities by selling donated games for a price set by the buyer. The charities include Child’s Play, which seeks to improve the lives of children in hospitals, and Watsi, which funds medical care for people in need. If players pay more than the average price paid to purchase games, you gain additional treats, and can choose how the funds are distributed. The most recent Humble Bundle its been featured in is the Humble Bundle 9 along with a variety of independently published games.

FTL: Faster than Light is supported on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and it can be purchased from Steam, or on their website. However, by supporting Humble Bumble not only do you get a great deal on games, you help support worthy charities! FTL: Faster Than Light and Humble Bumble comes highly recommended for the gamer in your life! Do good while having a blast!

Owen O’Sullivan, posted 12/8/2013

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