Why Aren’t You Playing FTL: Faster Than Light?

FTL is a rogue-like space combat RTS that you should definitely blast off with
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The rogue-like genre has been having a small resurgence within the gaming industry recently, with a few fantastic titles that offer great gameplay and different twists on the idea of procedurally generated content. One of the best is the space-sim, top-down strategy game FTL that nails the main aspect of a rouge-like game: replayability.

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In FTL you play as a ship that belongs to the Galactic Federation, which is on the verge of defeat by rebel forces when you intercept their communications and learn information that could swing the whole war. Your mission is to traverse through the galaxy, with the rebel forces forever in pursuit, to deliver the information to the Federation Headquarters and face off against the rebel mothership.

It’s graphical style is simple yet obvious, everything is laid out clearly and it has its own charm whilst never blowing your mind. I think anything more would have taken away from the integral aspect of FTL which is its gameplay. This allows you to focus on playing in the impeccable game engine.

Combat is varied and strategic.

Gameplay is varied to the point of being as simple or as complex as you like. You have your ship’s energy that you use to power certain parts of your ship, such as the engines, the shields, the weapons, and more. These departments can be upgraded so that you can have more shields, use more weapons, be able to see in an enemy ship, and many other useful additions that make your ship more powerful as you go along.

These stations can also be manned by a member of your crew to give them an added bonus whilst also slowly increasing that crew’s efficiency at working in that area. Crew are also used to repair damaged areas of the ships, breaches in the hull, fires that break out, and any enemies that have transported onto your vessel. You also have fuel, which takes you to the different places within a sector of which if you run out, the impending rebel army will slowly catch up to you and put you in a life-or-death fight so it needs to managed along with your hull and when that drops to zero, your ship is destroyed and the game is over.

Combat is very reminiscent of other pause-based strategy games, using a stop-start approach by pausing the game to plan the attack before unpausing to carry on the action. As an attacker, you can prioritize firing on certain areas of the opponent’s ship to attempt at disabling certain functions or in an attempt to kill all the crew on board. The further you go through the game, the more strategic this part of the gameplay gets and encounters definitely need planning and forethought or you can quite easily lose a fight and the game.

There are also scripted encounters, such as stumbling on an empty ship or finding a distress signal. Most of these are text-based descisions, where you choose in a way of which benefits you most and can lead to rewards or punishments. It’s a nice addition that adds to the narrative of each playthrough; do you play the heroic one saving people from pirates, do you just get what you can as a bribe, or do you obliterate everyone to take everything they have?

Be prepared for a strong challenge.

There are some small criticisms, some of the additional rooms you can use aren’t really useful unless it’s an integral part to the ship’s style and unlocking some of the ships can be essentially a waste of a game.

The final boss is also an incredible step-up in difficulty that you can never be quite prepared for and even then, being at a good stage by that point can be just as much about luck than skill.

However, it’s an incredibly addictive game that you will find yourself going back to again and again just to see if you can beat the mothership this time around. It’s available both on Steam and on iOS for very reasonable prices (£6.99 on Steam) so if you love a very challenging rouge-like that adds in terrific RTS space battles, this should be right up your alley.

Why Aren’t You Playing FTL: Faster Than Light?
FTL is a rogue-like space combat RTS that you should definitely blast off with

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Nathan Staples
Journalism graduate that's trying to find his way in the wide world whilst trying to convince others to play some games they might have missed.