Saturday, 29 December 2012

FTL - Well, there goes my life.

I know it's been out for a while now but I have just picked up FTL (Faster Than Light.) The game is wonderful it's a microcosm of the strategy game. After a slight learning curve (and a substandard tutorial) I became hooked.

The premise of the game is that you are a brave crew desperately trying to return to your fleet with vital information about 'the war'

Gameplay is hard to explain. There is a map with locations on it, jump to a location where an event may happen, combat or conversation (or stores) usually the latter turns into the former. Combat is done by targeting the systems of the opposing ship. While combat commences you have to use your crew to run about the ship repairing systems and fending off intruders. You have to manage the power levels of each system (shields, Engines, Weapons, Bridge, Life Support) each time an event finishes you finish up your repairs and then 'jump' on to the next location trying to navigate to the sector 'exit' - Along the way you collect 'scrap' this is used as currency to buy upgrades and fuel.

The game impressed me because of its scale. Although everything happens on the ship screen a screen that has very few real options or upgrades the gameplay stands up to any RTS game I have played. The game has no save function (you can save but not recover from death) so the stakes remain high.

FTL is currently in the Steam sale for a very few human monies and it runs on windows, Mac and Linux. It may not tote the wonderful Direct X11 3D engines that we are used to but its pleasing 2D interface is ideal for the type of game that it is as well as allowing it to run on literally any PC.

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