They should go to kickstarter and start making FTL2, improve on execution of game, story depth, overall skill system, graphics are fine as they are, more races, etc. Fine game indeed.
Thrilling combat and strategic depth make indie space sim Faster Than Light a hit.
- Strategically rewarding gameplay makes you feel like a starship captain
- Fast-paced campaign loaded with tense combat
- Many hours of enjoyable spacefaring adventure for just $10.
- Lacking in encounter variety.
Faster Than Light might not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. This spaceship simulation may look like something from the golden age of 16-bit gaming, but it offers a good deal of fun and depth. Unlike space sims that make you feel like you've had your head jammed in a Jefferies tube during an ion storm (if we can mix sci-fi franchises for a moment), this lighter entry in the genre combines an endearing retro feel and an even more endearing $10 price tag with gripping gameplay packed with tough choices and frenetic combat.
What first strikes you about Faster Than Light is how old-fashioned it looks and sounds. Graphics are intentionally pixelated, particularly the big, blocky text used to provide ship information and menu options. The game consists of just a couple of screens. You spend most of your time looking at an overhead schematic of your vessel seen in front of a spartan backdrop consisting of a planet, nebula, asteroid field, or whatever other scrap of intergalactic real estate dominates the star system that you are currently exploring.
The only other main screen to note governs upgrades to your ship's core systems and how to equip weapons and other gear. Very little is animated, aside from dinky crewmen puttering around inside your ship and various rockets and missiles being blasted across the void between you and the many enemies that you encounter during your travels. Audio is limited to various booms and bangs, and to the mono bloops that served as the primary musical accompaniment to games in the '80s and '90s.
It doesn't take long for Faster Than Light to get its hooks into you. The main theme blends elements of Elite and Rogue into a space sim that plays like an old-fashioned dungeon crawler with randomly generated rooms and encounters. Here you play as the commander of a ship called the Kestrel in the only mode of play, a zippy single-player campaign geared to be finished in one or two sittings.
This plucky vessel is on the run from Rebel forces in possession of a secret that must be brought to the good guys within the galaxy-ruling Federation. What is this dire secret? It never comes up. Plot isn't a strong point here. But it doesn't matter, because all you need to know is that you've got a Rebel fleet gunning for you and a bunch of unexplored star systems spread throughout a string of sectors to check out if you're going to come up with the fuel, weapons, and gear to make it all the way to the Feds on the other side of the galaxy.
Gameplay has a pulp sci-fi feel. You're a cross between Captains Solo and Kirk, exploring strange new worlds while also spending a lot of time doing the "pivot at warp two and bring all tubes to bear" thing. Just about every star system features an encounter where you come up against an enemy, meet traders, check out a space station, or something similar. Systems are divided into sectors, most of which come with themes where they are loaded with nebulae, controlled by pirates, or feature something else that is undoubtedly hazardous to your health.
You gather or buy weapon upgrades, various ship gear and crewmen, and the scrap that you need in order to upgrade your ship. Ship development is handled like a role-playing game character: you put scrap points into enhancing the main reactor, shields, life support, sensors, and so forth. There is a great balance between improving systems and improving the reactor, because advanced systems mean little without the power to drive them. You are on a constant seesaw deciding how to spend your scrap to make for the most efficient ship, as all these systems give you offensive and defensive ratings and abilities that are crucial in battle.
Ship development is incredibly important, because combat is a constant threat. You can drop into a system and find friendly traders selling equipment, helpful scientists, or even just a relaxing empty vacuum, but you're more likely to run into a rebel ship, pirates, or evil aliens. Battles run in pausable real time, with you in control of all ship functions and crewmen. All ships in the game are shown with dedicated rooms housing systems like shields, weapons, engines, sensors, and oxygen. So you target your weapons at these facilities on enemy vessels while the bad guys focus in on the same ones on yours.
Great game! This is the space sim I've been waiting for. Its got modest goals but is brilliantly and confidently executed. Ridiculously fun, and the usual roguelike permadeath is as freeing as ever. No need to reload after a sub-optimal encounter, just plow forward and make the best of it.
A one-page mention in the latest issue of PC Gamer convinced me to install the game (that I'd recently bought at a discount during GOG's Christmas sale) and overcome my prejudice against its nearly bare-bones graphics, and I'm glad I did! Underneath the seemingly primitive interface is quite a compelling indie roguelike space sim which is both satisfyingly complex and easily accessible. The soundtrack is pleasant and soothing when not in combat and appropriately frantic and frenetic when in combat, and the text events, though repetitious, are still varied enough to maintain my interest for the foreseeable future. The fact that so much quality can be packed into such a value-priced game makes for quite a bargain and almost brings a tear to this jaded gamer's eye. To those of you who haven't yet purchased it, I highly recommend that you do so, especially when it's discounted (as it is currently on Steam for only $4.99). Just make sure to set aside some extra time for it (it will tempt you to extend the session well beyond your initial estimate), and don't forget to play through its tutorial!
This is only £3.49 on Steam at the moment! Well worth it. It's very easy to learn, and incredibly addictive.
Great, great game. Wouldve been something if this indie stuff won the Best strat. Game Award :D
I love it, I am addicted. Played every day since purchase. Unlocking the ships is great fun, finding different ways to win battles or take over ships. Customization options are HUGE but due to random availability its exciting too. Will I get good weapons in the first sector? Can I replace my lost crewmembers before the boss fight?
Oh, and on Normal, its incredibly hard. For higher difficulties, check the mod list on the official site.
I bought this game because it looks good for $10. I can say that yeah it's worth the $10 dollars, it's pretty interesting. I played it the first time for about 45 minutes, then quit it. I came back the next day and played it for another 45 minutes and it's pretty cool. It's got a little more depth than i originally thought when i played it for the first time, trying to learn the game. It's a rogue type game and the enemy is chasing you for a confrontation if you get "caught behind enemy lines" so to speak. The neat thing about being caught behind enemy lines is that you do have an option of trying to fight your way out of the battle. If you can survive long enough for your jump drive to be re-charged you can escape. It reminds you of that battle with Khan in Startrek II at times, which is pretty neat. There are a lot of kobiyashi Marus in this game, and sometimes you can win battles by sheer luck. The game is designed as a rogue type game so you can only save upon quiting the game, and if you get blown up it's game over and you have to restart from the beginning. I actually one time was able to restart from a previous save but i believe the second time i got blown up it was game over. I think that is the most cool part of the game, because it's realistic. It also helps try to keep the game from becoming old or repetitive, because you will fight the same battles over and over.
Short and Sweet jump right in and play game concept, i like this game concept. Hopefully we'll see more games designed like this with good artwork and simple but detailed game play.
Bought this game on a whim because I heard good things about it. It's definitely one of the most fun and addicting games I've played. I intended to play it for just a little bit, but ended up playing for hours. I really hope some sort of DLC comes out to this to add in additional content though, because you start to see repeat events after only a few hours of gameplay.
Still, trying to make it to the end without your crew is a challenge, I haven't managed to do it once yet, and I still keep coming back for more.
I agree with everything you said, except..the word is "addictive" not addicting, too many people are using this wrong word and its really starting to piss me off now.
Without your crew DYING* is what I meant to say. I think it'd be near impossible to get to the end without a crew. :P
It is a shame there are people in the world who seem to do and say things to piss people off. What a waste of a life.
strange that Brett Todd gives the game the "get your money's worth" emblem and says how there's many hours of game play for $10, but then gives it a demerit for being short.
Which is it? Is it a good value for $10 or is it too short. I don't expect a long game for $10, so I'm kind of confused.
@SeptuagintXXX I've played 16hrs on normal mode, then 2hrs on easy 'cause I couldn't beat the game on normal (pretty much advanced in my easy game). I'm going put in at least as much time as that, and probably much more. I've only unlocked one ship and I can't wait to try a new one....
I didnt back this on kickstarter but i brought the game from their site after release and i must say its some of the most fun ive had for some time in a single player game..
Well worth the money..
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@Gelugon_baat Dude you post way too much, especially for someone with such bad grammar. You've probably spent more time trolling this board than actually playing this game. Take a hike.
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@Gelugon_baat You implied that you knew a lot about GS ("you don't know much of anything about GameSpot if you think that they are the only avenues"), and you also implied that you've been here a while. Those definitely suggest that you're very close to this site.
@Gelugon_baat Well, if you truly are as close-knit with this site as you say you are, I'm sure you can find that information out on your own.
@Gelugon_baat You're asking me to give away my account information?
@Gelugon_baat Actually, I've been here a while, despite what my account's timeline might suggest.
@Gelugon_baat I was simply citing other reviewers that agreed with me.
@Gelugon_baat Your point being?
@Gelugon_baat Actually, there isn't anyone in GS that I hate, except you. But then again, everyone on GS hates you, so that's a given.
@Gelugon_baat Again, I wasn't comparing him to you. However, since you keep bringing it up, I will say this: ExplicitMike is a nice guy, and you are not.
@Gelugon_baat What part of my disagreement with him suggested that?
@Gelugon_baat I know that the people who are in charge of the site hate your guts.
@Gelugon_baat I wasn't comparing him to you, I was offering an example of a non-combative GS user.
@Gelugon_baat I disagreed with him on that review, but I didn't hate him because of it.
@Gelugon_baat Besides, not all the people on GS rave against differing opinions. Take ExplicitMike, for instance; he's a pretty cool and easygoing guy who hasn't posted any inflammatory material on this site.
@Gelugon_baat I don't have a problem when people offer differing opinions on games.
@Gelugon_baat Well, if you ever have any legitimate complaints in the future, the mods probably won't listen to you, and that's not a good thing.
@Gelugon_baat Oh yes, and I informed a good deal of the GS community about my talks with the mods, and let's just say that I've made some friends because of it.
@Gelugon_baat I haven't broken any rules, contrary to what you might think. Besides, even if I had, the mods would probably let me slide just to piss you off. Come to think of it, that spambot you complained about still hasn't been banned, which should give you some idea of how much the mods care about you.
Also, the mod I mentioned said "We've tried"; in other words, it's not just him.
"Believe me -- we've tried. Problem is he always keeps his posts from crossing the line. He hasn't been as subtle since the Terms changed, but again -- he remains borderline. It's frustrating as all hell. I would like nothing more than to show that bastard what's what. But I can't just hit him up for being annoying when he technically isn't breaking any rules (besides, one of us already tried contacting him about that; didn't change anything).
I feel your pain -- I really, really do. We just can't do anything yet."
So the mods hate him too. Too bad they can't actually do anything about it. Let's just hope that a mod eventually gets pissed off to the point where he bans GB just for being annoying.
@Gelugon_baat Well, I wanted to read your comment, but I don't speak troll. It's a safe bet it was pointless drivel, though.
Would be better if there were scenarios, or rather, free roam. But sadly the engine probably doesn't support that and it would be nearly impossible to add.
The game would also be way better if it was easier to mod.
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" somehow write a save file that is megabytes in size instead of just mere kilobytes". LMFAO...
"excuse me, but while i was playing the game, i had noticed that the color of one pixel was a tad lighter than the rest 1700000 pixels. this had officially ruined my day and i had to get my eye checked......."
seriously, change your f**king tampon already.....
Seriously dude, just move on. You bought the game, dont like the game, think it's "fickle" etc...That is fair enough, but the thing is...most people here give their opinion positive or otherwise and just get on with their lives. You have got to be THE most miserable, arguementative, bitter troll to ever inhabit a bridge/comments page.
I just went to your profile page to get a "flavor" of who you are...looked at the comments section on his page, somebody complimented him on his views and suchlike and he basically belittled and trivialised their view of his writing...what a fucking wanker you are sir, a truly joyless, faceless (probably friendless in the 'real' world) individual.
Whatever you say dude, i normally say my piece/opinion and then i'm outta here, you just camp out in the forum and troll it to death. And yeah maybe the language turns a bit blue but its only because i feel strongly about my opinion and i write how i speak, my bad i guess..
"Being able to turn off the fleet, or dial back its pursuit so that it isn't constantly on your exhaust, could have made the game more enjoyable for those who want to play explorer." I couldn't disagree more. He says it's a con that it's "Lacking in encounter variety," then asks to be able to explore every spot on the map.