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I’ve been interested in FTL: Faster Than Light, a space-based rogue-like indie title that focuses on managing your space folk as you explore the galaxy, for some time now. Thanks to OnLive, I finally got a chance to play it. Here’s what I found.

FTL

The name of the game is damage control. Your ship is going to get beat up during the game and it’s up to you to shift your crew around to handle the mini-disasters that occur. I began with four crew total; three plus my pilot. Early on it was smooth sailing, blowing up random pirates and drones as I traveled from point to point on the map. Usually I would have to maybe repair my shields or weapons, but for the most part I was cruising. I stopped by one planet and had the option to rescue a ranting nut from the surface. Looking to add to my meager crew I jumped at the chance, and then he jumped at the chance to off one of my crew and then disappear. Now down to two crew and my pilot, it was going to take finesse if anything dramatic happened from here on out.

During a particularly vicious pirate battle, my oxygen supply was set alight. I sent one of my remaining crew, Aki, to repair it. I would have vented the fire to space (as I did one earlier in my engine room) but the oxygen room lacks direct access to an airlock. Aki put out the fire and was then sent to medbay to heal. However, my ship was rapidly turning red. Why? The fire was out, and I closed all of the airlocks! It was then that I noticed that my oxygen unit was broken due to the fire. Aki and my other crew member who I can’t remember the name of ran back there and both nearly suffocated fixing it. Apparently, space suits with oxygen tanks don’t exist in FTL.

It was all going so well after that, and I upgraded my weapons and shields so I was ready for most enemies I was going to find – or so I thought. Enter an Impossible Pirate class ship, and exit my vessel. That would be the end of the demo it seems.

FTL

FTL is a frantic game of, as I stated earlier, damage control that I could see myself playing for some time. The demo is on OnLive through this week I believe, so sign up  and give it a shot.

Alphasim out.

One Response to FTL (PC) Preview

  • Clickbeetle

    The concept seems similar to a board game called Space Alert, which is actually played in real time via instructions on a CD track, and the goal is to simply survive against an onslaught of enemies while keeping your ship from falling apart. Being managed on a computer would probably make it a lot simpler and easier to learn… though it wouldn’t have the cooperative multiplayer aspect of a board game.