Your chance to fly the Serenity
The Firefly reference is due to the fact that in this game there are spaceships, and you make your way through outer space. But there’s more than that.
FTL is a game of issuing orders, making decisions and checking all your systems. All of that in a blink of an eye. Things can go horribly wrong in a second. The pause function allows you to catch a breath and redeploy before the disaster. Or the glory. After a while you will be able to manage all the key systems of your spaceship and do just fine. But as a Roguelike in heart you will need some attempts. The permanent death is always near and the starting crew of three members is a little tough to manage. Especially when the all game is based on random encounters and your journey could be very short if you end up facing the wrong enemy at the wrong time.
The story is simple, delivered with pop-up messages, you’re a Federation ship carrying important data, and the rebel fleet is out to get you and stole your precious information; looks like this time roles are reversed. On the screen you’ll see the structure of your ship and the one of your opponent. The background is always more or less the same. Generic planets, asteroids and stars. That’s not the point. No doubt the focus is the battle. On your HUB you have all the systems of your ship, from the engine to the weaponry to the oxygen system. You have a power supply to distribute to the systems you’ll need. You really need to be strategic and judicious. After each battle you will be rewarded with precious and essential supplies and occasionally your opponents will even offer you some as a gesture of surrender if they believe they’re not going to survive the clash.
It’s all great fun, but the random encounter system can be problematic. In a playthrough it’s possible to go through some battles and end up with a poor loot or at the opposite way to end up with the definitive missile. Similarly you could encounter a very tough enemy when you’re not ready yet or at the opposite way an easy target for your missiles. But in my opinion this didn’t affected my experience in such a bad way. After all be the Captain is so much fun. And there are many spaceships to unlock, with different characteristics and specs, and don’t forget the chance to broaden your crew with new members during your travels.
FTL is a great experience, you will be constantly playing with a smile on your face for all the memories it will bring to your mind. Depending on the random generated encounters it’s a two – five hours experience and once get used to the possibility of permanent death and the consequent start over you will be hooked by its high-pitched combat and extensive management options.
+ Very detailed as regards of the management options
+ Technically accurate combat
+ Great ’80s game soundtrack
– Random encounter system
– Limited pop-up messages for the various situations