FTL: Faster Than Light or FTL as it’s usually abbreviated is a space-faring, top-down roguelike game, and was originally released on the 14th September 2012, which was developed by Subset Games. Available on Steam, FTL is the game that put Subset Games on the map, but the developer is also known for their more recent release, Into the Breach. With FTL, it plays a lot like an RTS game, but this time around it comes with a rogue-like flair to keep things interesting.
Download FTL: Faster Than Light
You can download this science fiction game from GOG.com or Steam. To start downloading click on the Download button at the end of this review.
The Game Review
There isn’t much of a story when it comes to FTL, but the gist of it boils down to this: the player commands a small crew of humanoids who are all on the run to get to the centre of the galaxy, where the resistance’s main base resides; currently the only safe place left in the galaxy. Other than that brief stint of story information at the start of every run, there’s not much else going on when it comes to the story, but there are a few lore entries here and there, spread throughout the game.
Despite being a space-faring game, FTL is nothing like a 4X space battle simulator, instead, it has a real focus on the roguelike gameplay. Similar to many other roguelike games, FTL revolves around a one run at a time philosophy, where as soon as the player finishes a run, through victory or failure, the run completely ends, a score is kept and added to the leaderboards, and then it’s onto the next one. Before the start of every run, however, the player is given the option to pick and choose from several starter ships, with each one having their own layout, weaknesses, and strengths.
After picking a ship, the player is flung into the world of FTL and must now make it to the resistance’s base to consider this run a success. To travel to this location, the player must choose from a select number of locations and then make the jump. Changing location requires nothing more than a click or two, and at the expense of one of the resources available to the player. Whenever a player makes a jump to an area where they’re attacked, they have a number of different decisions to make, such as moving their crew around to battle stations, and picking and choosing where to attack the ship in front of them. FTL makes use of a very clever combat system that ensures that if the player makes a smart decision, like destroying their oxygen supply, greatly reducing their effectiveness until they die. As the player continues on with their travels, they are able to make purchases and upgrade their ship as they go along.
FTL takes inspiration from popular RTS games, such as StarCraft and its sci-fi approach to everything, but manages to keep the gameplay almost solely unique in comparison to many others. While FTL did create a unique set of gameplay, it doesn’t mean that others haven’t used it for their own inspiration.
FTL is a unique experience from a new developer at the time, and while its systems can take a little bit of time to get used to, but by the time the player gets a hold of things, there’s plenty to find and enjoy.