FTL: Faster Than Light
was my summer in Paris, if Paris was actually Somalia and Summer was hot enough to melt my face off. And you want to know something about my trip? I loved every second of it.
FTL is a sci-fi lover's (like myself) dream. Filled with references here and homages there, it never slows down, the action is always frantic yet methodical, and it's an absolute delight.
FTL is a Real-Time Strategy game (with a turn-based element). You control a ship and it's crew from an over-head, side on perspective. There is no movement of ship to control beyond jumping from beacon to beacon.
When it comes time to fight your first ship (probably in the tutorial, seriously, do the tutorial), you can pause time by pressing the space-bar, to assess your options and your tactics, in a similar way to that of games like Dragon Age: Origins or The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. You must make sure at all times that your crew are alive and your hull (your health meter) isn't about to reach zero, or it's game-over. This is easier said than done, because the amount of micro-management is ENDLESS, to the point where it is all micro-management and there isn't any priority management, per say. You need to make sure you have enough power to all systems, no intruders are going to come on board, that you are doing damage to their ship, and if not, charging your FTL jump (your "I NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" button), among countless other things.
This game is BRUTAL.
There are 3 difficulties (if you use the Advanced Edition, a major free DLC added to the game in 2014, you can still use the Vanilla version that was the original release): Easy, Normal, and Hard. The only real difference between them is how long you can hold out before being smashed. You need to get through 8 sectors and 1 final boss to complete a run (and subsequently, the game). The final boss is so hard, that even nearly 70 hours into the game (at the time of this review), I STILL haven't beaten it... even on easy.
And yet, despite this massive, massively overwhelming difficulty, I wouldn't have this game any other way. Because without it, this game would have FAR less replay ability. But with it, each new run feels completely different. New tactics you might need to try, new ship purchases in hope of finding that Magnum Opus that is your favourite weapon, new dialogues, everything. Without this difficulty, all that wouldn't matter, because after beating it, you would feel less compelled to try differently, and get bored a lot quicker, something I am only realizing after so many hours.
Everything this game does should be a set example for games in future years. It get's everything right, the customization, the balance of every factor, excitement. Even it's techno music (I just hurt the souls of many electronic music fans), something I don't particularly enjoy, is absolutely fantastic in this game. To put all this into perspective, I got my Dad to play this game, and even he has since clocked 30+ hours of his own time in the game.
So with my melted face from my time in the Somalian weather, I must insist everyone who considers themselves an open (to all games) gamer, to play this game. It helps new players find their feet, then punches them down when they have the hang of it. It screams in the face of master strategists and sends them cowering. It is one of the most soul-destroying, exciting, charming, addictive, challenging, fun games out there.
It's the best Strategy game I have ever played.
+Good Interface, Music.
+TONS of replay ability
-Your face may melt off
I'm giving Faster Than Light 9 out of 10.