For all its infinite wonder, space is kind of a jerk. It would be bad enough if FTL was about navigating its various deadly pitfalls, but the game goes one further - pitting you against a selection of deadly alien races and their many weapons. Despite all this, and as good as the space roguelike was, I always felt that it could use more variety and options to support the need for repeat playthroughs. Step forward FTL: Advanced Edition, which will be made available as a free upgrade to the base game next year. Along with the already detailed ships, weapons and events, its developers have now announced another race of murderous foe. It looks like space is being upgraded to an ultrajerk.
The new race is The Lanius: metallic scavengers who absorb materials to survive. If that sounds like bad news, their other quirk is their relationship to oxygen. They don't require life support to survive, and, more than that, will actually drain the oxygen of any room they're in. Oh dear.
In the Lanius's announcement post, the game's makers also round up some of the other upgrades planned for the update:
"Lanius Ship: New player ship with its own achievements and alternate layout.
"Type C Ship Layouts: 8 of the original ships will have a third layout that capitalizes on the new content. With the Lanius ship, that makes for a total of ten new starting ship designs.
"Backup Battery Subsystem: Subsystem that can provide temporary reactor power in a pinch.
"New Drones: Expanded drone options includes: the Shield Drone that generates a green super shield for your ship, the Anti-Combat Drone that shoots down enemy combat drones, and the Ion Intruder that blasts into the enemy ship and randomly ionizes systems while stunning and distracting crew.
"Gameplay Refinements: Doors and Sensors can be manned to increase effectiveness; you can now rename crew mid-game; each race has a small variety of colors which allows for easier visual recognition;
"And more to come: We re still balancing and polishing the features that are being added. Be sure to keep an eye out for additional content announcements!"
Subset have also announced that players will be able to toggle the Advanced Edition's bigger changes, for those who want to re-experience the classic brutality of the current version's violent men, rocks and mantises.