Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Faster Than Light Demo Impressions

I'm not quite sure what to praise first, maybe the spot on sound effects or music, or maybe the very enjoyable gameplay that mixes the ideals of rogue-like games with space ship management and combat, either way I cannot wait for it's release this summer. Do you enjoy old rogue-like rpg's that give you random adventures that are likely to end in failure? Well the developers for Faster Than Light took those principles and then mixed it with the idea of piloting your own space ship in a universe filled danger. You control a single space ship as you move your way through sectors of the galaxy and you have to carefully manage your valuable crew, fuel, munitions and upgrades. Every time you jump your ship to a new area there is a random encounter, which can be anything from a pirate assault to a friendly outpost. You spend the game being chased by rebels and moving further and further away from them, while simultaneously upgrading your ship, buying new weapons, buying drone systems and more. It is a small indie game, but even at it's current build it's already very fun. Check out this gameplay video I put together and read on for information on the demo and the game.

FTL is currently doing a Kickstarter, but it doesn't really need any help at this point since it passed it's goal of $10,000 long ago and it currently has a total of $72,331 pledged. All that money will be used in on adding five playable races to the game, improved game mechanics like ship customization, a larger soundtrack, an ending, crew development and a lot of depth that will come in the form of unlock-able ships, among other things. You can still pledge $10 for the game and that get's you a copy of the game, for PC, Mac or Linux, and nothing else, while $25 gets you a copy of the game and access to the closed beta. Personally I'm just going to wait until the game comes out and then purchase it that way, but you can try it now yourself. There is currently a 30 minute demo of the game available on OnLive as part of their Indie Showcase, check out links at the end of the post. OnLive isn't a hugely intrusive system, maybe about as much as Steam or Desura, but it does tax your internet connection a bit and it doesn't seem to work for people in the UK or Europe. Other than that it is easy enough to download it and then uninstall it when you are done, it is a free service after all.

I've probably played the demo four of five times and it is still a blast. Every time I send my ship to a new system I don't know whats going to happen. My most memorable encounter so far had me entering a system where a pirate assault ship was attacking a civilian transport. My options were to move in and help the civilians, take a bribe from the pirates to stay out the way or merely jump to another system and ignore them altogether. Trying to be a hero I intervened and I didn't realize just how strong a pirate assault ship was. It tore through my shields, set my engines on fire, horribly injured my crew and by the time the battle was over I had lost one crew member and my hull was at 10% strength. What I got for all that was nothing, because the pirate ship jumped away when I started to seriously injure it. Worth it? Not at all, but it taught me to be a little more careful about every situation I come across. Even though the game is only partially complete right now, in the demo, there is still a lot to discover and be destroyed by. I highly encourage any fans of space adventure games or rogue-like's to try this demo as soon as they can. To download the demo take a look at the links below, there is quite a bit of information about it on all of the links. Thanks for reading and I cannot wait to try this game when it comes out this summer.
FTL Main Website: http://www.ftlgame.com/
FTL Demo Page: http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=224
FTL Kickstarter Page

-Written by Sean Cargle


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