'Faster Than Light' instills intense emotions
Video game setting creates thrilling missions, obstacles
Created by Justin Ma and Matthew Davis, 'Faster than Light' (FTL) is a spaceship themed video game that allows players to control one spaceship and three crew members.
Imagine a spaceship captain obtaining important information that needs to be carried across space. The ship is low on supplies to begin with, so he will have to stop during his journey to refuel and obtain more supplies.
Obstacles occur, such as ion storms, nebulas that shut down his censors and a massive Rebel fleet of ships who's only purpose is to track his ship down and do whatever is necessary to get the information from the captain.
This is the basic story line and goal in the video game Faster Than Light (FTL). The game was created by Justin Ma and Matthew Davis. The game is set up so that the player has control over a spaceship and three different crew members on the ship. Unlike many spaceship video games, where the focus is on evading, dodging and attacking, FTL is focused on diverting power from the different systems to help power others, while fighting or sending crew members to put out fires or repair systems.
The game is sort of Star Trek-esk in the way that the player must divert what power they are given in the ship to other systems while in battle. For example, if the player needs power to fire lasers at an attacking ship but does not have enough power to, they could power down their engines in order to fire.
The game is structured so that the player must use "long range beacons," which allows the spaceship to jump from one beacon to the next using the FTL drive, where the game acquires its name from.
At each beacon there is a chance of encountering a situation, which could be anything from a pirate spaceship offering to sell you black market goods, a rebel scout-out to shoot you, or a situation where you can send an away team to help whatever situation has gone down.
"The game itself is very entertaining and I found it to be much more fun than I originally expected. The game helps instill a sense of fear and panic into the player as they race to reach the final quadrant before being caught by the rebels, destroyed by other ships or undergoing natural disasters." --Emily Ladd, '16
Some of these situations have options. You can choose to help someone, leave them, attack a ship or avoid the battle. The choices are a bit like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, which could have basically any result, such as losing a crew member or gaining more supplies. The game contains a few curse words in the dialogue shown when intense situations are encountered.
The game itself is very entertaining and I found it to be much more fun than I originally expected. The game helps instill a sense of fear and panic into the player as they race to reach the final quadrant before being caught by the rebels, destroyed by other ships or undergoing natural disasters.
As the player travels throughout the different sectors they have the ability to upgrade either the main or secondary systems on their ships using scraps, a form of currency in the game collected by doing different things in the random situations. They may also use the scraps to buy more weapons like dronesto preform certain tasks, or attain more crew members for their ship.
FTL is focused on diverting power from the different systems to help power others, while fighting or sending crew members to put out fires or repair systems.
The game has music playing in the background throughout the gameplay. It has the balance of not being too distracting but being just loud enough for the player to notice and enjoy it. The music sets the atmosphere of each situation very well. The soundtrack and sound in FTL was done by Ben Prunty.
If all the crew members die, the game ends, so it is very vital to keep each crew member with a full health bar. The player has full control over wherever they go and can command them to go. Crew members can repair systems or hull breeches and go to the medical bay to heal themselves.
The game takes a few tries to grasp the controls and different aspects of it but if the player watches the tutorial and plays more than once, they will adjust to the controls and find it a bit easier to play.
The game is available to play on computers, and can be downloaded on their site or Steam. While the game is fun to use on computers, the controls feel like they could work on a tablet as well.
Overall, FTL is a very entertaining game and can hold the players attention. It can be addicting and fun, with interesting game play and a different look at what it might be like to be on a spaceship and give orders like a captain. The game is definitely worth a look.
To learn more about FTL, visit their website or Twitter.
For more reviews, read the Jan. 14 article, Adventure game provides engaging story.