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Review RPG Codex Review: Faster Than Light Beta

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: Faster Than Light; Subset Games

    Faster Than Light, the space simulation roguelike(-like) focused on the internal workings of the ship (you may remember the interview we did on it), has recently seen the release of a closed beta limited to the game's Kickstarter backers who were generous enough to go for the beta tier. Among them was our very own Ulminati, who has already played the beta extensively and offers his thoughts and impressions in this review. Here's a snip:

    Ship-to-ship combat is the heart of the game and to excel at it you have to understand the weapon system. Weapons begins to charge once you divert power to the ship's weapon systems. Once a weapon is charged the player can direct it to fire at a particular part of the enemy ship. The two main categories these weapons fall under are energy weapons and missiles. Missiles bypass enemy shields, and as such are prime tools for taking out shield generators, but consume a finite supply of ammunition. Shields recharge fairly quickly, so it can often be worthwhile to wait until you can fire multiple weapons in a salvo that overwhelms the other ship's defenses. Some weapons excel at damaging multiple rooms, causing hull breaches that vent atmosphere or setting fires that spread and prevents crew from repairing damaged systems. It is also possible to launch offensive and defensive drones that will fight crew, repair your ship, shoot down incoming fire or simply pepper the other ship with festive and colorful bursts of irradiated death! All the while the other ship is trying to do the same to you.

    It is during combat that the game really shines. Your systems, crew and abilities are simple when looked at individually. But combat forces you to tweak all of them simultaneously and it is a pleasantly frantic experience at times. Further complicating things there are environmental effects such as nebulae that limit your sensors or asteroids that will bounce off of your ship's hull if your shields aren’t up. You rarely get through a combat without losing some of your resources in the form of hull durability, missiles, drone parts, or crew members. Having piloting and engines crewed gives your ship a percentile chance to evade incoming fire but actual range and maneuvering is abstracted. You get to pick what to shoot at with your weapons, but the game takes care of the aiming. Also, while you can order your crew to board/fight boarders, the actual fighting consists of watching health bars grow smaller and sending people off to the med-bay if they get close to dying. The focus is mainly on managing the interior of your ship and making sure it doesn’t fall apart before the other ship does. Doing well in FTL is often an exercise in damage control and making sure the payoff from a fight exceeds the repair bill you are footing at the other end. Sometimes your best option is to divert power to shields and send your crew scurrying to perform damage control until your FTL drive spools up and you can jump away. The randomly generated nature of sectors also means that an unlucky series of jump events can see your ship rapidly spiraling into a catastrophic state where you are barely holding together as you limp on, desperately praying for a friendly trader at the next FTL beacon.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Faster Than Light Beta

    Thanks to Zed and Jaesun for their feedback, and to Sovard for his help with editing the article!
     
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  2. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
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    Great, informative Review/Preview. I will definitelly purchase the game when it gets released. :salute:
     
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  3. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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  4. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    Are there other environmental effects other than these two? 'cuz I was reading the LP and he went on through like two whole sectors without dying and these are the only ones I remember seeing.
     
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  5. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    I've run into plasma storms in nebula systems which halve the output of your generator (a real bitch). There's also systems close to suns where there'll be periodical solar flares which set fire to your ship if your shields are down when they arrive. There may be others we well, but these are the ones I remember.
     
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  6. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
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    Forced ironman is nice, but no save & quit? That's a no-go for me.
    Ionman and no loading of previous state already is the hardest possible way to play a game. Not even being allowed to save & quit does not add to difficulty. It adds to a game being unplayable in most situations (when you don't have many hours available). You have to be able to quit a game and continue later at (almost) any time.

    I wouldn't even be able to play the game during leisure-time, except weekends, maybe. Definitely won't buy if they keep it like that.
     
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  7. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
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    Thanks for the review. Definitely going to be keeping an eye on this in August.
     
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  8. PorkaMorka Arcane

    PorkaMorka
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    Yes. I like perma death and no save/load.

    But I require the ability to suspend in progress game and come back to it later. (When I return to the game, the save can be deleted.) Otherwise I'll constantly be in a position where I am unwilling to start playing because I might get interrupted mid game.

    Will not buy.
     
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  9. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Keep in mind that reaching the last system will take 2-3 hours tops. And you're likely to die horribly well before then. The average session length is quite managable. That said, lots of people are clamoring for save&quit+resume functionality. So it might get implemented.
     
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  10. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
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    Thanks, will wait for a humble bundle.
     
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  11. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    I don't consider having to continuously play for 2-3 hours in the event you manage to complete the game anywhere near 'manageable.' Something like Binding of Isaac can get away without a save system because even a full run usually takes no more than 45 minutes or so. But, hopefully it is implemented.
     
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  12. Castanova Prophet

    Castanova
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    Good review. Game sounds like it has a lot of potential, too. Need a save/quit, though.
     
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  13. asper Cipher

    asper
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    Save/quit has been added as of the recent patch, as well as new races, a new sector type, and new events.
     
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  14. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Calling thesheeep, PorkaMorka, Metro and Castanova

    You got your wish as per the last iteration of the beta. save&quit/continue functionality is in. Only 1 save slot and it gets deleted once you resume it, so it's still ironman :salute:
     
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  15. PorkaMorka Arcane

    PorkaMorka
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    Perfect, thanks for the heads up.
     
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  16. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Good to know, thanks for the update. Still not wild about the real-time versus turn based game play but the game is now back on my radar, at least.
     
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