There are many ways for a game to fail: bugs at launch, mechanics that don’t work, graphics that don’t attract players, horrible characters, no story.
But it’s hard for a title to completely disappoint as long as it has a strong core concept around which the entire experience is built and this year, the idea that most fascinated me, despite a number of issues with its execution, is that behind FTL.
The game can best be described as a space-based rogue with some light role-playing elements. It allows a player to choose a ship and then explore sectors as he flees from a Rebel armada while also trading, improving systems and recruiting and managing crew.
The core of the game is built around threat management and each element of the game is basically included in order to enhance the feeling of fear that the player is experiencing, while also making him efficiently manage limited resources in order to progress.
The brilliance of FTL is that it’s always simple and the entire concept can be explained in three minutes by talking and even faster by simply showing another player how a typical encounter happens.
The Subset Games team that created FTL was made up of two developers and that means the game has some pretty clear limitations when it comes to graphics, sound and even story.
But they are not enough to drag down the quality of the game and I kept running FTL campaigns over and over, trying to get the best result using the myriad of possibilities included.
Even as I knew I was failing at the game, with defeat an encounter or two away, I kept playing because each new jump brought some new content for me to experience or a chance to test tactics before another game.
We have a full review for FTL on Softpedia.