REVIEW: FTL – ADVANCED EDITION / DEVELOPER: SUBSET GAMES / PUBLISHER: DIGITAL RELEASE / PLATFORM: IOS, LINUX, MAC OS X, PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The very mention of 2012’s FTL: Faster Than Light stirs memories of death and sheer carnage. With the odds stacked against you to the point of absurdity and conjuring up ever more inventive ways of wrecking the player’s vessel, it was Dark Souls with spaceships. Your stalwart band of ragtag followers could be killed by sheer attrition, oxygen starvation, boarding actions or even fires burning their way through the vessel. Now things have just got that bit harder with the Advanced Edition.
Building upon FTL in a way we’ve not seen since XCOM: Enemy Within, this version might as well be a sequel in and of itself. The way you fight has been completely revamped thanks to some game-changing systems which will completely alter your tactics. You can now gleefully watch the same looming Mantis cruiser self-destruct as you mind control the crew to sabotage its engines. Many new weapons now offer multi-firing options, with cluster ion cannons or the shield-shredding Vulcan turning volley firing into devastating crippling broadsides.
While the many major chances are easily the most eye grabbing, especially the oxygen draining Lanius, the Advanced Edition has further streamlined many previous elements. Thanks to indicators for how paths between jump points connect, it’s effectively impossible to accidentally pilot yourself to a dead end. Many of the previous ship-acquiring quests, previously pointless, now greatly benefit players. Rewards now offer money, missiles and even an envoy maxed out in all stats.
The sheer number of random encounters has effectively been doubled, with completely news ways to interact with certain species. While many offer certain bonuses and advantages, others push the title’s roleplaying aspect. They may offer no bonuses to your crew or ship, but they still give you a chance to make an impact on the worlds you visit. Some even go so far as to present scenarios where fighting the Rebels will put lives at risk rather than saving them for once.
The many changes to the game have all clearly been carefully balanced against one another, with no item being either completely powerless or turning your mission into a walk in the park. The only real criticism to be found here is the lack of an adventure mode without the Rebel Flagship heralding the end to your journey. Beyond that though? It’s easily one of the best games of its kind released in the last several years with few to no true failings. Buy this one without hesitation.