Best of 2012: #7 - FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL for PC is #7 in our Best of 2012.

17
Space is pretty big, they say, and filled with stuff. No one is sure quite what that stuff is, but experts are cautiously optimistic that it's "pretty wild." FTL: Faster Than Light is ostensibly a game about voyaging across space, but the roguelike's real exploration is of systems closer to home: the many ways you are inept and ruin things. It's a game about accepting that you'll cock it up and kill your friends, but maybe just save the galaxy one day. FTL tosses you in at the deep end: the galaxy is in peril, go save it. With a top-of-the-line space ship at your disposal and a highly-trained crew, you set out heroically. Five minutes later, they're all dead. You lingered too long near a flaring sun and underestimated how quickly you'd burn up. But it's okay, go again. And again. Over and over, learning quickly by failing and always having fun. You start planning: upgrades you'll develop; weapons you'd like to find; how you'll vent boarding parties into space; sectors of space to avoid; first contact protocols. You get cocky, and your dream crew asphyxiate when you choose the wrong battle to experiment with pulsing life support on and off to preserve power. But you start again. After 25 hours, I finally beat FTL with a ship whose name I'm told I may not include in this story. [Ed's note: It was a cuss word!] I had become frustrated with losing--frustrated with myself, never the game--and had started furiously hammering in strings of obscenities as names when I raced to start over. The winning ship is too obscene, I'm told. It was a hard-earned victory, which I savoured for all of five minutes before cheerily naming and launching a glorious new flagship, the USS Sweary Mary. Predictably, the names grew cruder again as I started over and over to unlock more ships, explore more of the universe, try new and unconventional tactics, and stumble across new missions. It didn't matter, though. I'd won. I finally had a vague idea how to respond to the horrors of space. I'd overcome my proclivity to ruin everything. One day, I may even beat Normal difficulty. I'll need to learn some new cuss words though.

After two wins, it was back to crushing defeats


The Shacknews Best of 2012 Awards were determined by ballot voting across the entire Shacknews staff. Garnett, Jeff, John, and Tyler voted for FTL, with Alice choosing it as her personal Game of the Year, earning it 220 points and the 7th place position on our list. The Shacknews Community chose the game as the PC Game of the Year. Stay tuned all week as we reveal all our winners.
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 22, 2013 12:00 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Best of 2012: #7 - FTL: Faster Than Light.

    FTL for PC is #7 in our Best of 2012.

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 12:09 PM

      First spotting of "Cock" in the top 11 list, I assume there will be more Easter eggs like this?

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 12:11 PM

      It was several cuss words, Editor dear. PRUDES.

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 12:31 PM

        you can tell us what the ship's name was. We won't tell them!

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 12:11 PM

      Sorry Alice, FTL was not better than BL2 - you guys all fail.

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 12:12 PM

        lies!

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 12:13 PM

        Gosh, I guess we really cocked things up by not simply asking you in the first place. Editor dearest, why didn't we just ask flagg209? Can we get them in next year?

        • reply
          January 22, 2013 12:16 PM

          I'll mark that on my to do list for next year.

          • reply
            January 22, 2013 12:25 PM

            please do

            • reply
              January 22, 2013 12:35 PM

              flagg209, what is your top 11 for 2012 so we can see how much fail shacknews is full of?

              • reply
                January 22, 2013 1:00 PM

                Well, I didn't play 11 games from 2012, so it'd be hard for me to say really. I just think that a single player game that really comes down to chance is not better than a game that is multiplayer with good writing and acting.

                I liked FTL, but I played it until I beat it a few times and then lost interest. BL2 has so much to offer I feel it should be ranked higher by default.

                I know I opened the door to a pile by mocking the great Alice O'Connor and I'm cool with that - and nothing you or anyone says in seriousness or in playful shack ribbing is going to change my mind. BL2 > FTL

                • reply
                  January 22, 2013 2:06 PM

                  How would you rank the games you DID play from 2012 then?

                  • reply
                    January 22, 2013 5:05 PM

                    I hope he ranks them 1-10, otherwise its going to be messy.

                  • reply
                    January 23, 2013 7:26 AM

                    I don't know what happened, I totally responded to this on my phone last night but somehow it didn't come up.

                    Anyway, here's my list.

                    1. Diablo 3
                    2. BL2
                    3. Dishonored
                    4. FTL

                    The only other game that came out in 2012 that I played was FF13-2 - which I'm not ranking because it was a PS3 game, and I wouldn't know where to put it - but I digress. Also - I played a bunch of other games, but they were released before 2012.

                    FTL was an awesome game. It reminds me of Terraria, which does a great job of forcing you to fill in the blanks with your own imagination - which is a wonderful thing when it works well like it does here. That being said though, I can't imagine why one aspect of a game can make it better than a game that was not only solid all around, but also was a huge improvement over its predecessor.

                    FTL (like Terraria) was a step in the right direction, but I don't think it's there yet. I hope someone builds on the FTL idea like the Starbound people are building on the Terraria idea.

                    And yes, when a gaming site does overlook all of that (better writing, more content, good acting) for a 2d space sim that gets some things very very right but is lacking in a few ways - I call that a fail.


        • reply
          January 22, 2013 12:34 PM

          Shacknews - It makes you disgruntled

        • reply
          January 22, 2013 1:06 PM

          cock-ups all over the place

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 12:35 PM

        As I've said before, b2 is complete been-there-done-that trash.

        FTL, easily one of the best this year. Graphics don't matter when it plays this good.

        • reply
          January 22, 2013 1:07 PM

          You're in a tiny minority with your Borderlands 2 opinion.

        • reply
          January 22, 2013 2:10 PM

          been-there-wow-this-is-much-better is more accurate

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 12:38 PM

        The only failure here is you

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 1:01 PM

        look how wrong you are

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 1:04 PM

        I'm inclined to agree with the first part of your statement. Borderlands is much more involved, actually had writing (including one of the best villains of all time), and has massive, massive replayability. FTL is great, don't get me wrong, and I know everyone loves the indie darling thing, but I just believe Borderlands is a better all around game.

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 12:12 PM

      what the fuck

      8. Borderlands 2 - TODAY ONLY - SAVE 50%!

      • reply
        January 22, 2013 5:01 PM

        As a longtime Shacker I'm sure you're well aware Shacknews is owned by GameFly. If they want to give special attention to their own services, they're well within their rights to do so. I don't see what's wrong with it.

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 12:12 PM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 12:21 PM

      Such a great game, definitely one of my favourites of 2012

    • reply
      January 22, 2013 2:11 PM

      I've said it before, I'll say it again.

      This game is simultaneously the greatest, and worst game ever fucking made.

    • reply
      January 25, 2013 10:33 PM

      I'm happy it won and I get to read Alice's writing. I finally won after 40 some odd hours.

Hello, Meet Lola