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FTL (2012)

I've been playing this game pretty obsessively for the past couple of weeks and am only now putting it into more of a background activity for my free time. It's a pretty wonderful piece of work - the detail that went into not just the gameplay elements but also the entire user experience - the UI, the mechanics, the story and encounters detail, the easter eggs, etc. I love the variety of ships and races and scenarios and ways to arrive at different scenarios, and i love how the game plays like a pretty well oiled machine. This is clearly a game developed by actual gamers who understand how to create a genuinely enjoyable and unique experience for the player, proven by how much i haven't been able to stop playing the game over and over again.

the one gripe i have about the game is that for all of the depth of possibilities between ship choices and ways to upgrade and how the random encounters can lead the player in different directions, the actual arc of the game leading towards the end has pretty much only one path because the final boss is always the same and the way to successfully defeat that boss reliably is always the same. So you can start off with a ship that has low shields and low weaponry but extra crew and cloak to start or you can start with a ship that has high weaponry and drones but only one crew member to start and that creates a variety of challenges when the game starts out, but as you progress towards the game, the ultimate goal is to eliminate that diversity and conform to a formula that will get you the win, almost rendering the variety absolutely useless.

Aside from that making the big picture of the game and the last boss fight more boring, i'm not sure if i like what sort of subtle message that brings across as a life analogy, but i'm likely reading too much into it. It's not as if, say, i was playing through Final Fantasy VII multiple times that i would expect that the end boss fight the third or fourth time around wouldn't be Sephiroth.

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March 2017