Review: FTL: Advanced Edition


By Stephen Snook on Wednesday, April 9, 2014
"A nice extended chunk of an already fantastic game"

How much is there to say about FTL at this point? If you already own it you already know how great it is. Being a fan of it, you would also know that the Advanced Edition is absolutely free to those who already own the main game. So it’s hard to really put a score to FTL and its… expansion? I guess it is an expansion. So this review will be an overview of FTL as a whole, and what Advanced Edition content adds to it.

The Vulcan Laser is amazing and totally worth the 95 scrap.

In FTL, the goal is to pilot a space ship through eight sectors to save the federation from the ever pursuing Rebellion, leading up to a fight with the monster Rebel Flagship. You can play a variety of ships, all with different strengths, weaknesses and strategies. Along the way, you’ll encounter ships to fight, stores to trade with and upgrade your ship, and other encounters that may help or hinder your quest.

Choose your destiny!

In addition to that, you also have to manage your crew and the systems they are manning. Manning a system grants bonuses to their effectiveness. For example, manning the engine grants a higher chance to dodge incoming fire, which is very useful. Not having a pilot manning the piloting system without auto-pilot brings your dodge chance to zero, effectively guaranteeing that you’ll get hit by enemy fire. Systems that are hit by enemy fire may stop working, and may also hurt the crew inside the room depending on the weapon.

FTL is a really interesting hybrid of Real Time Strategy, and almost turn based considering the encouraged ability to pause the action and input everything you want to do instantaneously. Get hit by a missile, pause, send your crew to repair the hull breach and get the oxygen working again. Enemies teleported on board? Pause, open the doors to outside space and suffocate them! All while trying to take down the enemy ship, or just get the hell outta there with a Faster Then Light jump when your engines charge. There’s a lot to think about, with many different ways to solve problems, and it’s always exciting.

MUST, PLAY, DREAMCAST

So what does the Advanced edition add? I consider it an addition catering towards the already well versed in FTL. The game is made harder, both by adding a much requested hard mode, and with the new gameplay mechanics, scenarios, and weapons. Hard mode makes the currency ‘scrap’ harder to come by, as well as making the AI smarter and more considered when trying to destroy you. Even on easy, Advanced edition is way harder than normal FTL. After a couple of tries and getting an extremely lucky run, I barely beat the end boss. I have yet to beat the game on either normal or hard, and I’ve put a good 90 hours into normal FTL. I’m not sure if this means I suck or not.

What really makes Advanced Edition so much harder than the normal game is the new mechanics specifically designed to ruin your day. A Mind Control system can turn one of your crew against you for a limited time. They will destroy systems and attack your other crew. It’s a real pain in the ass,especially if they are a pilot, because then your dodge chance is zero and then, oh no, a missile has torn off my face, game over.  To combat this, you also can also equip ships with a cloning bay instead of a medical bay, which while it’s operational will automatically clone crew when they die, albeit with a statistics penalty to that crew member.

Hacking is nowhere near as bad as mind control though

Another new mechanic is a hacking system, which you can use to take over an enemy’s systems. For example, you could hack the weapons sub-system so they can’t use their weapons for a short period of time. It also locks the doors leading to the room, so enemy crew can’t get in to fix it. Trust me, there is nothing more soul crushing than getting your oxygen hacked on the final fight, and watching your crew slowly suffocate, nothing.

Lanius cruiser is badass

Along with new weapons and ship layouts for existing ships, there is a new race playable called the Lanius. The quirk with these guys is that they take all the oxygen out of the room they’re standing in. If all doors are open on a ship, they will steal all the oxygen. In addition, they do not take damage from lack of oxygen, so they can be fantastic units for suppression of enemy crew if used properly. Smaller changes include being able to man doors and sensors sub-systems for an automatic boost of their effectiveness.

A normal game of FTL is usually pretty nerve racking. Fighting a well equipped ship can have you up shit creek in a matter of seconds. In a way, the advanced edition just adds more tension and more elements to deal with. The tense and exciting nature of FTL is what makes it so special.

Hard mode off please

The good news is that you can play without the Advanced Edition content if you’re new, then turn it on once you’ve got a hang of things.This, combined with small UI and general fixes have made FTL easy to learn and understand, but hard to master.

This update wouldn’t be complete without some minor graphical updates and an awesome new soundtrack. Ben Prunty has shown his prowess with engaging ambient music, but Advanced Edition has some more trance sounding heart pumpers added to the usual ambience. It still fades seamlessly between the two, and I think the more energetic soundtrack will be something people appreciate if they aren’t crapping themselves trying to put out fires or something.

 

 

FTL: Advanced Edition was reviewed by on the of April , 2014 at 1:00 PM on PC

TOTAL
9.0
There was a hell of a lot of game in the normal edition, and the Advanced Edition only adds more of the good stuff - and for free too! There’s never been a better time to get into FTL.

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Author:Stephen Snook

Lazygamer's Australian correspondent reporting! My name is Stephen Snook and I am 21 years of age. I will be writing for Lazygamer while they poke fun at me for not only being the new guy, but also Australian. Please be kind, I'm awful fragile. I also play games on the internet: www.youtube.com/user/myth1221

Don't stop now.... you're having a good time

  • Black Mage [Umar]

    Cue Admiral busting a nut

  • Hammersteyn

    I SUMMON ERWIN!

  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    EFFFF TEEEEEEE ELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    Love this game! I’ve only had one game with the new additions but I just know that come the weekend I am going to be stuck behind my PC jamming this

  • Rince

    Man, can you imagine mixing this with Xcom? Shudder

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      I just came…

      • Rince

        0-O lol Would be awesome. So the damage you take getting to a mission affects your troops on the ground. So much awesome.

        • Admiral Chief in Space

          MAKE THIS NAO!!!!!

    • Jedi JJ

      How are you liking FTL btw? hehehe

      • Rince

        Flipping awesome. Played it at Will’s place. He is also totally addicted to it.

        • Jedi JJ

          Damn you. It belongs to us!! ;)

          • Rince

            Hehe. I would love it if they put it on the consoles to man. Is it a two player game over PC?

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Will be difficult on console, since:
            A. Pointy clicky action
            B. Difficult

          • Rince

            What do you mean, that’s made for the Xbone and Kinect! “Fire missile” *Opens all doors on own craft = FUCK.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            LOL, I can see this happening

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Laughing too hard at this

          • Jedi JJ

            Nope. SP only. But they’re planning mobile, apparently. Not safe.

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    9/10?
    I can agree!

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      I disagree. 10/10!!!!!

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        LOL

  • Jedi JJ

    I’ve got bad news for you on that first pic. You gonna die

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      Maybe you, I can turn it around!

      • Jedi JJ

        Four left of the hull, and he’s got a moerse laser and a beam> Eish man. I have much to learn. Should’ve made my handle Apprentice JJ

        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

          Beam can’t pierce shields so well. Definitely can still be turned around

          • Jedi JJ

            That looks like a triple shot laser though. That’ll open up the shields and beams eat your hull. But I’m only 20 hours in. Much still to learn.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            Ion shields, other 2 guns hit weapons. That will be enough to bring one, if not both enemy weapons down as they are high cap usage. Then carry on hitting the weapons with your mains and the shield with your ion to keep em down.

            Do not let up on hitting the weapons

          • Jedi JJ

            Ah. I didn’t actually notice how many weapons the ship has.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Yeah, always check what they have, and guess the power level, to disable them mid-charge

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Beam can pierce shields yes, but only certain beams
            (And on the Star Trek mod, more of them can do that)

          • Jedi JJ

            ONE thing that I prefer of the Star Wars mod over the Star Trek one…the laser sounds.

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    FTL is my time sink, so damn good.

    Any person who ever watched a single episode of Star Trek and thought it was cool will totally love this game!

    • Rince

      Wonder whether my 100 year old PC will play this. I remember playing a Trek game back in the 90′s on the PC that I was addicted to.

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Dude, the system requirements on this is lower than running Windows

  • Jedi JJ

    I agree wholeheartedly on 9/10

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    No other game can make you feel like king of space and a total noob next in less than a minute more like this game!

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      FTL has hurt me many many times. You think you have an epic ship and BAM. 1 fight turns you to mince

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        I hate retreating, but sometimes its necessary!

      • Jedi JJ

        Overconfidence is my biggest enemy.

        • Admiral Chief in Space

          Greed is mine

          • Jedi JJ

            Haha. Yours is at least logical. I destroy two ships like they’re space dust and suddenly I think I’m in a Super Star Destroyer.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Actually exploration is mine, I’d risk the rebel fleet just to see what is at the next marker

    • Hammersteyn

      Dark Souls can… minus the space part.

  • Ottokie

    FTL has been lying in my steam now for a while…I think maby its time to try it out :P

    • Jedi JJ

      Shame on you.

    • Hammersteyn

      Erwin might take offense to this

      • Ottokie

        Yea i think he might XD

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      If you did not have an awesome avatar, I would have cast UTTER SHAME on you now.

      Dude, you HAVE to try this, so damn epic!

      • Ottokie

        I swear on this avatar pic that i will install it tonight!

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    CLONE BAY FTW.

    Man, I had an experience yesterday, accidentally destroyed enemy ship with my max upgraded combat away team on board!!!!!!!!

    [cue the NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO]

    BUT…..

    CLOOOOONE BAY!!!

    Got my dudes back, minus some skill points, but I GOT THEM BACK DAMMIT

    • Hammersteyn

      Spock lives!

    • Rince

      So they were all in red? You should have seen that coming man… #beginnermistake ;)

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Actually grey machines, hehe, there is actually a “NO REDSHIRTS HERE” achievement if you keep all your guys alive until sector 8!!!

        • Jedi JJ

          That is but a distant dream for me at this stage.

  • Jedi JJ

    I died really badly last night. Got some tips (about 300) from the Admiral. Did much better. Then died.

    • Hammersteyn

      Same here in the beginning. He taught me all about boarding parties.

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Boarding is your friend. And the clone bay, do NOT forget about the clone bay!

      • Jedi JJ

        Me too. I’m really gunning with the boarding business now.

        • Admiral Chief in Space

          ONLY board with Rock, Lanius and Mantis, the rest waste your time

          • Jedi JJ

            I like boarding with the Mantis. What’s your favourite ship to use?

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Lanius Cruiser Layout 2. Kestrel Layout 2, Mantis Layout 2 (4x teleport!!!)

          • Jedi JJ

            I’ve been using mantis layout 2, really working for me. Wait….4x telelport? But the crew isn’t so great.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Indeed, you can teleport 4 at a time (have not checked this on the AE if still so)

          • Jedi JJ

            It is, but you start with only two Mantis in your crew. I think I actually use the layout A more, because of the larger starting crew.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            2x mantis at start is killer!

          • Jedi JJ

            Do you teleport your whole crew over? O_O

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Yeah, there is an achievement for that as well too! (should you win)

          • Jedi JJ

            Doing this tonight then.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Let me know how that works out!

          • Jedi JJ

            Will do.

    • Norm the Horrible

      Was all just part of his plan!

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    My normal FTL hours are over 300….

    • Jedi JJ

      I’m somewhere over 20. I feel so small.

    • Hammersteyn

      Downloading Advanced edition now.

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Awwww yeah!!!

        • Hammersteyn
          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Mandolorian / Senate Guard much?

          • Hammersteyn

            Hahahaha Lucas never found out about this game

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            XD

          • Jedi JJ

            Wow dude. I just had one of those epic time travelling moments to my past just seeing that cover.

          • Hammersteyn

            That’s why I love their site.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Too soon. I’m still upset they didn’t finish the trilogy.

          • Hammersteyn

            There was a third?

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            There was supposed to be :/

          • ToshZA

            Omg. I remember those games. They were awesome.

          • Hammersteyn

            I know right?

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    Stephen, you made me proud, this review is very well written, and I don’t believe it could have been done better.

    This review gets the
    [Admiral Chief Stamp of Approval]

    • Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

      yyyEAH!

    • Stephen Snook

      I’m glad :)

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Seriously, while jamming the new version, I was making notes and trying to figure out how the hell am I going to find the words to describe my love and passion for this game, as well as how damn good the AE is.

        You did me proud boy!

        • Stephen Snook

          Well i love ftl too :)

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            I can see that. Your love for it made this review even more epic!

            Have you played around with the mods prior to the AE?

            I spent WAAAAYYYYY too much time on the Star Trek mod! Still need to try the Captain’s Edition!

          • Stephen Snook

            I heard about some cool mods but I was pretty satisfied with the content so I never bothered. It’s freakin awesome though.

          • Jedi JJ

            Star Wars mod is bit disappointing, very low detail, but the sounds are cool.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Its still beta though

          • Jedi JJ

            True. But that Star Trek mod is something else. Now all they need is to put in details like Wookies and R2 droids in the SW mod. That would be epic.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            TBH, after about 200 hours, I needed a change-up while waiting for the AE.

            Spent about 100 in ST mod!

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    For this price, and the download size, you will not get better value for money. Guaranteed!

    • Jedi JJ

      Seconded

      • Hammersteyn

        Thirdedededed umm…..

  • Rince

    You know what, this makes me so god damn happy. I am not talking about having the game (as I don’t, but will fix this err soon) I mean the reaction that people have to a game that is NOT a AAA and has a flipping huge following. So often we see jaded people who moan about this and that, so far all I see in the comments is admiration (AdmIRALatioN?) for the game. Just goes to show you don’t need 5 years dev time and a bunch of money to make something hugely popular. VIVA GAMING!

    • Jedi JJ

      Admiralation. LOL

    • Jedi JJ

      I’m really supporting more indie games because of titles like FTL

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      Lol I love how when I scroll through the comments all I see really is Erwin’s avatar. He contributed to 90% of the comments on this article I think. Lol

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Nah, more like 60%

        There are some other damn good comments as well!

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      VIVA!!!

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    I wish it had Steam Achievements too!!!

    • Jedi JJ

      It has trading cards at least. Love me some badges.

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        I have like lvl3 badge on this, haha

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    If you can take one thing away from all my comments, its that FTL is a gem. And as @rincethis:disqus mentioned, its not AAA, and its effing brilliant!!!

  • Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

    This looks horribly complicated O_O

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      It’s epic!

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      Indeed, but horribly rewarding and horribly fun too!

      • Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

        Cool. I can haz this on my laptop?

        • Admiral Chief in Space

          Dude, seriously low system requirements!!!

          • Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

            I will be a Steam member soon :) What else is good with low requirements?

            That sounds so wrong XD

          • Jedi JJ

            Don’t Starve is quite a good indie game. Nothing like FTL, but it’s kept me over 7 hours and I’ve only scratched the surface. Also low requirements.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_KFM_Fire

            Got that gem on PS4 :) It’s effing discouraging when you survive 19 days then die

          • Jedi JJ

            Haha. I agree. It really is.

          • ToshZA

            You have to play Bastion.

    • Jedi JJ

      Very easy to get into. You learn the little tricks and stuff over time. Just ask the Admiral in Space.

      • Admiral Chief in Space

        Glad to help!

  • Admiral Chief in Space
    • Jedi JJ

      Wow dude. This just blew my mind.

  • Jedi JJ

    After AE came out my entire backlog list has been put on hold. This game just has that complex simplicity to it (yes, that’s a real statement) that makes it so much fun. Each time I die I take a breather, choose a new ship (or the same one) and start over.

  • Admiral Chief in Space

    Good Guy FTL
    Makes EPIC game
    Gives you AE for free!

  • Kensei Seraph

    Admiral, I’d like a copy of the FTL Training Guide to improve my skills as a captain of the FTL fleet.

    For example, boarding is mentioned as being highly successful but I have had little to no success.

    • Jedi JJ

      He gave me a few tips and now I’ve made boarding my bitch.

      • Kensei Seraph

        I’ve tried it but it’s resulted in me losing most of my crew followed shortly by losing my ship.
        I know it can be devastating since I’ve struggled to repel some boarding parties.

        • Jedi JJ

          I currently use the Mantis Cruiser Layout A and then use two of the Mantis to board with, since the ship can only teleport two people at a time. I try to teleport them into a room that can take only two people, gives you a better chance of surviving since only two of their people can take you on at a time.

          • Admiral Chief in Space

            Indeed good tactic that

          • Jedi JJ

            Your learners, they is learning.

    • Admiral Chief in Space

      You are mos on Steam correcT?

      • Kensei Seraph

        CorrecT.

        • Admiral Chief in Space

          I really should write a guide. Normally I just type on steam chat and skype to my padawans

          • Kensei Seraph

            You should.
            I’d be happy to contribute as a beta tester.

  • Stephen Snook

    A run of FTL my friend and I did!

  • langotriel

    advanced edition makes it easier..NOT HARDER… the flak weapons are incredibly over powered.. 1 flak .. 1 flak II and 1 halberd beam… with cloaking and full shields you CANNOT LOSE on the boss..

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