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Author Topic: Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)  (Read 1137 times)

TaLaR

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Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« on: January 09, 2022, 11:46:23 PM »

Recently found this little gem: https://store.steampowered.com/app/894630/Final_Theory/

A 4X-lite with focus on tactical combat and minimalist campaign gameplay. Combat is really good and has impressive mechanical depth. My standards for 'good' tactics are pretty high and the previous game that caught my attention to same extent was probably Battle Brothers.

The only issue for me is that replayability is limited, since campaigns tend to play out quite similarly once you figure out how everything works. Though it should release a new fleet DLC soon to add some variety.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 11:52:33 PM by TaLaR »
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TJJ

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Re: Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2022, 05:05:04 AM »

thanks, will give it a look.
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Sundog

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Re: Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2022, 05:08:26 PM »

PSA: This game is 60% off (4.79 USD) on steam until Feb 3. Fair warning though - It has 4 DLCs and I have no idea how necessary they are.
Edit: yeah, so the DLCs are very necessary

@TJJ: You had me at "Battle Brothers." Looking forward to trying this out!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2022, 10:49:37 PM by Sundog »
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TJJ

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Re: Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2022, 04:16:57 AM »

Base game is 80% off on Steam atm; £1.85 for me.
Though DLCs are only discounted if you buy them bundled; -10% for Deluxe(2xDLC), or -15% for Legendary(all 4 DLC).

If you already own the base game then you aren't charged for it again when buying the bundles, so you're only out of pocket a few pennies if you opt to give the base game a try before investing in the DLC.

:edit:

Gotta be honest, 2 hours in and I'm bored.
For what is touted to be lightweight, both the strategic layer & tactical layer seem unnecessarily slow & drawn-out.

Why is the galaxy map so big?
Why do the factions start so far from one-another?
Why are players limited to a single action per turn?
Why is there no drag&drop for giving orders?
Why aren't there any keyboard shortcuts?
Why are all the star systems so miniscule & generic looking?

Specific to the tactical combat:
Many actions are blocked by unskippable animations.
The tactical decision making process seems very rote; order your actions so you don't block your ships, focus fire, choose appropriate anti-shield/armour weapons, position your support ability ships correctly.
Planning your manoeuvres so you can utilize your fixed-forward weapons efficiently seems to be the most complex decision, but it's still rather simplistic.
This simplicity leads to every battle playing out the same; it gets very stale very quickly.
It's typically bad decisions by the AI, not finessing your own play, that delivers most victories.

Also, turn-based, largely deterministic, yet there's no undo to reverse mis-clicks? not a fan.

The vast majority of battles seem to be landslides, yet the way they've made the auto-resolve woolly and unpredictable, and the finite nature of galactic resources, encourages the player to play out every battle to ensure optimal outcomes.
The evolution of the Total War franchise over the past 20+ years has demonstrated how to do auto-resolve well; this isn't it.

If they wanted to deliver engaging turn-based tactical combat I think they should've gone for something more akin to Table Top X-Wing, or Battlefleet Gothic, (or the ancient PC game Critical Mass; look it up!),

- Lose the grid
- make manoeuvring a key consideration
- introduce battle damage mechanics so ships can lose capabilities in combat forcing the player to adapt their strategy on-the-fly (could even persist between engagements)
- give us some space terrain
- Admirals & captains would've brought some much needed character to 'battlecruiser #20', and seems like a natural fit given the strict fleet size/number limits.

It's a swing & a miss for me I'm afraid.
Not engaging enough, and too repetitive.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 07:42:03 PM by TJJ »
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Sundog

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Re: Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2022, 04:17:48 PM »

Yeah, I'm afraid I'd have to agree with most of that, especially with regard to the repetitive/samey battles. It's not a particularly bad game, just very mediocre in a lot of ways

TaLaR

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Re: Final Theory (tactical 4x-lite)
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2022, 09:54:28 AM »

Post-mortem:

- Yeah, game gets repetitive soon enough. Which is only made worse by AI having very big and exploitable flaws. I have less than 10% of time logged in FT compared to BB, and have already explored everything there is to this game.
- I don't agree with 1-move-per-turn criticism though - that's a valid design choice, and works relatively well for the game. With that said, the game simply doesn't have much going in terms of strategic layer - other rebel AI aren't all that smart, and Empire AI that is actually your main opponent follows very simple rules.
- As for in-game animations taking too long - true, but fairly unimportant. You can always use cheat engine speedhack for stuff like that.
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