“Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?”
Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a new real time strategy game set in the universe of the ’90s cult movie Starship Troopers. I loved the movie and saw it at the cinemas more times than I can remember. I’ve been hoping for a while that a new game based on this over-the-top IP gets developed and really hits the nostalgia of the movie. The chance to lead the Mobile Infantry against the Arachnids of Klendathu is something I would get pretty excited about.
“Would you like to know more?”
We at here at Roundtable Co-op were lucky enough to preview the first ten missions of the game thanks to Heaven Media and Slitherine Ltd. You start the game with the attack on the bug planet of Klendathu. As those that have seen the movie *spoiler alert* the invasion does not go well at all for the Mobile Infantry. The game leads you to a new planet where your mission is to wipe out the Arachnid presence on the planet so the humans can mine its valuable resources for the war effort.
Since the movie was released back in 1997, there hasn’t really been a Starship Trooper game that has been that memorable unfortunately. However, Starship Troopers: Terran Command so far gives me hope that developers, The Aristocrats, have got it right and is on track to be a fun and challenging game that you can live out the movie… minus the Denise Richards scenes.
So far from what I have played, the developers have done a pretty good job of giving you the Starship Trooper experience of leading the men and women of the Mobile Infantry into battle against the bugs.
“He’s mobile infantry. When you’re paid to kill it doesn’t pay to be polite.”
As with a lot of tactical RTS games, you get access to standard and specialised units to use in the fight. You start off with your standard Mobile Infantry grunt that uses the Morita Assault Rifle and a timer attack that allows your squad to lob a timed grenade in the enemies direction. As your squads progress through the mission and survive, they earn a promotion that unlocks two awesome abilities, but you can only choose one of the options. I enjoy this aspect of the gameplay as it gave me more freedom on how you work your way through the mission objectives.
There are also engineer soldiers that carry a flamethrower for your up close and personal bbq experience. Engineers are also a great little unit that can repair structures and set up heavy gun emplacements at locations to help hold back the waves of bugs coming to chow down on your troopers. I have also accessed the sniper and radio comms trooper. Each unit has a special ability that you use to gain the tactical advantage against the bugs.
However, with every new specialist unit you gain… so do the bugs. Warriors, hoppers, spitters; they all come at you with one objective which is to rip apart your squads and outposts. If you don’t customise your squads tactics to fit the mission objectives, you will easily find your troopers getting steam rolled by dozens of warriors pouring out of bug holes.
“This is for all you new people. I have only one rule. Everybody fights, no one quits. If you don’t do your job, I’ll kill you myself! Welcome to the Roughnecks!”
So with your troopers, you work your way through planetary campaigns. Like the movie, you have the voice over of the news anchor from Fed Net covering all the gory details of the war against the bugs. The mission areas are well developed in general but there can be moments of repetitiveness. The gameplay uses true line of sight and true line of fire, along with terrain elevation to create more interesting and tactical gameplay experience for you to accomplish your mission objectives.
There are a lot of various maps objectives and bonuses to accomplish in the mission drop zone. Most maps will have mini outposts set up or a major outpost for you to hold against waves and waves of bug attacks. If you lose your outpost then it is game over. Sending out patrol squads are important to recapture supply points which are vital to the mission’s success. More troops being dropped into the action helps hold back what seems like endless waves of bugs.
The aesthetics are pretty much spot on with the movie. My only nitpicks from my experience with the game so far are with the voice overs. They sound a bit lack lustre and generic; could be a lot better. The music score doesn’t quite hit the mark like the movie; I was hoping for more intense music to play during parts of the gameplay or the initial intro into the mission. I feel having a score similar to the movie when the troopers are mobilising on the ships for the first drop on Klendathu could really get you into that full Starship Trooper experience.
Overall, I think Starship Troopers: Terran Command has potential to be a solid RTS, especially for those who thoroughly enjoy Starship Troopers.
This review utilised a key provided by Heaven Media. Starship Troopers: Terran Command is available now on Steam.