Note: Starship Troopers Extermination was reviewed on PC.

A good Bug is a dead Bug!

Starship Troopers is a cult classic in the military science fiction genre.  Released in 1997, it was a crazy and satirical film centered on Juan “Johnny” Rico, who decides to enlist in the military as a foot soldier of the Federation.  These soldiers were equipped with awesome nuclear weapons and jetpacks.  With Starship Troopers: Extermination published by Canadian studio Offworld Industries, players can finally put themselves in Johnny’s shoes and go head-to-head with the iconic alien space bugs, the Arachnids. 

Story and Gameplay

Starship Troopers Extermination doesn’t come with a deep and emotional story.  It’s simply just like the film.  These giant buggy freaks are attacking the planet Valaka and you have to take them down.  Sounds great to me.  When your squad gets deployed, you can randomly end up in one of five different areas.  You could be underground, on a flat terrain, or rocky canyon.  This will force you to adapt to different situations and use the environments to your advantage.

You along with your squad will not only be blasting Arachnids, but you will also be building bases.  While you’re taking these bugs out, you will work with other players to gather resources to construct walls, gates, weapon crates, and weapon towers.  You will need a strong base to hold off the endless swarm until you’re evacuated.

There are currently three difficulty modes: Recruit, Trooper, and Veteran which are easy, normal, and hard.  There are only two game types available which are quick play and AAS mode.  Quick play is your standard match where you are paired with players and are tasked to complete a list of objectives.  AAS Mode is focused on retaking bases that have been overrun.  You can expect these matches to run around 20 minutes on average.  It’s also important to note that there is not an AI system in the game yet.  So all of us lone wolves will need to be matchmade with other players.

What’s the Basic Rundown in Starship Troopers Extermination?

Players can choose three different Trooper classes in Starship Troopers Extermination: Assault, Support, and Defense, also known as Hunter, Bastion, and Operator.  Each class has a few customizable options such as utility weapons and perks that you earn through a class progression system.  For example, if you wish to give your trooper a proximity mine that detonates when an Arachnid gets near it, you first must raise that trooper to level 13 to unlock it.  How do you do that?  Simply keep using that class trooper to level it up.  Currently there are 6 utility items you can unlock and 6 perks that give your trooper different abilities and augmentations.  More are being developed.

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Hunter Class

As mentioned above, you have the Hunter class which is the assault infantry.  They are equipped with a jump jet which lets you execute a short but powerful jet jump allowing you to easily take out Arachnids from up high.  This trooper also moves a lot faster compared to the other two classes.  So, if you need to jet out of a sticky situation, you can easily accomplish this.  I found myself being swarmed multiple times and was able to survive by gunning it out of there.  This was the one I personally used the most as I like to rush into danger right off the bat much to my teammate’s annoyance.  I have absolutely no idea why, I just like the danger, I guess.

Bastion Class

The Bastion Class is the heavy infantry.  Naturally these big troopers are going to come with heavier armor, making them more durable in the heat of battle.  It’s quite easy to die by just a few jabs from the Arachnids, so this class is perfect if you want to be holding the line.  The Bastions also come with what’s known as Siege Mode, which not only increases your defense even more, but it also adds weapon stability.  Trust me when I say, you’re going to love that stability because the kickback to these weapons is awful.  It’s quite easy for your aim to go bonkers after each shot.

Operator Class

Last but certainly not least, we have the Operator Class which is known as the support infantry.  What’s nice about this class is that one of their perks is that you have an extra canister slot.  They can carry more ore and gas.  I have to say that this is a huge help for when you need to build your base.  A good base is integral if you’re going to survive the final onslaught.  Lastly, what’s a support character without their medical expertise?  The operator comes with a Medical UAV which you can deploy to revive all nearby allies.  And, well, you are going to have a lot of dead comrades pretty quick as the waves get harder and harder.  You should always want to have an operator in your squad otherwise you won’t last very long.

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Squads and Arachnids

Starship Troopers Extermination squads

After you choose your class, you are presented with five different squads to choose from: Demon, Nightmare, Ifrit, Cerberus, and Hellfire.  All come with their own stylish symbol.  Each can only hold four players.  Whichever squad you choose, you will be paired with those players that chose that same squad and you will be able to chat with them.  Up to a total of 16 players can join in on a match.  Currently there are five types of alien bugs you encounter in the game: Drone, Warrior, Gunner, Plasma Grenadier and Tiger Elite.  Of course, the developers plan on adding many more enemy types.

Visuals and Sound

Starship Troopers is one of my favorite sci-fi action films.  So, I was pleasantly surprised at how similar the environments looked to the actual film.  While the game takes place on a different planet, it really felt like I was in the Starship Troopers film.  Imagine you are a trooper who just completely the grueling 2-year training and now you are dropped in a desolate and creepy location on the planet Valaka.  Next thing you know, a Warrior Bug is there to welcome you with open arms and a nice, friendly stab to the face.  That’s exactly what I expect when going into a Starship Troopers game and man, I was not disappointed.  Come to me, you bugs!

How Long Will Starship Troopers Extermination Be Early Access?

According to the developers, they are aiming to have the game in early access for approximately one year.  They have stressed that community feedback is very important as they want to work to develop the best Starship Troopers experience possible.  But you can expect multiple planets to travel to, additional weapons, enemy types, class progression upgrades, community events, and encounters in the full version.  The troopers will also come with more customization options as well.

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Will the Game Come to Consoles?

Already many fans of the game have been petitioning Offworld to bring Starship Troopers: Extermination to consoles.  Fear not, the developers are well aware of this.  However, during this early access stage, they want to focus on development goals for the PC to deliver a polished product.  It is very possible that the game will come to consoles, but it will take some time. 

Should You Play It?

Are you a fan of Starship Troopers?  If you are, then I firmly believe that you will love this game, even in its early access state.  While the game is still pretty bare, it’s an absolute blast for what you do have.  If you’ve been curious about it, I’d say it’s definitely worth it. The game is currently $24.99 USD on Steam and the developers have said that the price may increase as they add more features. That’s also something to keep in mind.

Starship Troopers: Extermination early access is available on PC.

Engaging gameplay
Great multiplayer system
Beautiful visuals
Soundtrack pays homage to the original film
Lots of potential
Terrifying Arachnids
Only two match modes
Framerate is affected with large swarms
Some clipping when traversing through terrain
Limited weapons

Review Summary

Starship Troopers: Extermination early access delivers an amazing experience for fans of the 1997 film.

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