I’ve always loved Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 cult-classic film Starship Troopers. To today’s standard, the movie’s visual effects still hold up. Its gore, limbs getting dismembered, huge bugs chasing troopers and gutting them one by one, Starship Troopers is still insanely entertaining. How much more if we get behind the guns and do our part? Starship Troopers Extermination is that. An early access game with a 16-player co-op where you occupy and hold off a horde of arachnids until the objective timer is done; you run for your life to get yourself in the extraction boat to escape.
Offworld Industries completely fulfills that craving for a great Starship Troopers game that Strangelite, the developer behind the 2005 Starship Troopers game, failed to do. Would you like to know more?
Starship Troopers Extermination is mindless first-person shooting fun with building mechanics. In this 16-player coop bug hunting game, you’re given only two modes in this first early access release and one map, the Planet Valaka. You have Advance And Secure (AAS) and ARC.
The first mode is more like doing a couple of objectives, such as capturing a point and gathering resources like ore to eliminate an infestation. You then start building defenses surrounding the ARC Scanner to prevent the bugs from getting destroyed until it finishes gathering data.
While the ARC game mode gives your entire platoon time to gather resources to build defenses around the ARC Scanner, you will need a dedicated group that knows what to do. Otherwise, your entire platoon will suffer the consequences and fail the mission.
Between ARC and AAS, the latter gives you more action non-stop against the bugs, with squadmates splurting out many lines from the movie. I love AAS more than ARC; I see fewer players leaving the match.
Offworld should revise ARC to make it more engaging, giving squads specific objectives to complete than having everyone figure out what to do. ARC is just a mess, and AAS is the best mode to play.
Where Starship Troopers Extermination excels is its combat. Your platoon will face a lot of Bugs. When I say a lot, it’s a lot. The Bugs are tough to kill, and in higher difficulty levels, a Warrior bug takes more than one magazine clip to bring down. How much more a bigger, worse arachnid like the Tiger Elite? You’ll need a lot of guns to kill it, which means a lot of players to take down even one of them. This captures the movie’s heart; it gives you the fear of being in front of the Bugs as they can easily kill you, especially in a huge horde.
You are given three class types: the Hunter, Bastion, and Operator. If you like mobility, the Hunter gives you perks that enable you to run faster when attacked by an enemy, plus you have a jetpack to fly on top of buildings to get that great vantage point. The Bastion is your best choice if you prefer to be a tank. You can fortify yourself with shields that give you better gun handling, especially with the class-tied Morita MK3 SAW machine gun. Last but not least is the Operator class. If your purpose on the battlefield is to support other players, then this class is for you. The Operator can deploy a Medical UAV that revives fallen troopers.
I spent more time playing the Hunter class than any other due to its unwavering mobility to survive any near-impossible situations, all thanks to its jetpack. The Bastion needs a huge buff, as escaping from chasing Bugs is rather difficult without an Operator by your side.
Fortifying your base is one of the best things in Starship Troopers Extermination. Building walls and bunkers is simple, but positioning them perfectly to repel a deadly horde of arachnids can be tricky. You’ll need to think outside of the box. If you need to double-wall a specific area, you can. If you want to funnel the bugs into one kill zone, you can. You can be creative if it benefits your entire platoon to survive the horde attacks, which makes the entire building experience rather engaging than just a mere “need” to build structures.
Visually, Starship Troopers Extermination is great. The Bugs are as menacing as they were portrayed in the film, and the weapons like the Morita rifles and the MK3 SAW are modeled accurately from every inch of polygon you see on the screen. To complement the game’s amazing graphics, the soundtrack is heavily inspired by Basil Poledouris. You will hear similar tunes like the “Bugs” track from the Whiskey Outpost battle. To make my experience in the game more authentic, I always listen to the “Klendathu Drop” theme from the film on Spotify. The adrenaline kicks in, and I run into the Bugs and shout, “kill them all!” in the team voice chat, and the other players respond with “Hurrah!”.
The game isn’t without its fair share of bugs, like literally game bugs, not enemy “bugs.” Enemies float sometimes, your character goes out of bounce once hit by the Plasma Grenadier bug’s attack, and you slip out from the extraction boat when it flies. Screen tearing is apparent even though V-sync is enabled, and your class loadout resets whenever you launch the game. It’s still the game’s first early access version release, and the team over at Offworld Industries is already working on the fixes. Other than that, the game is amazing.