Starship Troopers: Extermination PC Preview

Starship Troopers: Extermination by developer and publisher Offworld IndustriesPC (Steam) preview written by Robert with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Starship Troopers: Extermination is PvE horde shooter developed and published by Offworld Industries and given they are the studio behind one of the industry's best mil-sim titles, Squad, I had high expectations. To put it bluntly, Starship Troopers: Extermination lacks any depth, reuses assets in the name of progression, and has plenty of pop-in no matter the machine you throw at it ... and I wholeheartedly love it. Not just love it, I adore it, and in my not-exactly-humble opinion, Offworld Industries is doing Early Access right and every studio looking to do the same should take note.

Though Squad has its own bumpy history to it, Offworld Industries has managed to break into the mil-sim market as a mod and take it by tactical storm. In a world dominated by arcade shooters looking for the next major thrill (or dance move, or whatever), the Mil-Sim genre has been fairly steady in that you had the wonderful yet intimidating, Arma franchise by Bohemia Interactive. While there were others, Arma has always been, "the one." Though not exactly a booming genre, it's one known for reacting to player feedback- if you release something horribly unbalanced and don't fix / address it based on player feedback, you'll simply be washed down the drain... Not so with Offworld. Having been birthed into one of the most pedantic and ornery communities in gaming (I say that in the most loving of ways, as I'm a part of that genre), I feel that only Offworld could've pulled off what they have with Starship Troopers.

It takes a certain kind of crazy to release a shooter set in a franchise that is woefully misunderstood, in part due to the campiness of the absolute bangar of a blockbuster, Paul Verhoeven's 1997 adaptation of Starship Troopers. What rankles me most is that the movie is horribly misundestood- I highly recommend spending the 2 or so hours it takes to watch it, then sit down and watch The Critical Drinker's video on it (I apologize ahead of time, but there are curse words in his videos), which you can find here: Then go back and watch Starship Troopers again. While the movie IS quite goofy and full of unapologetic B-rated goodness. It's just fun ... but it, like the book it takes its inspirations from, Robert A. Heinlein's 'Starship Troopers' is an excellent piece of anti-fascist scifi literature. When you're done watching the movies and spend a little time looking into some of the retrospectives and documentaries you'll probably ask yourself whether it's a good choice or not.

It was.

Starship Troopers: Extermination, for all of it's simplicity, manages to capture something in it's hopeless situations; comraderie. There's a weirdly fierce and incredibly loyal community behind the game (irrespective of whether they'd seen the movies or read the book) and because we're all standing the line to hold back the Arachnids together. Which is what the premise of every session is ... whether you're playing the faster, more arcade-like assault and secure (or "AAS") game mode, or the slower, more plodding and strategic ARC game modes. In AAS you're essentially dropped right into the action with only a few minutes to spare. Most of my AAS games would last 15-20 minutes, though with a good crew you could actually be in/out in about 12-15 minutes. These are great and if you're playing on the "Quick Play" mode that just shoves you into a game where they have the available roster, because there's a chance the next Quick Play session will see you in the more tactical ARC mode. The pacing for both is great and ever since they added that "Quick Play" mode, I've not felt the need to specifically play one mode or the other. When I let "the algorithm" do it's thing, I would be rewarded with a good mix between the two modes.

ARC missions tend to last about 45 minutes, unless you're blessed with a terrible command structure, then you're screwed. While there's no specific commander mode, there are very, very few games that I've played that didn't have some level of command crew figured out within minutes of hitting the ground. It's rather impressive given the quality of Squad Leads and Commanders in public Squad games. That said, there are five total squads, Ifrit, Demon, Hellfire, Nightmare, and my personal favorite, Cerberus Squad that players can join into. Currently they don't do much other than loosely corral Mobile Infantry into semi-cohesive collections of meatbags that are only there to do their part and no more. Spread throughout those five squads will be your squadmates. If you're lucky, you'll manage to land into a squad that uses their microphones to properly convey orders, positions, tasks, needs, etc. and not some chud just letting his 4 year old little brother just "reeeee" into the microphone (FYI, if you press Z you can mute players, which is good if you're recording or streaming). Fortunately, though, the overwhelming majority of players are solid and always trying to do their part.

Starship Troopers isn't all glory and liberation, though- it has its warts, and some I'm still trying to determine the "why" of. I can't quite work out some of Offworld Industry's decisions given their backgrounds with Squad. There's no command structure (Squad Leads, Command, etc.) though they do have limited classes between the Hunter, Bastion, and Operator (assault, tank, support). There's a single map that, though large and varied in elevation, can feel a bit stale after a week or two of playing. While there are three unique classes, the weapons and skills aren't quite there yet to make up for any missing gameplay loops. It wasn't until a month after release that loadouts and game settings would even be retained. Audio channels are weird- the local channel will sometimes be the squad channel, and the "Team" voice channel is just ... the entire 16-person crew, which is really difficult to follow along with because you have 16 people trying to talk and listen all at the same time. It doesn't work out great. One of the little issues that can really just annoy you is aiming down sights- it's really amateur and just abnormal as all get-out. Given the level of care and quality that went into the animations for Offworld Industry's other titles, it's hard to see why they pushed the game out the door in the state that it's in.

One this is for sure, though- Starship Troopers: Extermination is a hit. I've spent nearly 50 hours in game, slaying wave after wave of Arachnids and I don't regret a single moment in it. Instead, I'm eagerly looking forward to jumping into my next mission to do my part-

Are you willing to do yours?

Score: N/A



Post a Comment

Random posts

Our Streamers

Susan "Jagtress" N.

S.M. Carrière

Louis aka Esefine



JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada

JenEricDesigns – Coffee that ships to the US and Canada
Light, Medium and Dark Roast Coffee available.

Blog Archive