I’m happy to check out Starship Troopers: Extermination, a new co-op online FPS with base-building mechanics. It was developed and published by Offworld Industries. They’re the ones who brought you Squad, another online shooter that was released back in September 2020. Starship Troopers was released for early access on Steam this May for £20.99.
The only good bug is a dead bug!
Like many others, I grew up with the 1997 Starship Trooper Film and prayed for a game based on it. Offworld Industries must have heard me because now I get to fight off mass hordes of bugs. Who doesn’t love taking on hordes of enemies in hopes of saving humanity, I sure do, and that’s why “I’m doing my part!”.
Starship Troopers: Extermination holds up to sixteen players per match, and each person can choose what squad they wish to join. After selecting a squad, you can choose one of the three classes available (Assault, Heavy or Medic). Each class will help the overall fight against the bugs with their unique class ability. Assault can reach the higher ground with their thruster packs and provide covering fire. Heavies will serve as vanguard units to push forward and hunker down in siege mode. This ability gives a massive increase to accuracy and defence. Lastly, Medics get a helpful companion that allows them to carry two canisters (one held by the medic and the other by the drone) and help heal the team.
Players level up all three classes individually, each gaining new gadgets, weapons and perks. Currently, all the classes share the same three primary weapons, except for the Medic, who can have a Grenade Launcher once they have levelled up a bit. Perks provide a tactical advantage to the battlefield, some may give a movement bonus after being hit, and others will let you hold more ammo for guns. I preferred to play in the Assault class as it provides the best chances of survival, thanks to being able to reach higher ground.
Fight the good fight and know your enemy
There are currently five enemy types in Starship Troopers: Extermination (Drone, Warrior, Gunner, Grenadier and Tiger Elite). They all provide a challenge to players throughout the missions. I found that all the enemies apart for the Drone are bullet sponges, and mixing that with the large hordes you will face can get overwhelming even when playing on the easy difficulty. Gunners will be the biggest hurdle, as they will decimate the player in seconds if caught off guard. Tiger Elites are the same as Warriors but much larger in size and take the form of the iconic bug found in the Starship Troopers franchise. These Elites will kill you in one hit most of the time unless you take them down quickly. Grenadiers are probably the most non-lethal bug as it hurls projectiles at the base’s walls instead of targeting players.
Only two game modes are available for players. One is called Assault & Secure. In this mode, players will be dropped off and have to fight through various objectives, such as exterminating hordes of bugs or collecting ore and returning it to a bunker. At the end of the mission, players will be tasked with building up a base with defensive walls and turrets, then hold off against the final wave of Arachnids and escape off-world. The other mode is called Arc Slam which is unlocked upon reaching rank five and has players start off by collecting gas canisters and ore to build up the base, similar to Assault & Secure. Base building is fun, but I found the defensive structures and turrets too weak and limited.
Graphics & Audio
The visuals in Starship Troopers: Extinction don’t overly stand out for me, as the map seems quite generic in design. After repeating the same maps, they start to become quite dull. The bugs themselves look okay, with the Gunner probably being the best designed, with Elite Tiger in second. Class models look too similar right now, and I hope they change them up in the future. I have experienced some visual bugs (no pun intended), such as the gun not loading in and clipping through the world, but luckily nothing has caused my PC to crash yet.
The soundtrack is great, with the developers themselves creating a soundtrack in homage to the original 1997 film score. The sound effects for the hordes and gunfire sound good, and I did love the broadcast that always plays before loading into a game, as it adds more to the overall experience of joining the fight.
Players can sink a good couple of hours into Starship Troopers: Extinction and probably more with friends and levelling up classes. As of this preview, I managed to sink in under ten hours and plan to play more when more content drops.
My time with Starship Troopers: Extinction was fun. But for an early access game, it feels a little too light on content. I started getting bored quickly after a few games, as I felt like I needed a break. Guns feel a little underpowered, and two of them are basically the same, apart from one giving more stagger effect (which doesn’t work when being swarmed) at the cost of damage. The game shines on giving the player the feeling of chaos and dread when trying to fight back. I hope in time and with much more content, this game can surpass and become a well-loved title. After seeing that Offworld Industries’ previous title Squad has glowing reviews, it makes the Future of Starship Troopers look promising.
If you enjoyed this Review then check out Dan’s Switch review for Front Mission 1st Remake.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.