Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a real-time strategy game, best compared to the likes of Command & Conquer, Halo Wars and Age of Empires. True to the 90s films, you command forces and go to war against the Arachnid hives of distant planets.
Releasing fully on 16th June this year, Terran Command is being developed by The Artistocrats and published by Slitherine Software. Slitherine has published some notable war games already, including Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock. This is also The Artistocrats 2nd real-time strategy game, following on from Order of Battle: World War II which released 2015. Putting together the already existing Starship Troopers franchise, the publisher and somewhat experienced developers, I’m expecting good things from Terran Command.
The Only Good Bug Is A Dead Bug!
Growing up in the 90s, I have fond memory’s of the Starship Troopers films. Both action packed and slightly-cheesy, the franchise captured the imagination of millions and it’s about time we received another game!
Similar to most real-time strategies, the goal is to generate troops and keep them alive long enough to upgrade them to stronger units. Infantry may start with X number of soldiers per unit, as unit health drops so too does the number of soldiers. If you lose all soldiers, that entire unit is lost. So the key really is to keep your best units alive until they’re level 3 elite units, at which time you’re able to choose a special ability. Special abilities include things like larger grenades or cluster bombs.
Unfortunately I found the troop positioning to be a little clunky, when trying to create a formation of infantry – for example with rifle man behind engineers, it’s rather difficult and slow. This is made even worse by the fast movement of the approaching enemies. A minor grievance however, and something which might be ironed out and patched later on. Additionally, there are ‘Green’ units on missions – units which are computer controlled and cannot be player controlled. These often got in the way and caused a little bit of confusion as to which troops I could or couldn’t command.
Also, some of my infantry occasionally got a little stuck while moving into position, usually on a structure. Sometimes the Warrior bugs also bugged out (pun intended) and would reach my infantry but then stand dormant, not attacking… or maybe they just don’t play their attack animation? Either way, the bugs bug out.
Graphics & Audio
I played on a Ryzen 5, RTX 3070 with 32GB RAM and ultra settings. There was quite a bit of difference between the medium settings and ultra, which was good to see. Being able to really tone down the settings means Terran Command will be playable on most PC setups, but the official minimal requirements are; Intel core i3, 4GB RAM and GTX 550 or equivalent.
Visually Terran Command is best compared to games like Command & Conquer 4, but with slightly more modern graphics. Textures feel meaty, particle FX are plentiful and the 3D modelling has just enough polycount to make things interesting. Overall I think Terran Command looks the part.
Audio in Terran Command is also best compared to that of the C&C franchise, with just enough Starship Trooper cheesiness thrown in. Remember Sergeant Avery Johnson from Halo? The voice overs give of heavy Avery Johnson vibes, and it really does work!
Overall, Terran Command is both visually and audibly exactly what you’d expect. Cheesy lines about squaring bugs combined with explosions, lots of explosions.
It looked fairly promising. Missions last roughly 10 minutes (at least in the early game). Scaling up the difficulty can add an extra challenge. I see Terran Command as more of a pick up and play kind of game, which you can return too when you just need a break from multiplayer games and just want to crush some bugs.
One thing that’s been done particularly well are the tutorial levels. Introducing new units, bugs and tactics in a timely manner without being too difficult or boring is tricky. Terran Command has found the balance. This is a great first game if you’re new to the strategy genre.
Starship Troopers: Terran Command is exactly what you’d expect. It’s all about decimating bugs with fire and explosions, you can even use mechs! As someone who played all Command & Conquer games I can say with confidence that Terran Command looks promising, and is worth picking up.
I award Starship Troopers: Terran Command a Thumb Culture Silver award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.