Developed by The Aristocrats, the game Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a real-time strategy game in the SF license universe.
Monument of 90s cinema, the Starship Troopers by Paul Verhoeven is became almost instantly cult among fans of unbridled SF. With its voluntarily acid offbeat tone, its great moments of action and its future depicting a society washed away with great blows of military propaganda, the film freely adapted from the book Stars, beware! by Robert A. Heinlein has carved out a special place for itself in pop culture and in the embittered hearts of boomers (of which we are a part here at Ecran Large).
Despite a strong license and fertile ground on paper to produce video games, Starship Troopers has never known the honors of a JV adaptation worthy of the name. Giant insects, space marines that serve as cannon fodder, big ships and guns, the ingredients were there to produce some action-packed titles, not necessarily very cerebral, but at least nervous enough to serve as an outlet.
Un nightmare for arachnophobes
Unfortunately, apart from a strange Starship Troopers: Battlespacea kind of multiplayer space shooter released in 1998, and the horrible FPS Starship Troopers from 2005 as ugly as it is unplayable, the license has remained one of the poor relatives of video games. Trying to break this curse, The Aristocrats studio (known for turn-based wargaming Order of Battle) had the daunting task of adapting the franchise on PC. To do this, the developers opted for the RTS (real-time strategy game) with the result Starship Troopers: Terran Command.
The title is mainly inspired by the first and the third film of the saga, the second being far too horrible to be cited. Direction Kwalasha, a mining planet whose soil is full of minerals. But no luck, the arachnids have already invested the place, and it will therefore be necessary to clean up and survive as best they can the repeated assaults of the insects, by fulfilling the missions entrusted by the ground command. The title resumes classic RTS elements, adding some tower-defense elements.
Lthe chances of survival are slim
The specialized press was able to rub shoulders with the beast, or rather the insects, and the first reviews reporta very enjoyable game for fans of the saga filmic. The critters from the films are present, the artistic direction is respectful of the original material, and particular care has been given to the sound environment of the game. At the beginning and at the end of each mission, the journalists in the pay of the Federation engage in verbal jousts to glorify the players’ acts of war, a delight for connoisseurs.
“Any fan of the film, provided they are obviously also an RTS enthusiast, will have their expectations met.” – Everyeye
“A very beautiful depiction of the war-torn imaginary reality created by Heinlein.” – IGN Italia
“Starship Troopers: Terran Command fits perfectly into the ever-growing RTS family. It does what it’s supposed to do, without being too daring. The franchise based on the homonymous film is well respected and the fans will be happy.” – Eurogamer Italy
On hear from here the howls of the Arachnids
However, the picture is not perfect. Because although the title wants to be a pure product of fans for fans, the RTS aspect of the game does not seem to be quite up to the ambitions of the studio. The artificial intelligence of human soldiers is particularly flawed. For example, it often happens that squads of Marines attacked by insects do not react, unless given the order…
In addition, the specialized press deplored the fact that the title offers little, if any, original mechanics, and the absence of a multiplayer mode. Once the campaign is over, there is therefore nothing left to eat, and the players sink into boredom.
“Starship Troopers: Terran Command is an intricate RTS that would have set things on fire 20 years ago. Today, it reminds us how far strategy games have come. Terran Command is sure to itch anyone who wants a retro experience, and it looks like it, but it’s really boring.” – NME
Dday or night, the threat is permanent
Although imperfect in its game mechanics, and not offering an experience that will win the support of RTS bulimics, Terran Command seems to have what it takes to delight players who have any appetite for the films of the saga Starship Troopers. With a single-player campaign lasting 8-10 hours, it could offer a nice dive into the arachnid nests of Kwalasha.
The fans, on the other hand, are full of praise for the title, which displays mostly very positive reviews on Steam, based on over 2600 reviews. They salute the atmosphere of the title, its regressive side, and its loyalty to Paul Verhoeven’s film.
Starship Troopers: Terran Command is available on Steam, GOG and Epic Game Store since June 16, 2022.