Starship Troopers: Extermination is an FPS PvE horde game on an epic scale where 16 human-controlled players must work together to complete mission objectives and overcome an alien bug infestation.
Yesterday I finally got to play Starship Troopers: Extermination. Though the creators of the game, Offworld Industries, were nice enough to provide me with a copy of the game early, finding servers with people playing was difficult before the game officially launched into Early Access. Yesterday, I finally got into the game with other folks and got to see what this epic bug-squishing PvE game was all about.
As a paid Early Access title, I know how apprehensive some gamers can get. After all, not all of us are rolling in money, so making an informed decision about which games to get and which games to pass on, especially during the earlier phases of development, can be a struggle. Hopefully, after reading about my experience, you’ll know if this is the kind of game for you.
Remarkably Non-Toxic Community So Far
I’m old, so I’ve seen gaming go through several phases and lived through the toxicity that was the late 90s and early 2000s. If you think COD lobbies are bad now, you’re not old enough to have experienced just how bad it could get, specifically for FPS games. I’m also a huge fan of the Starship Troopers universe, and I remember watching and loving the movies as a kid, so I have some level of emotional attachment to the IP.
Beyond the one or two snarky folks that think they know everything about the game 24 hours after launch, most people are trying to immerse in the Starship Troopers universe. While for some, it might come off as corny, for me, it was actually a blast, with gamers blurting out lines from the movie or altering their voice to sound like a trooper.
Part of this, I think, is in the inherent design of the game — which bodes well for the title. In Starship Troopers: Extermination, players must work together to complete mission objectives, build and defend a base, then extract on a transport ship alive. The more troopers you leave behind, the worse your score is, and the slower you gain experience and level up to gain new items and weapons. You also get points for helping out and doing productive things, so I never really experienced griefing in the matches I played.
As the day went on, I entered lobbies where communication was less frequent, but when people were communicating, the proximity voice chat made me feel like I was truly a trooper on the faraway planet of Klendathu. Cooperation may get worse as the game is out, but for the communities sake, I hope it stays as positive and proactive as the games I played.
How about the Gameplay?
Starship Troopers: Extermination is an FPS game where the shooting mechanics feel OK. I’d be lying if I said the gunplay was the nicest thing I’ve felt, as it feels somewhat rudimentary compared to other modern first-person shooters. That being said, this fact almost fits into the Starship Troopers universe. After all, it’s not an M16 that players are shooting; it’s the Morita MK1 full-auto or Morita Hawkeye — future guns for a future world.
Movement in the game is also okay. There is a vaulting mechanic, crouching, sprinting — all of the typical things you’d think would be included in a modern-day shooter. Other movement abilities exist, like a jetpack jump for the Assault Infantry. While we’re on that topic, there are three different classes players can choose from, Hunter or assault infantry, Bastion or heavy infantry, and Operator or support infantry, with each class having its own pros and cons. This was a great addition, as having a balanced squad is paramount to winning missions.
Where the game shines is in the base-building mechanics and the sheer amount of enemies you’ll need to take out. While it is difficult to get 16 players on the same page about a layout for a base, it does add a new mechanic to the horde shooter; preparing for a massive onslaught and building base defenses to best defend your ARC. Once the base is up, that’s where the real fun begins, as wave after wave of bugs slam into your defenses, crumbling them — as would-be combat engineers attempt to repair and rebuild and your allies start falling.
There are 16 players in each match, with five teams of four-person squads. This was also another smart idea, as you’ll be able to form small teams with your friends to complete specific tasks. In one of the games I played, everyone on my squad went Operator, or the medic class, and we kept the team alive throughout the bug onslaught.
Is Starship Troopers: Extermination Worth Getting?
The first few games I played were pretty laggy, with rubberbanding and desyncing issues. However — the game was pretty quickly patched the same day it launched, and my experience in subsequent matches felt a lot better. I experienced some hardware stutters throughout my experience, and I’m running on a 3070Ti, so older systems will likely experience some issues unless you turn down the graphics.
This all, however, is pretty on par with first-day shooters that launch into an early-access state. I think beyond the new unlocks, content, and maps that they add to the game, I think a paramount aspect of Starship Troopers: Extermination success will mainly rely on the community that the game is able to foster. As an online multiplayer game where several people must work together to win, it’ll be important it maintains a healthy community, or else queue times will be long.
If you like horde shooters and want something more chill than a PvP FPS while still being fun and exciting, or if you’re a huge Starship Troopers fan, I can suggest Starship Troopers: Extermination. Hopefully, the game’s developers keep up with updates and add new content so that the hype around the game can grow, and there will be a strong community for it for the foreseeable future.
You can watch a match that I played below:
Starship Troopers: Extermination Early Access Review
Tons of Potential
Starship Troopers: Extermination is a fun, multiplayer horde shooter where a team of 16 must overcome waves of bugs while completing unified mission objectives. With building mechanics, various enemies, and three selectable classes, the game is a must-have for horde-game aficionados and Starship Trooper fans.
Starship Troopers: Extermination is available on Steam.
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PC Review Copy provided.