June 17, 2024
Fresh off the dropship with battle rifles in hand, Miles and Rossko blast their way through Starship Troopers: Extermination. The Finger Guns review:

Starship Troopers: Extermination is frantic.

Swarms of bugs are bursting through the man-made barriers our 20-strong team have erected. Rossko, forced to retreat to gather ammo, is being peppered as he runs for aid. Miles, as the last line of defence to the ARC, deploys his heavy trooper’s fortification. He fires. Hundreds of rounds erupt out of the creatures launching themselves at the point. Deflated, all ammo expended and nothing but a knife left, Miles resigns himself to his fate. A four-man squad arrives in the nick of time, hurling grenades and bullets into the crowd.

Rossko arrives, armed to the teeth and throwing himself into the fleshy crowd. Miles, with a sliver of health remaining, bee-lines it for the extraction point. Both troopers throw up their fortifications as the timer counts down to extraction. The bugs are on fire in all directions, the smoke of the explosions clouds the battlefield. Neither Rossko nor Miles stop shooting. They escape.

Then Rossko falls out off the dropship.

After a brief moment to catch our breath, we howl with excitement and despair. After a breathtaking 20 minutes completing this match, instantly we ready up for another round of Starship Troopers: Extermination.

Read on for both of our thoughts from the game’s early access state. As you may have already gathered, we had a lot of chaotic fun.

By Miles Thompson:

Starship Shooter

Starship Troopers: Extermination is a multiplayer-focused FPS that is all about the spectacle. The spectacle of big, wide open maps. The spectacle of riddling hundreds of bugs in a hail Mary of thousands of rounds. The spectacle of holding your lines in the face of insurmountable odds.

Every round supports up to 20 troopers getting boots on the ground and completing objectives as a team. While you’re split into squads of four, this is more splitting up into effective fireteams for specific side objectives. Most of the time, every rifle will be involved in the same battle.

Regardless of which game mode you’re playing (there’s currently just the two), you’ll be capturing designated points, recovering material (ore and gas) and then defending a set point where your ARC is dropped, before getting the hell out of dodge as you leg it to extraction. While objectives are anything but original, the actual moment-to-moment experience of emerging successful from a 15-minute match is thrilling.

Dozens upon dozens of bugs will be swarming your positions at almost all times throughout a round. Imagine going into an abandoned house that’s been left for decades with an infestation of rats, maggots and cockroaches. Times that number of bugs by about 100 and you’ll be on the right lines. Blasting, running and sticking together is the aim of the game and Starship Troopers: Extermination excels when it hits its stride.

Starship Troopers: Extermination review

The Last Bastion Of Defence

Starship Troopers: Extermination isn’t just about the shooting and explosions however. Once an ARC has been deployed, the whole team will gain access to a build-zone: a radius around the ARC where you can plot various defensive structures. Any player can set down an object and after doing so, you’ll need to spend a few seconds constructing it.

It’s relatively basic – high, low or electrified walls, vantage towers, gates, bunkers and ammo crates, mostly. However, the squishy devil is in the detail and choice of where everything is placed. More than once, our teams would erroneously place defensive structures near the outpost, not the ARC. You can only have up to a certain amount of each structure, effectively scuppering a proper defence.

When the waves upon waves of ravenous creatures come crawling, you’ll get to see just how well-placed your defences are. We found it incredibly thrilling as hordes of the beasts slammed up against our walls, being littered with bullets and grenades. Creating that perfect choke-point is satisfying and the mechanics for placement and construction are easy-to-use and take time, so repairing them in a middle of an epic battle feels like a noble sacrifice.

In one round, thanks to some other troopers rather poor decision making, the bugs were decimating a wall with no way to lay down fire on them. As the seconds ticked by, I hastily threw up a guard tower which finished building the very second they burst through the wall. Myself and another trooper climbing the ladder as they descended into the base.

I’ve spoken about organic chaos and entertaining gameplay before in titles like Chivalry 2 and Starship Troopers: Extermination captures that movie-like feel of epic defences and near-death escapes so beautifully well.

Starship Troopers: Extermination review

You Are Exterminated

If there’s one flaw in Starship Troopers: Extermination’s current package, it would be the relatively bland and similar looking maps. The visual variety amounts to a grand total of desert, more desert and the odd building to add colour – grey style. While they are large and encourage a sense of grand spectacle, they’re the most uninteresting form of window dressing for the gunplay.

Enemy variety in the bugs fares much stronger. From your smaller and weaker pesky bugs that swarm in groups to larger warriors that can fling you into that rather sharp rockface, there’s plenty to be aiming your rifle at. Artillery bugs – who somehow fire actual blue missiles – are the standout, as in the clamour of a desperate defence, they can obliterate trooper and defence alike if not dealt with promptly. They’re like a large, bug-like, Na’vi. With rockets. Awesome.

There are 3 classes to choose from, each with their own unique ability and loadouts. Regular troopers have a short-range jetpack (Rossko gave an audible yelp of excitement at that), heavies can deploy a fortification ring that negates damage and recoil and supports have medical syringes they can dish out to themselves or their team.

Naturally, being the gunslinging meatheads that we are, we both opted for heavies and let me tell you, there’s no greater exhilaration than deploying your portable fortresses at the extraction point and blowing away everything that moves for a whole minute side-by-side. That back-to-back duo scene in 21 Jump Street? Yeah, it’s that. Only with more bugs.

Starship Troopers: Extermination review

Dropping Ships

With separate progression trees for each class, three available difficulties (with a third coming soon) that fundamentally alter the experience and necessary teamwork, two game modes available and a hell of a lot of shooting to be done already, Starship Troopers: Extermination is fertilising this desert ready to exterminate the bug infestation.

A lot more is planned in the coming months, with almost all of those features being expanded, content being added and more creatures to be eradicated in the name of freedom. The biggest issues with the game at present are its graphical presentation which looks distinctly last-gen, an FPS that can barely keep from bursting at the seams in the most frantic encounters and some wonky physics.

We both noted our issues with performances on more than one occasion, yet it never detracted from the ridiculous sense of fun we had. Much like other online-focused and cooperative centered games that have their rough launches, Starship Troopers: Extermination’s inherently amusing design melts away the bugs, figuratively and literally.

Are we going to be dropping in hot for more bug-slaying madness despite the flaws? You can bet your sandy behind and fully-loaded rifle we will be.

Starship Troopers: Extermination review

By Rossko Keniston:

Rossko wanted to add his two pennies in regards to Starship Troopers: Extermination, you can read his thoughts below;

It’s nice to write a small part here in this article. Miles has taken care of basically everything and I can just sit here and tell you what I thought about the game. What a joy this is.

And what a joy Starship Troopers is. Yes, it’s buggy in all the right ways, but damn if it isn’t buggy in all the wrong ways, too. Fortunately, if you care at all about the framerate skydiving into the ground like The Rock’s movie career you’ll be glad to know it’s very few and far between. Miles and I have been playing on fairly beefy gaming PC’s and the framerate is joyous, save for when it gets supremely nuts (namely, at the aforementioned escape sections where I fell off the ship and Miles in his infinite wisdom decided to bring it up in an article the entire world can read).

It’s the chaos that brings the authenticity, though. If you’ve seen Starship Troopers you know the basic conceit is absolute pandemonium whilst our brave troops who are just doing their part are absolutely mobbed by these arachnid like creatures that come at them from every angle.

To be in the middle of that with your mate is absolutely hysterical, and really brings out those moments in the film that made your hair stand on end. Those moments where you wish you were just to see it all unfold. And well, now, you are. You’re an elite commander and you’re getting your ass handed to you by bugs that are on fire and running at you for no other purpose other than to turn you into Black Adam box office receipts.

What was going to follow here was a tumultuous barrage of compliments about Extermination that I felt was deserving but in the end it can really only be summed up in one way;

Get your mates together and play it. Miles and I hollered all the way through our playthroughs and it’s because it’s as bonkers as it is fun to play. The maps need shaking up, the framerate drops are an issue and the modes on offer need expanding if Extermination is really going to have legs, but regardless of all that, the fundamentals are here for something genuinely rather special, and I’m looking forward to squadding up with Miles and friends again and doing my part. After all, we wouldn’t want this to think it’s taking over DC and dramatically failing, would we? Who would do that?*

*There’s a chance I may have watched Black Adam before writing this. What a piece of shit. Starship Troopers: Extermination is WAY better than Black Adam. The movie is too. Actually everything is. Holy shit.

Starship Troopers: Extermination is available now in Early Access via Steam.

Developer: Offworld Industries
Publisher: Offworld Industries

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were gratefully provided with two promotional codes from the publisher. For our full review policy, please go here. If you enjoyed this article or any more of our content, please consider our Patreon.

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