Service Guarantees Citizenship

After a few matches of Starship Troopers: Extermination, players are bound to hear “I’m doing my part!” or “Come on you apes, you want to live forever?” over comms as fans fervently belt out their favorite quote from the ’90s sci-fi action blockbuster.

That infectious spirit pervades the game through its referential tone and masterful replication of the feeling — if not the satirical bite — of Paul Verhoeven’s classic. 

Starship Troopers: Extermination is a co-op horde shooter where servers of 16 players gear up and frag out against the bug menace. Choosing from one of three classes — a high-mobility assault, beefed-up tank, or auto-reviving support — they’ll need to coordinate a fusillade of fire to take down hundreds of nasty creatures with the gall to try and stop humanity’s fascist expansionism.

There is little room for solo bravado (especially on the harder difficulty), as anyone but the most hardened veterans will find themselves blown to pieces from some far-off specialist bug with no one around to revive them.

Matches always culminate in a desperate battle against a massive wave of enemies, mixing in some base-building mechanics, followed by a mad dash to the dropship for extraction before it takes off. These sections are the highlight, and Starship Troopers delivers an addictive cycle that I’ve easily sunk more than 20 hours into in short order. 

The game’s biggest detraction in its current state — a decidedly early Early Access state — is the dearth of content. At the moment there’s only three classes, two difficulties, one map and limited unlocks and rewards.

There are also only two modes — one where teams complete a series of successive objectives, and another where those objectives are issued concurrently with raising the infestation level unless they’re completed within a short timeframe.

While the latter may be especially delectable for tactically-minded players, it’s absolutely unplayable without teamwork. Unfortunately, the game in its current state does not facilitate that level of coordination. There is no squad VOIP — only team and local — and no squad leaders or even commanders to issue orders (although even if there were, it would still likely be a difficult proposition). Load up with some friends and see what’s possible, but joining a lobby of randoms just won’t cut it.

Aside from the dearth of early content, Starship Troopers has all the hallmarks of an early build — players will experience frame drops and chops, there are unfinished animations, and some game-breaking errors. I’ve even witnessed a few defeat states after completing the objectives and everyone safely extracting in the drop ship.

But the bones — perhaps the exoskeleton? — of Starship Troopers: Extermination is damn solid.

Offworld Industries has released a roadmap of incoming content, and once things flesh out and expand, I expect this to be a real winner.


This game is currently available in Early Access on PC.

Stephen Cook
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