Starship Troopers: Extermination

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Starship Troopers: Extermination review
Jordan Helsley


“The Arachnids Are Still a Threat”

"The Arachnids Are Still a Threat"

There's something about shooting bugs. They're endless, mostly mindless, and satisfyingly gushy. Where there are no Nazis or zombies, there are bugs. With this in mind, it's no wonder that the Deep Space Vanguard has endured all these years. Even in its early access state, Starship Troopers: Extermination captures the experience of battling endless waves of bugs while teetering on the edge of defeat, while avoiding a few pratfalls that it could have easily been afflicted with.

Boots on the Ground

It's been a while since we've seen the Arachnids up close, and they're as ugly as we remember. That is a testament to the game's graphics: they capture the aesthetic of the source material well. Everything feels ripped out of the late '90s, from the signature armour and guns to the bases and bugs. These recreations allow the rest of the game to shine even brighter, with satisfying lighting and mists of Arachnid blood.

It feels good to be in the fight. The shooting feels as it should: minimal recoil, adequate damage, and squad reliance. Missions consist of moving to objectives that allow you to traverse a surprisingly large map. There's a small level of awkward animations, but nothing breaks your stride. Along the way, waves of bugs come in fast and heavy, threatening to overrun your position at any moment, just as we've seen for decades. In many ways, it is the realization of fan fantasies that have been festering since 1997.

Fighting at Scale

A lot of Starship Troopers: Extermination can be summed up in a word: large. The maps are large, as are the hordes. Your co-op team is also, you guessed it, large. Instead of the usual four-person teams, your force is 16 players strong, broken up into four squads. It's barely-controlled chaos with everyone doing their part. From building bases to gunning down adversaries, there is a lot going on at any given moment.

While the objectives are a pretty standard affair, the tools of your operation form a pretty unique experience. Transforming an open desert space into a defensible space with vast walls, bunkers, and shooting towers is key, but there's also the class system to complement your play style. I preferred the Operator (medic), but there's also the Hunter (assault) and Bastion (tank) with unique abilities and weapons to level up. With a current roster of five enemy types, it takes a bit of team synergy to make an effective squad.

Straight Shooting

The story here, as you might expect from a co-op shooter, is minimal: take back Planet Valaka. Usually, this consists of defending locations, extracting data, and the like. Missing here is the token satire the series has been known for. This is more often than not a good thing. There are only so many ways to tell the same story, and rather than make a failed attempt, they chose to play it straight, just as the soldiers on the ground would have seen it. This isn't a satire on a military machine; it's a horror story starring civilians who bought into the propaganda.

The battles themselves tell enough of a story. Working in tandem with your fellow troopers, fighting back the hordes that have swarmed your base, only to narrowly escape for extraction can be thrilling. You’ll remember the comrades you lost along the way and jump back in and do it all again.

FedNet Approved

The best adaptations feel like they exist in the world of the original, rather than trying to redo what has been done. Starship Troopers: Extermination accomplishes that. It gives you the familiar action from a new perspective. The fights herein are chaotic, seemingly-insurmountable, tactical, and satisfying. The Troopers' signature assault rifle feels as it should, the Arachnid are tough-but-not-to-tough, and building defenses feels meaningful. The biggest knock against its effort can easily be addressed as the game lives on: it is entering a crowded market without much innovation, and a relatively light plate of classes and weapons. As a package, it can be exhilarating, especially with a group of friends, big or small.

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fun score


Puts you in the shoes of a large group of Starship Troopers, complete with endless bugs, guts, and bullets.


A familiar, if expanded, experience that has plenty of room and necessity to grow.