movie cult classic finally comes to the gaming arena
but is it too little too late? by
23, 2006 - Starship
Troopers is a mindless shooter that vaguely reminds
us of the movie. If you didn't like the movie, you
probably won't like this game. And if you loved the
movie, you probably won't like this game either. The
game lacks depth. It's like an arcade shooting gallery
featuring an over-populated race of alien insects
to fire at. There are millions of them. And somebody
has to kill them all. That would be you. Get busy.
to kill all these insects is like being handed a broom
at your new job and told to sweep the warehouse. Shooting
these bugs becomes a job, and not a likeable job.
Okay, it's a better job than cleaning up a sweatshop
but only barely. After a full day of bug shooting
you'll be glad when your shift is over and you can
do something more intellectual - like watch TV.
Hesperus is overrun with viscous alien insects of
the large and fast variety. The planet, which is close
to Earth, was colonized by man and was considered
a virtual Garden of Eden. But when the bugs invaded,
the place went to hell. It's your job as a space marine
to take control of the planet, protect the human population
and kill those bugs dead.
aid you in your task you will have a carbine and a
shotgun, both with secondary features such as a grenade
launcher, scope and rocket launcher. The carbine comes
with unlimited ammo, and you're going to need it.
The shotgun propels multiple shell blasts that can
cut down entire rows of these bugs. The grenade is
also a great weapon. It can take out a large chunk
of enemies but you have to stop firing the gun to
enemy is relentless. They literally swarm you. At
times you will be able to make out where they are
coming from by pinpointing the strange sounds they
make. Oddly you can't do this all the time. Although
you will be able to hear them you can't tell where
they are coming from all the time and this can be
serious if they get the jump on you and surround you
out in the open. You might face as many as 50 of these
creatures at one time and if you don't cut them all
down you lose. It's not an easy game by any stretch
but the challenge doesn't vary despite different missions.
are outfitted with a super suit and a shield that
will regenerate. Abilities include running, jumping
and crawling. Unfortunately the other marines in your
squad aren't fortunate enough to have developed these
skills. When under attack by such huge swarms of bugs
it's nice to have some backup. On occasion you will
have a squad attempt to take some of the load off
of you but these guys seem more intent on offering
themselves as a sacrifice to the enemy. They will
shoot but they aren't great shots. They don't run,
they don't crawl and they don't take cover. They just
stand around until they get mowed down. You can't
issue them any orders so you don't feel responsible
for their imminent deaths. They all look the same
and they repeat some of the same lines way too many
times. Since they all look and act like clones you
don't feel any attachment to them when they die.
is a huge planet with varying terrain. It's not static.
Objects in the environments are interactive which
makes the planet a believable platform from which
to conduct your business. Troops are engaged in various
background animations and radio chatter fills the
air. The voiceovers are every bit as good as the movie
- if you like cliches. Much of the dialog is tongue-in-cheek
with healthy doses of humor though some of the lines
do get repetitive.
can be difficult to see at night as the lighting either
washes things out or doesn't provide enough illumination.
There isn't much in the way of slowdown but the animation
of the bugs is stiff and jerky. They emit an unsettling
squeal that sounds like a pig caught in an auger.
The explosions and other weapon sounds are very powerful
and satisfying. They display realistic girth and create
some nice bass rumblings. The music keeps the tension
in high gear but it too starts to repeat.
Troopers would make an excellent arcade game. It's
got lots of enemies, plenty of firepower, tons of
action and a very good chance of your character getting
killed which would force gamers to toss in more quarters.
Unfortunately the game loses its appeal as a home
game. It's like inviting the funny drunk you met in
the bar last night to your party only to find out
that after an hour he repeats the same stories over
and over. In this way Starship Troopers is fun for
a while but only as long as the definition of "a
while" does not exceed one hour.
Troopers is a game that underscores the principal
of diminishing returns which means the more you play
it, the less you'll like it. If you must, enjoy it
in small doses.
battles featuring 300+ bugs with individual AI on
screen at once, 20 times more action than gamers
have ever seen before.
different types of non-humanoid enemy bugs to encounter.
that covers the whole Starship Troopers universe.
The books, films and TV series are just the beginning.
commentary by Casper van Dien, aka Johnny Rico,
now the general who introduces each mission.
weapons, each with dual function attacks.
include the standard Morita rifle (seen in the film)
as well as the plasma rifle, shotgun and rocket
launcher, plus a variety of new and exciting items
such as intelligent grenades and the infamous nuke
single player levels including a mix of huge real-time
battles on an epic scale and solo 'infiltration'
Combat Environments - indoor and outdoor levels,
including the wide-open battlefields, a secret laboratory,
claustrophobic bug nests, abandoned mines and lonely
outposts. Plus LAN and online modes including death
match and co-op mode.