Comprehensive Review of Starship Troopers: Extermination on Steam Deck

“Starship Troopers: Extermination” is a game that seeks to transport players into the universe of the iconic sci-fi film, “Starship Troopers.” Set in the 23rd century, the game revolves around Earth’s united military organization and its battles against the Arachnids, a highly evolved race of insectoids. The game’s primary allure is the opportunity to team up with other players to fend off waves of alien bugs, all while constructing bases and strategizing for survival.

Gameplay and Mechanics

At the core of the game’s mechanics lies a well-thought-out class system. Players can choose from three distinct classes: Assault, Support, and Defense, each with its own unique set of abilities and roles within the team.

The Assault class embodies the frontline warriors, equipped with potent assault rifles and shotguns. Their agility and combat skills make them invaluable for leading charges and breaking enemy lines.

On the other hand, the Support class plays a critical support role, ensuring that their comrades remain in fighting shape. Armed with healing tools and the ability to provide essential supplies, including ammunition, they often turn the tide of battle by healing and reviving fallen teammates.

Meanwhile, the Defense class specializes in fortifications and holding the line. With deployable shields, turrets, and other defensive tools at their disposal, they create choke points and defensive perimeters, making it challenging for enemies to breach. Diversity in weaponry allows players to cater to their unique playstyles. The game offers a variety of primary weapons, ranging from rapid-fire assault rifles to powerful shotguns and precise sniper rifles. This allows players to choose weapons based on their preferred combat range and role within the team. Additionally, secondary weapons, including pistols and submachine guns, provide players with backup firepower when their primary weapon runs dry.

Beyond firearms, players have access to an array of tactical equipment, such as grenades and mines. These tools can be employed to disrupt enemy formations, defend key positions, or gain a strategic advantage during combat.

One of the standout features of “Starship Troopers: Extermination” is the ability to construct bases. This feature adds depth and strategy to the gameplay. Players can swiftly erect walls, bunkers, and gun turrets to create defensive perimeters, all of which play a pivotal role in defending against waves of arachnid onslaughts. Building and maintaining these structures require resources. As such, players must venture into the field, gather resources, and ensure that their base remains well-stocked and fortified. The placement of structures is also of paramount importance, with players needing to consider factors like creating choke points, ensuring clear lines of sight, and providing cover for teammates.

The game’s core ethos revolves around teamwork. With up to 16 players, teams must coordinate their efforts, assign roles, and work together to fend off the relentless arachnid threat. Success hinges on effective communication and collaboration. To facilitate teamwork, the game includes a built-in ping system, similar to the one found in games like Titanfall. This feature allows players to communicate dangers, highlight objectives, and strategize without relying solely on voice chat.

Beyond mere survival, players are tasked with specific objectives, ranging from resource gathering to defending key points. Successfully completing these objectives often demands coordinated efforts and strategic planning.

The arachnid adversaries in the game are far from mindless drones. Players face a rich variety of enemy types, from basic melee attackers to long-range shooters and heavily armored units. Each requires different tactics to overcome, ensuring that combat remains engaging and dynamic. The enemy AI is also adaptive, constantly evolving to counter player strategies, guaranteeing that no two encounters are identical.

Narrative and Atmosphere

While the game visually resembles the 1997 “Starship Troopers” movie, it lacks the film’s satirical depth. The game offers numerous references to the movie, but these are mostly superficial. The absence of a deeper narrative or satirical elements may disappoint fans of the film who were hoping for a more layered experience.

Graphics and Stability

The graphics in this early access game are commendable, with the models for the bugs looking exactly like they did in the 1997 film. The variety in the various bug creatures is noteworthy for an early access game, with five variations of arachnid menace ensuring that players don’t feel like they’re seeing the same enemies repeatedly.

Early Access Considerations

Being an early access game has its pros and cons. On the one hand, players get to be part of the game’s development journey, providing feedback and influencing its direction. On the other hand, the game is not feature-complete, which means players might encounter bugs, incomplete features, and other issues. Unfortunately, the game lost a huge number of players very quickly and at the moment an average of 600 people are playing here. That’s very low for such a title, and it’s unclear whether interest will be at the right level after the full release.

Starship Troopers: Extermination on Steam Deck

Starship Troopers: Extermination officially has “unplayable” status on Steam Deck, but I think it’s not too bad. For absolutely most of the gameplay here we definitely have more than 30FPS, and towards the end of huge clashes the frame rate drops to the high 20s. It’s not perfect fluidity, but I didn’t have any major problems with aiming and I had a really good time here. Many of the games that have been verified run much worse.

Verdict

“Starship Troopers: Extermination” in its early access form offers a decent co-op experience, pitting players against hordes of alien bugs. The base-building mechanics add depth to the gameplay, but the game’s content can feel repetitive after a while. The game has potential, but potential players might want to monitor its development over the next year before diving in. The game captures the feel and spirit of the original film, and the building mechanics are easy to pick up. However, the fact that it’s an early access game might deter some players from fully committing to it until its full release.

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