Reviews > Starship Troopers: Terran Command Review

Starship Troopers: Terran Command Review

by Kegan Mooney

At long last, the long-awaited Starship Troopers: Terran Command is finally here, letting players take charge of the Mobile Infantry and take on endless hordes of bugs (actual bugs that will eat your face off, not game-breaking ones).

On paper Starship Troopers: Terran Command looks to be just another RTS, but thanks to some well-thought-out positioning mechanics, an impressive range of enemies with their own unique abilities, and the game’s ability to follow in the footsteps of the movie, it not taking itself too seriously, it has blended together to make something truly unique.

While the first few missions in the 19-mission campaign felt a little too easy, it doesn’t take too long before you start to realize the importance of troop placement, and picking the right units for each type of bug.

Ordering your troops to simply go kill the bugs won’t cut it, as units can’t shoot through friendlies, making it vital to adjust your formation to ensure that all of your units are in the optimal position for each member of the unit to have a clear line of sight.

Having friendlies blocking the line of fire makes gameplay much more interesting, with players really needing to not only think about the formation that they place units in but also which units to place where based on their weapons and abilities.

Would You Like to Know More?

If you’ve seen Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 Starship Troopers, you will likely remember the movie’s Nazi-like betrayal of the Federation, thankfully Terran Command manages to keep Verhoeven’s vision alive, with over-the-top propaganda just like in the movie.

Just like any totalitarian state, the federation publicly commits heinous crimes and claims they are for the good of the people. At one point, this even includes airing an execution on live TV for a union worker, simply for being the head of a union.

These little nods to the movie are where Starship Troopers: Terran Command really shines, showing the developers had a deep understanding of the source material, while also offering players a little dose of nostalgia.

Terran Command's Campaign

While the 19-mission campaign has been an absolute blast to play, Starship Troopers: Terran Command lacks multiplayer or a level editor and with only two scenarios, there’s not much to do when you finish the campaign.

Hopefully, we will see some more content added in the future, I must admit, I was hoping to see a swarm mode, where players had to defend against ever-increasing waves of bugs, which feels like a missed opportunity to have missed out on.

Even without swarm or multiplayer modes, Terran Command is an impressively fun and well-thought-out game, and it doesn’t take too long before the game turns up the heat and starts pitting you against hordes of bugs, leaving you to micro-manage your troops for optimal firepower, while also having to manage reinforcements for those that have taken damage or perished.

The campaign also does well to balance the types of missions, with a great mix of base defense missions, and the old Commandoes style search and rescue type ones, in some cases even mixing it up mid-mission, forcing you to switch between defending a radio station, to suddenly sending in troops to kill escaped prisoners.

Unlike most other RTS games, you can’t simply throw as many units at the bugs as you want, special bugs such as the Tanker force you to adapt and use special weapons to take them down, making Terran Command much more interesting by forcing the player to think more about what units they need and where they place them.

Being tactical and keeping your units alive for longer results in them becoming promoted, which they are then able to take on one of two new special abilities, giving your troops more special abilities and better chances of survival against larger, more dangerous bugs.

With most maps covered in bug holes, the game also forces players to be smart about how they divide their forces, with players needing to keep back some troops to defend, while others go out and take out bug holes, adding another interesting game mechanic that honestly caught me out a few times.

Summary

There’s no doubt that Starship Troopers: Terran Command boasts a strong RTS aspect for you to enjoy, especially if you loved previous popular games like Command and Conquer. 

If you’re looking for a great multiplayer game, unfortunately, you won’t find it here. There are a couple of hitches that stop it from becoming an awesome game, but if you want a challenging single-player RTS and are already a Starship Troopers fan, we think you’ll love Terran Command.

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