Light-years from Earth, an enemy force is preparing to remove the human race from existence. They are amassing their troops and preparing for full-scale war. At the same time you and your platoon are joining thousands of other platoons onboard tremendous battleships, speeding towards the enemy’s home planet. Your weapons are state of the art. Your training has made you strong. Your numbers are overwhelming. But will you really be ready when your dropships touch down on the planet’s surface? Will you be ready to face the greatest enemy mankind has ever known? The bugs.
Starship Troopers is a great movie and a fairly decent game. Blue Tongue put a lot of time and money into creating and building up hype for this game, but was it worth it?
To begin to answer that question, let’s take a look at the graphics. In graphics I tend to look at the following major aspects: framerate, detail, and polygon count. This game does great in two of those fields but starts to lack a little in the third.
The first graphical aspect that has been done very well in Starship Troopers is the detail. The detail in this game is excellent. The individual characters each have specific suits and weapons and the terrain is stunning. Your missions will traverse barren deserts and icy tundra, as well as rocky mountain ranges and fertile grasslands. You’ll even visit the outer rings, the famous tourist attractions so briefly mentioned in the film.
Zooming into the maximum level you can even see that the arachnids you are up against actually have all the limbs and other bug parts they are supposed to. That I find impressive.
The next aspect, polygon count, is not as well done as the details, but in most portions of the game it is decent. The bugs are allowed to have some angles to them but you tend not to stop and look when they’re rushing out of their holes in hordes at your squad. The major problem I found regarding angled objects was in the terrain. When the tankers come out of the ground and when bug holes explode the debris is fairly block shaped and rather fake looking.
The point at which this game has some problems is when you talk about framerate. During the majority of missions the framerate is just fine, but then as you progress deeper into the game and the combat becomes more intense, with 20-30 bugs rushing at your squad at a time, the framerate drops so low it actually caused my computer to freeze and crash. Especially in one ice station mission when the bugs suddenly decide to ambush your squad while you are inside the base perimeter, the framerate often caused my computer to freeze up.
The sound in this game is nothing astonishing but it is sufficient. The background music can become a little annoying at times and really does not add to that whole Starship Troopers feel. I was waiting for that traditional Starship Troopers anthem to begin blaring as I blasted bugs to Smithereens, but it never came. The sound effects include a number of bloodcurdling grunts and snarls from your insect foes as well as numerous weapon sounds for each gun in your arsenal. They are just enough to keep the game interesting, but nothing that really wows you to death.
And finally, onto what is both the success and the downfall of this game, the gameplay. In order to talk about this I must first tell you generally how the game is played. You are started with a choice to either go through boot camp training to learn all of the game functions or to jump right into the fighting. I would definitely recommend going through the boot camp first because the game has very intricate controls that are very different from most games and you will have to be able to perform them to execute your actions quickly if you have done the training.
Once you get to the main game you are briefed as to your mission objectives and are given the chance to pick the troopers that will be in your squad and the equipment that each of them will be carrying. I extremely loved this part of the game. I could spend hours equipping the perfect team for the mission at hand. Of course you don’t have to be as meticulous as I was. You can drop your men off with nothing but their standard rifles and they will still have a fighting chance.
Once the actual game starts you are in charge of moving an entire squad of men around the completely 3D map and completing your objectives while blowing limbs off of these big ugly bugs. The game is definitely addicting at first, but after a while you can become bored with it and lose interest. This usually takes several weeks, however.
My major complaint about the game that really made me remove some points was the lack of skirmishes. What says Starship Troopers better than just having a ton of guys go against a horde of bugs in a battle to the death? No mission objectives, no tricky puzzles, and just straight up fighting. Arachnids pouring over rocky ledges onto unsuspecting troopers. Troopers advancing slowly into the line of swarming bugs, blasting holes in exoskeletons along the way and spilling green bug blood all over the terrain. That is what I was really hoping for when I got this game and I was quite disappointed to find that they had made Starship Troopers into a "thinking" game.
Overall I awarded this game 4 GiN gems. I was debating for a time whether to give it a 3 or a 3 1/2 due to the errors in graphics and the real lack of good sound and gameplay, but there was just no way I could badmouth anything relating to Starship Troopers. Although some of the game is not really astounding, it is still great fun to play. And remember, "They’ll keep fighting. And they’ll win!"