Starship Troopers - Terran Command, a proven strategy full of bugs

Starship Troopers - Terran Command, a proven strategy full of bugs

Starship Troopers - Terran Command

Also this Steam Next Fest, with its classic avalanche of demos, has allowed us to touch many interesting products of the underground scene, the one made by independent teams and software houses specialized in niche genres such as The Artistocrats, already finished under the spotlight for the excellent Order of Battle.

This time, however, we are not talking about history and turn-based strategy, but about alien rocks and infantry to be the inevitable protagonists of a single player real-time strategy that takes us back to 24 years ago, when the ferocious satire of Paul Verhoeven has turned a famous book by Robert Heinlein upside down, transforming it into a particular cinematic combination of science fiction, irony, criticism and exaltation.

Hence a resounding success, such as to keep alive an imaginary that we have returned to limestone for this trial of Starship Troopers - Terran Command.

The challenge of Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers - Terran Command takes us to Kwalasha, another rock mass full of insects The first test ride with Starship Troopers - Terran Command, arriving in March 2022 and already in pre-order on Steam for 24.99 euros , put us in front of a title that certainly does not push on the technological sector, especially in the case of explosions and graphic effects that often leave something to be desired, at least in the demo. But it is not the case to underestimate the potential of this RTS created by a team that has already shown its talent for strategists and that relies on the support of Slitherine, who has lived in strategy for over 20 years now.

Of course, facing a complicated license like the one linked to Verhoeven's Starship Troopers is not easy for anyone, which is evident from the sequels to the film and the video games made over the years, but for this very reason it is important to realize it is a team that takes things seriously. On the other hand, the secret of the cinematographic Starship Troopers is to remain suspended on the line between a credible military context, made up of brutal violence and close action, and a ferocious irony, which draws strength precisely from having a robust context to lean on.

The attention in reproducing the dynamics of the film is immediately evident in the Starship Troopers - Terran Command demo. For this reason, the choice of focusing on a single player experience, currently only in English, seems more than appropriate. , which refers directly to the imagery and violence of the film, both in the narrative that does not wisely try to invent anything or complicate things, and in the mechanics designed to find the right balance between the dynamics staged by Verhoeven and an experience strategic able to offer a certain degree of challenge. And that's exactly what we found in the three missions of a demo limited in terms of the number of enemies, units available and related abilities, but capable of showing us how a seemingly simple title can become complex thanks to a handful of well-chosen mechanics.

The gameplay

In Starship Troopers - Terran Command, using your engineers carefully is vital to avoid being wiped out by insects that get too close Catapulted to Kwalasha, a planet very similar to the Klendathu from the film , we find ourselves controlling, as it is obvious, the space infantry ready to die under the blows of the arachnids in order to guarantee glory to aviation and victory to mankind. But it is not made up of just ordinary soldiers thrown into disarray. Already from the first missions, those available in the demo, he can count on the support of the engineers who in the bottlenecks represent a vital resource thanks to the flamethrower and thanks to the possibility of placing turrets as special abilities they are essential to create garrisons, especially by exploiting the heights in a title. which takes into account the real point of view of the units to manage the visibility of the enemies and, consequently, the possibility of hitting them. But if there are many enemies, the federation can count on the firepower that increases by making the units survive, so that they gain experience and acquire new special abilities. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Infantry mortality is inevitably high. In a few moments an insect can get on a soldier, dismembering him in front of his companions and forcing us to pay close attention to our defensive perimeter. Accuracy is, in fact, vital and not only to prevent an uncovered area from allowing an avalanche of insects to attack us at a short distance, but because the units in the rear do not fire if they risk hitting their comrades and a distraction is enough for an entire contingent be wiped out.

Starship Troopers - Terran Command includes resupply and troop transport mechanics Sometimes you can save yourself by using grenades which, implemented as special abilities and tied to cooldowns, can wipe out a nice group in one fell swoop of arachnids, but in general the secret is to place the right units in the right formation as quickly as possible, taking into account the alleys, ledges, bottlenecks and hills. And it's also an important mechanic for moving around the map. In fact, it is not possible to limit ourselves to defense. Insects are in overwhelming numbers and keep coming and going from burrows, nests, and from the edges of the map. They are also faster than our soldiers and therefore it is almost never a good idea to retreat. Better to advance by carefully arranging the units to overcome bridges, canyons and assaults in order to reach supplies, allies and radio stations, another fundamental piece that allows you to call troops, move them quickly around the map and land men to replenish the units, which is fundamental. to maintain the ranks gained up to that point.


Starship Troopers - Terran Command does not make us miss outposts to defend The demo also includes a taste of the mechanics of construction that as you proceed some missions should become more complex. But Starship Trooper - Terran Command is not a title focused on resources, generators and titanic bases. The heart of the experience, on which action and narration travel, is the exploration of the maps set on Kwalasha, a ball of rock full of arachnids to be tracked down, of outposts to conquer and civilians to save using mechanics that also work with the few initial units and which show a decidedly intelligent design. So much so as not to have limited the firing range of firearms, often in unrealistic strategic games due to a ridiculous range, but varying the accuracy when enemies enter the area of ​​influence of our unit which can be made visible by pressing a button.

All this, like the numerous objectives to be achieved under the constant attacks of the arachnids, contributes to giving life to what we could define an action RTS that promises variety and challenge. It could be too weak from the point of view of the narrative, entrusted to high-sounding phrases and interlude scenes made of static drawings that simply follow the path traced by the film, but between the FED news, good English dubbing and symphonic music there atmosphere is one we are fond of and it is a very important factor in a title of this type.

Infantry is the inevitable protagonist of Starship Troopers - Terran Command Also, considering that the mechanics already work with a handful of units and three missions that are a big tutorial, although from the second onwards the challenge becomes much more substantial, we can't wait to see the complete title at work which will include 20 missions and promises dozens of units, various non-player characters to meet, night missions, bombing raids and an avalanche of tools including frag grenades, rocket launchers, barricades and even mechs and aliens seen in the sequels to the film or in the series, even if they are inserted in a clearly faithful film by Verhoeven.

Starship Troopers - Terran Command does not focus on impressive graphics and relies on basic mechanics that are all in all simple, but already with the small demo of the Steam Next Festival manages to bring back to life the imagery reinterpreted by Verhoeven, putting us in front of real-time strategy that focuses on the single player dimension precisely to bring us back in the middle of the 1997 film, ferocious irony included. All combined with dynamics that hint at the possibility of a demanding challenge and the promise of a rich, varied and balanced experience, the three true unknowns of a title that certainly does not rely on special effects, cutscenes or spectacular scenarios.


Atmosphere right The mechanics shoot the film too, with intelligence Potential in quantity and interesting price DOUBTS Some graphic effects are definitely too modest Three missions are few to evaluate the variety and quality of the design Have you noticed any errors?

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