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Starship Troopers Terran Command is a PC strategy game based on the 1997 film Starship Troopers. The mission is simple, wipe out the bugs and secure humanity’s existence in a hostile universe. This game is a little different from the ones I normally play, but the intense action from the very beginning is what draws me into the game.
This game is recommended if you like fast action with some strategy thrown in. It’s not a first-person shooter. In typical strategy game fashion, you select a unit, then right click on whatever it is you want to fire upon.
Why Did I Buy This Game?
I bought this game because it seemed simple with a lot of action. Kill the bugs before they kill you, sounds simple enough. You defend bases, radio stations, supply depots and miners, plus you clear out mines to make them safe for the miners to enter. So far, I’ve been glad I bought it. It has several campaigns and I like the narration. It’s sometimes a little corny but is very appropriate for the game.
This game consists entirely of battles on the planet’s surface and underground in caves, after all isn’t that where bugs like to live? The planet is already colonized so there’s no colonization involved in the game, just clear out the mines of bugs so mining can resume.
There’s really no game set up options to speak of. After watching the introductory video you get to choose one of five difficulty levels and then are offered the chance to click on “To War!,” which starts the game.
There are two things I really like about the game, the narration and the action. The commander walks you through the basics of the mission and is fun to listen to.
One of the unique things about this game is fighting big bugs, bugs big enough to swallow a trooper in one gulp. Reinforcements are plentiful enough though, but you can still lose the mission by being overrun and wiped out. If there’s one thing the bugs have a distinct advantage in, it’s their sheer numbers, if you get overrun and lose your main base, game over! Or at least the mission is.
If a mission fails it can be restarted from one of many save points or restarted entirely. If you’re having trouble getting through the mission the difficulty level can be lowered.
Things That Stand Out To Me
The action is immediate in this game. As soon as your troopers hit the ground they’re ordered to join up with the advance team and you need to fight your way through the bugs to get to them. The game is very much about setting up kill zones for the bugs. One unit has a tough time taking care of a group of bugs but two, properly positioned units can make short work of a large swarm with minimal casualties. You cannot fire through friendly units so proper unit positioning is extremely important. To remove the threat in the immediate vicinity you need to clear out the bug hives, which reduces the number of bugs swarming you.
Although you can pause the game by bringing up the game menu, there’s no to issuing orders which makes things a little more intense. I always have mixed feelings about a game that does this. I know it’s trying to simulate the thrill of an intense firefight, but in real life there are lower-level commanders who can handle immediate, crucial decisions. Pausing the game seems like, at least to me, one way to compensate for that lack of leadership at the lower levels. By pausing the game, you can issue much needed orders to units that are spread out over the battlefield. Not a showstopper for me, but it is one of my minor dislikes for the game, or for any game that has a pause feature like this.
During the game tooltips appear giving you the next objective and they will sometimes lay out the path for your units to take. Once you take an objective, you’ll get some type of benefit. For instance, capturing a radio station gives you the ability to call for reinforcements.
This game is simple to learn and not too hard to play, its most redeeming aspect is the almost non-stop action. Although it doesn’t have a tutorial it really doesn’t need one. The Commander and the tooltips do an excellent job of walking you though the game and learning it. This game also has a manual with it, something that very few recent games seem to have. If you’re confused about something, just go to the manual and you’ll more likely than not find the answer.
This game has several campaigns to choose from and the User Interface is pretty simple and easy to use. When you want to do something, like give orders to a unit of Rifle Troopers, you can either select the unit on the main map or click on its icon. There is a group of icons in the right-hand corner called a Control Grid that gives you the actions the unit can take, simply click on the icon to start executing an order.
The User Interface will also flash important events in the upper left portion of the screen. Pressing the space bar when one is active will take you directly to the event.
As previously mentioned, the main thing to take into account during combat is the field of fire and having the right Troopers to fight the types of bugs coming at you. No just moving troops in one big “blobby” group and letting them fire. They need to be strategically placed for maximum efficiency or you’ll quickly be overrun by the bugs.
The game also has a mini map that lays out the terrain so you can plan out the path you want your units to take. The main map still has some fog of war though, you won’t know there are bugs close by until you’re almost right upon them.
In combat Troopers have better firepower and range, The bugs are faster, better at close in combat and have a lot more numbers than you do.
Sometimes it takes special Troopers to handle certain bugs, like a sniper for Spitter bugs.
There is no research in the game although there are currently five “Battle Tiers” you can progress through. After one building is deployed your progress toward another tier starts unless capped by the scenario. Hovering the mouse cursor over the Tier level will show you if you can advance to the next tier or not.
Each Battle Tier that’s unlocked gives you access to more powerful units. At Battle Tier 2 you gain access to Rocket Troopers and MkII Troopers, Battle Tier 3 gives you e-Pulse Troopers and a Fleet Liaison Officer, Tier 4 allows you to deploy Marauders, and Tier 5 gives you access to Powered Suit Troopers.
The game has several campaigns that add to the replayability with more promised by the developers to be delivered soon. Without different campaigns and scenarios, the game would lack any replayability, there’s not a lot of depth to it, just killing bugs. But that’s still a blast!
The game mechanics are solid, mostly point and click and there are also a lot of keyboard shortcuts. This game specializes in short, quick goals that keep you interested and motivated. There is a sense of urgency to accomplish the goals you’re given. Who wouldn’t want to save those poor, defenseless miners from being eaten by bugs??
I’d like to compare this to some of the other recent games I’ve played but I can’t really think of a game that’s similar. If I compared it to my favorite game, Stellaris, for enjoyability I’d give it an 8 out of 10, with Stellaris being the 10. Although Starship Troopers has simple strategy, the action draws me in, and the combat is a lot of fun. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in action.
As I already mentioned, one minor dislike I have is the pause feature, no issuing orders to units during pause.
It doesn’t have a skirmish mode, something that would make a nice addition.
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All in all, this is a solid, fun game that will give a lot of hours of enjoyment. I’m glad I bought it!