Starship Troopers: Extermination Early Access Impressions

Starship Troopers: Extermination is a PvE first-person shooter based on the 1997 movie of the same name, allowing you to team with up to 16 other players and face legions of giant bugs on a planet. The game is now in Early Access on Steam for Windows PC, giving access to one game mode and multiple classes to try out. While much of the game will change over time, by adding new content like extra game modes, the options available to those who try it out on Early Access give have enough to dive into a bunch of games with friends. But is it fun to team up with strangers and fight hordes of bugs looking to destroy you? It can be for a time, but after that, it loses its charm.

In the game’s Early Access state, there are two game modes to play called ARC Slam and Assault & Secure. The former is only available to those who are able to level up their Trooper Rank to Level 5, which can be done by repeatedly playing through the second mode. You and a team of players are thrown onto a planet where you must complete objectives while fending off groups of bugs that constantly swarm you at various times. This means securing locations, gathering resources, and building defenses at key points while bugs appear from the ground. Up to 16 players can team up together, which can be fun if everyone is able to work together well when completing objectives.

Before a game takes place, you can choose your squad placement and your trooper class. This determines your abilities and weapon to take with you on a mission. And while you’ll be able to pick up other weapons that appear in crates, you’ll be mostly sticking with the equipment you bring with you. The classes are Hunter, Operator, and Bastion; which act as Assault, Support, and Defense respectively. Each class has its own ability and perks that complement the squad, from laying out health and ammo for teammates to setting down a barrier to boosting your defenses in combat. Depending on the style you play, some classes are better suited than others. But a full squad will definitely need players who are willing to fit a role to ensure success on a mission.

Controlling your trooper is like most other first-person shooters on PC. Your movements and abilities are mapped to the keyboard close together enough for optimal use during gameplay, with the mouse for aiming and shooting. Luckily, the controls can be remapped as needed and have controller support as well. On the ground, running around can feel somewhat sluggish depending on the class you’ve chosen. Hunters are a bit faster when sprinting and have a jetpack to boost upward, while Bastions are a little slower but have greater firepower. Operators are midway in movement but also have the ability to lay health items and ammo when things get dire. So there’s a lot of pros and cons that you can try out with each mission you play. This gets more interesting as you level up your Trooper ranking and open up new equipment and perks to add to your Trooper. The higher your level, the more options that will be available.

But the bugs that appear aren’t pushovers. There are five types of bugs that will spawn on the map and swarm you in large groups, often to an overwhelming point. Being alone and away from the squad is a sure way to get demolished by bugs that range from small crawlers to volatile behemoths. Some bugs will attack you from a distance like a sniper, shooting plasma at its target, while others will fire giant explosives that deal massive damage to a given area. And while those are a problem, you and the squad will have to deal with large groups of bugs that will run at you and attack with their giant pincers. Most bugs will go down after being fired upon for a bit, while others will definitely take more firepower to destroy. Teaming up with a few allies and firing upon one target will usually take down stronger enemies, at least until multiple shows up with groups of reinforcements.

Things can get pretty chaotic with the constantly appearing enemies that harass you on missions. When your objectives require you to deliver minerals from one spot to another, it can make things even more difficult. Coordinating with teammates to have some grab resources while others defend is key to keeping things moving. On objectives that have you building and defending a point, this is where the game can get crammed up, with so much happening all over. You have a building tool that lets you spawn objects and barriers to build up your defenses, which can also lay platforms high above to aim down at bugs.

But when a giant swarm arrives and attacks your base, everything can get pushed together and make it difficult to see what’s around you. Bugs will run up to your face, while explosions will constantly appear and leave a fog that obscures your vision. At times like these, your camera view might get blocked by some objects as you scramble to react to attacking bugs or new mission objectives.

One of the biggest issues that need to be adjusted in Starship Troopers: Extermination is the damage output of bugs and the hit detection. Some attacks from bugs won’t do too much damage until a group starts to overtake you, but in other instances, it feels like the damage is exponentially increased. There is a meter that shows the infestation level of the area during the mission, which increases as the team completes objectives, allowing more bugs to spawn on the map at a time. But this might also affect the intensity of the attacks from bugs, it’s not fully clear in-game. The same type of bug will run up and slash you, dealing only so much damage. And yet at other times, that same attack from the same bug will instantly kill you. In addition, some attacks from bugs won’t always register a hit and shake your screen, but still take away your health. This often happens when getting attacked from behind or far off to the side, which may or may not be a game bug or technical hiccup.

Starship Troopers: Extermination has the makings of a solid game but will definitely need updates to find the sweet spot for a balanced gameplay experience. The co-op missions with a large group of people can be fun and challenging, especially when you’re facing down bigger bugs that appear. Hopefully, over time there will be more options for customization for troopers and maybe even other class types that can mix up the flow of missions and allow players to try out new and interesting things. Starship Troopers: Extermination is out on Early Access now for PC, with no plans for a release on home consoles any time soon.

Are you a fan of Starship Troopers? Will you be checking out Starship Troopers: Extermination on PC? Leave us a comment down below and let us know your thoughts! strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo
Jakejames Lugo is a writer and content creator that has been covering video games, movies, and various sides of entertainment for over a decade. He has published reviews and articles on many different outlets and continues to make content for different platforms. Jakejames also makes video content regularly for places like YouTube and TikTok, and share daily posts about gaming on social media.

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