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'Starship Troopers: Terran Command' Review: A Bug-Filled Experience

'Starship Troopers: Terran Command' Review: A Bug-Filled Experience

Starship Troopers: Terran Command is set after the events in the 1997 epic Starship Troopers and promises a bug-filled experience.

Starship Troopers is an iconic '90s movie, and back when developers The Aristocrats announced the RTS title, strategy fans became exceptionally excited at the thought of returning to Klendathu years after the first film's release. Starship Troopers: Terran Command is another addition to the Starship Troopers franchise which has spawned multiple films and games over the years. It takes place after the first movie's events - but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of bugs ready to meet their demise.

If you’ve watched 1997’s Starship Troopers you’ll know the backstory already, but the wonderful thing about Terran Command is that you could be a complete newcomer to the franchise and not feel out of place. The game has a loose connection to the film, which is great for players who weren't around back then, and features the same military humour it did back in '97. It's never quite to the same extent, but there’s certainly plenty of oorahs to fill the Starship Troopers quota. 

Not seen the Starship Troopers: Terran Command announcement trailer yet? Take a look at it below...

Terran Command has a vague narrative running throughout, but during missions it almost feels non-existent and irrelevant. Speaking of which, there is a decent amount of missions to keep players busy for hours on end, each filled with classic Starship Troopers flavour: from capturing prisoners and eliminating bugs all the way to protecting televised executions so that they go ahead. Although the missions are a little repetitive at times, they are challenging and full of suspense as you traverse the Kwalasha landscape in search of those pesky bugs. Ambushes are commonplace in the game's testing desert planet setting, so making sure you’ve got enough firepower to fight back is paramount. If not, you’ll learn the hard way, by having the best seat in the house to watch your squad get killed off one by one in this bug-filled theatre of war. 

Whilst the arachnids can rely on endless amounts of bugs to overwhelm you, the Mobile Infantry must use tactics and abilities to overcome their foes and the imbalance. By building and expanding your army you can slowly but surely take back control over the planet. 

Starship Troopers: Terran Command /
Slitherine Ltd.

The strategy elements in Starship Troopers: Terran Command are a little underwhelming. Whilst at its core it is a strategy title, it's quite limiting in parts and hardcore strategy fans who like to disband units and command individually will struggle here. It’s easy to get the upper hand in battle by having the higher ground or sending all units at once for a ‘safety in numbers’ approach to battle, but there’s a distinct lack of detail when it comes to the units. There’s also a lot of repetitive dialogue, too. When controlling the Mobile Infantry in the heat of the battle, you’ll often hear the same dialogue over and over again for each click. 

The brutal landscape of Kwalasha is littered with arachnid Hives. Players can use searchlights and CCTV systems to gain an advantage and spot bugs from a distance, and the line of sight is crucial in gameplay. Not only will you have a greater advantage over bugs, but you’ll also have a better chance of survival. Capturing radio stations and supply drops will benefit the Mobile Infantry in battle and allow you to draft in more units to turn the tide of battle.

Starship Troopers: Terran Command /
Slitherine Ltd.

There’s a handful of unit types that fans of the film will recognise, but if not, they are relatively self-explanatory anyway. They are similar in vein to the type of units you’d see elsewhere in the RTS genre. Each unit will rank up (providing they survive long enough) and once they reach elite rank, they’ll unlock an elite ability which packs a serious punch against arachnids. On the flipside, the same arachnid types exist in-game that feature in the 1997 movie - from spitter bugs and hoppers, to huge tanker bugs which fire deadly explosive rounds and have a devastating impact on the Mobile Infantry. 

If you love 1997’s Starship Troopers or the franchise as a whole, you’ll love being able to command your own Mobile Infantry in Terran Command. Whilst this isn’t the strongest strategy game around, it is still an RTS worth a punt, especially if all you want to do is destroy endless waves of bugs. It's an exciting addition to the Starship Troopers franchise which clearly still has its audience so many years after the release of that first movie, and even more since Robert A Heinlein's inspirational novel, which is now a mighty 63 years young. Make Star Wars look positively pipsqueaky.

Pros: Simple UI and game mechanics, great unit abilities, welcoming to newcomers

Cons: Strategy elements are underwhelming, poor narrative throughout

For fans of: Z: Steel Soldiers, Command & Conquer: Red Alert

6/10: Good

Starship Troopers: Terran Command releases on June 16 2022 for PC (Steam). Review code provided by the publisher, Slitherine Ltd. Find a guide to GAMINGbible’s review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Starship Troopers: Terran Command / Credit: Slitherine Ltd.

Topics: Strategy, TV And Film