Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy
|a game by||Blue Tongue Entertainment Pty|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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One of the worst things about crap films is the way they inevitably give birth to crap games. Starship Troopers is one of those occasions. Quite simply, Starship Troopers does for real-time strategy games what Daikatana did for first-person shooters -need we say more? Well, we probably could leave it at that, and to be fair, you'd be better off without the gory details, but this is a reviews' magazine and it's our job to constructively criticise mournful interactive entertainment. Therefore that is what we shall do...
The really disheartening thing about Starship Troopers is the fact that it begins quite well. The tutorial does a great job of showing you how to control your squad and it's not long before you find yourself leaping off the drop ship with 12 willing troopers under your able command.
It's at this point where everything falls apart. Despite its obvious leanings towards Ground Control (no resource management, yet maximum action), ST still fails to get the adrenaline pumping. The graphics don't help. No matter what mode or resolution you choose, the landscapes look like cardboard -just like the film. The creature models are also basic and in some cases look almost two or three years old.
What's worse, however, is the weird camera system. For some reason you can never look directly up (which is a pain when there are tlying bugs overhead) and you cannot look through your troopers' eyes. Another highly irritating thing about the camera is the way it loses your men. OK, so you can hit the space bar to refocus on your squad, but still - the mere fact that there's a command to actually do that shows that something is very, very wrong.
And now we come to the Al. We expect certain things from a RTS game here at PC, the main thing being that a character can walk from A to B without becoming lodged in the scenery, confused, or experiencing some debilitating nervous breakdown. Your soldiers in ST will do all three of these as often as possible.
Oddly, this is in complete contrast to the bugs themselves who at the first sign of trouble are adept at scampering off and warning their mates. A few seconds later a dozen creatures appear and start circling around you - it's eerie stuff. They even speak to each other in their weird high-pitched dicky language.
It really is a shame that there are so many things wrong with ST because some areas are superb. The soldier experience system is brilliant; the more bugs a trooper kills the more his aim, range and other attributes increase. Occasionally, even the battles are enjoyable, especially when you get to fight some of the massive bugs. Ultimately, though, the poor AI and dodgy camera work are unforgivable. If those two aspects had worked ST could have been something special. As it stands, it's barely even average.