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Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy (Windows)

71
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19705)
Written on  :  May 11, 2004
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

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Summary

A Real-Time Strategy fan SHOULD NOT miss out on this game!

The Good

Well, well. From all the games that one would think to be a great game at a distance, the name Starship Troopers sure well wouldn't appeal to any veteran gamer, as far as licensed titles go. Any veteran gamer usually knows from experience that usually licensed title games don't live up to the name, which in most cases they make horrible games just so consumers would be "tricked" into buying it thinking it would be as good as the "hit movie" - not. Dang capitalist publishers.

This myth (or fact) in any case would indeed make gamers like myself steer clear for any game that even suggests a "licensed title" game. Which is why many people missed out on this little gem...though I don't blame them.

Starship Troopers is has a little of everything from the greatest games of all time: X-Com, Jagged Alliance and Warcraft. Though a lot of it turned out good, a lot also unfortunately not so good.

Starship Troopers is a real-time strategy game that involves you controlling a pack of MI ground troops in the war against bugs (not as corny as it sounds). Each personel in your team is personalized with individual stats, war record, rank, etc. Making this also an interesting RPG-strategy combo. Although most of the game play is real-time where your comrades and the bugs clash each other automatically when they both get to close, more than often you take control of the fighting individually, especially when it comes to artillery fire (missle, nuclear, grenades launcher, etc.)

The bugs are numerous and as long as there are bug holes (read: bug version of barracks), monsters are forever re-generating.

Here's a summary 'bout the good stuff of the game that's worth noting.

Graphics. One-line Summary: Awesome The 3D graphics are surprisingly stable, I would say 95-99% stable. This is an extraordinary achievement in 3D PC gaming compared to many crappy 3D games out there. The texture and 3D programming is to be seriously commended, more than once have seen detailed and smooth animations during the game...however worked on this game must've also worked on Age of Mythology as the graphics are quite similar.

Gameplay. One-line Summary: Addictive

I literally couldn't keep myself playing! The game play is simple enough: moving your troops and tactically placing your troops of offence and defence while watching your ammo count. Look at those bugs die at your feet. A wide array of weapons also provide an interesting combination of fire power. Variaty is a key element in combat.

Surprisingly enough, this game also has some RPG elements in it. As mentioned above, each personel has their own stats and track record. They even gain rank and get medals. Technology advances also available for weapons, armor and even new unit types!

Storyline. One-line Summary: Interesting enough Well, not the best out there, but interesting enough as to have a reason to get down and kill bugs. The beginning of the game completely mimics the movie, but it continues the story even after the movie finishes off. Although I must admit that story momentum and connection between each campaign doesn't really connect.

The Bad

My favorite part.

Here's a summary 'bout the dang bad stuff of the game that's worth noting.

Graphics & Visual Perspective. One-line Summary: Dang Irritating

The perspective this game is 3rd person: You can see yourself and your fellow comrades from a limited upper view point. The view (and graphics) is very much similar to Black & White, it's extremely limited. Don't follow? I'll explain.

Though most RTS games have a 3rd person view, in Starship Troopers you can zoom in and out to a certain degree of your surroundings. However, the 3rd person perspective view is SO limited, sometimes if feels more like a 1st person perspective game. This poor limited vision of your surrounding greatly hampers essential game play aspects. Limited vision means that you really can get surprised by incoming troops (although it's always on radar) if your caught day-dreaming. The worst part about this limited vision is when your battling flying bugs. Each time you want to aim your missle, your curser hits the vision ceiling, making it very difficult to find an angle to fire.

The 3D graphics were not perfect. Eveytime your platoon moves past under a bridge, tunnel or an ordinary curve, your camera viewpoint goes "through" the hard substance sometimes almost blocking out your view. This is really irritating during intense combat, since you can't see a dang thing sometimes, when you do, it's sometimes too late and get bug-bitten.

Game play. One-line Summary: Almost Irritating

I already mentioned some bad game play aspects of the game, but there's more. You units often respond slowing at commands, I feel this especially when I'm trying to target a missle while quick moving. They can't seem to receive orders well while running from a Tanker bug. Missle carrying troops need a lot of improvement, the fact that you can see a target doesn't neccesarily mean you can aim it. Unfortunately, there's not telling if their within range or if they've acquired the right angle. Next thing you know, your rocket-carrying soldiers are running TOWARDS the target since it's kinda downhill, while trying to find a good aim, they ignore all those bugs between them and the target. Idiots. Re-grouping a constant day job in game.

This game really needs a mouse button for "cancel", since there isn't any. This game actually needs a lot of "cancel" buttons. Too many times have I died by friendly fire since my grenade and rocket happy troops seem to innocently fire their load at my troops when I wanted them to run there.

A stupid feature is that some times when a bug is too close to your troops, that troops being attacked suddenly becomes immobile. I really want them to run, but noo, they just stand there getting bitten away. Idiots. Running away from bugs and the graphic viewpoint on it don't work well either.

User-friendly and Educational value. One-line Summary: Disastrous

Well, I mentioned the complicated controlling in the game. User-friend controls need a lot of fixing. Educational value in my sense refers to how much information you get in the game, about the game or other elements within the game. The educational value in this game is disastrous. There are many features in the game that doesn't provide enough information. Such as weapons and items have no descriptions. Medals have no descriptions. Armor has no descriptions. Almost everything in the dang game has no description. If they could type in a great program, one would think they could at least put some intellect in creating descriptions so this would be just another click-and-play idiot Doom game. But, nooo. We had to be morons just concentrating on the graphical experience. Dang, at least give me "some" descriptions...not even that. I still have no idea what the "Nerve Gas" item does. I don't even know how to use it...by the way, there's not description of the item to give you a hint. Idiots.

The Bottom Line

I would really like to see and play more games like this. This game is really a treat for RTS fans!