Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a Throwback to Classic 90s RTS Games

Starship Troopers: Terran Command

You’ve likely heard of Starship Troopers, a sleeper hit film from the 90s, itself based on a book written by Robert A. Heinlein in 1959.

Set against the backdrop of an intergalactic war, 1997’s Starship Troopers pokes fun at the militaristic and fascist nature of humanity. It is bombastic, over the top and overly dramatic. And despite being 25 years old now, the concept of fighting alien bugs never grows old. It comes as no surprise, then, that the alien insects in Starship Troopers: Terran Command are exaggerated to monstrous levels. Frankly, the whole experience is an over-the-top bombardment of action.

Available now on Steam, Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a real-time strategy game with a strong old-school vibe. The sandy, desert planet in which the game is set – complete with its extreme climate, different factions and hostiles – really reminds us of Dune. It’s clear the 90s Dune RTS games developed by Westwood (famous for Command & Conquer) are an obvious inspiration here. Terran Command‘s simple unit commands – and even its over-the-top humour – are strongly reminiscent of that old Westwood charm.

The missions in Starship Troopers: Terran Command‘s campaign are also strikingly familiar. It mixes up conventional gameplay, survival missions and story-focused objectives that keep things interesting when you’re playing on your own. This is certainly similar to the diverse campaigns of Red Alert, for example.

But all of this is not to say that Starship Troopers: Terran Command is just a copycat. It has plenty of its own unique features. For one, there’s very little resource management; you can only increase your max amount of supplies, and you don’t permanently consume your resources. This means you can replace units freely (except in certain campaign missions). The focus is more on making sure you are using your units effectively as it can take time to bring reinforcements in.

See some Terran Command gameplay in action in the video below:

Controlling your troops can be a little awkward, however, and tactically, Terran Command is very simple at its core. Unlike the classics it’s going up against, we can’t see this being a game that anyone will spend years playing with friends. It’s not going to be a titan of the RTS genre. But there’s still a space for it alongside the behemoths – in fact, its simplicity may work as a strength.

You don’t need to spend hours learning the ins-and-outs of Starship Troopers: Terran Command, for one. If you’re a fan of real-time strategy games but are only just getting started with the genre, it can be a great starting place.

There’s still a fair bit of challenge to be found here, and the intriguing setting makes for some exhilarating action. The lack of tactical options may be disappointing for veterans of the genre, but there’s no denying that the way it captures the feeling of old-school RTS games is a huge plus. Terran Command may be disposable in the long run, but it’s still an experience worth jumping into.

Starship Troopers: Terran Command is available on PC via Steam.