Starship Troopers: Terran Ascendancy

Strategy 2000 Windows Infogrames Organized forces Science Fiction

Do you want to live forever?!

Starship Troopers, the classic science fiction book by Robert Heinlein which also spawned a film by Paul Verhoeven, has actually seen a few different game interpretations, including Battlespace and Roughnecks, which isn't surprising given its subject matter. And while this effort looks a little rough and ready around the edges, if you are a fan of real time strategy games like Dune 2, this is well worth a closer inspection. This is a bit different from the usual style of RTS though, and instead of base building and resource gathering, you find yourself in control of several squads of Mobile Infantry as they venture forth to do battle with the terrifying alien bugs. Each squad is made up of a leader, along with your standard grunts as well as a specialist, who is able to help out in the role of medic, engineer or PSI ops. Missions are quite varied, and include the likes of escort duties or capturing specific bugs, while in the spirit of the book and movie, you're always outnumbered, with swarms of aliens all around you, but which aren't very smart, but which do have some special abilities of their own. Although this does look quite low rent, it's actually quite an enjoyable little game. It's perhaps more akin to Cannon Fodder than the more complex RTSs out there, and is no less enjoyable for lacking the management aspect found elsewhere. This is thanks in part to the addition of RPG-style elements, like leveling up your soldiers, which gives the game some nice depth. The visuals are pretty ropy, but this doesn't stop this from being a solid game.

Terran Ascendancy: a tactics game washes the shame of the ST FPS

A lot more people will remember the awful game of the movie of the book (phew!) Starship Troopers. That bit of first person shooter was flawed and more buggy than a Klendathu infested colony! But, Terran Ascendancy has little to do with that game, expect for the setting. In fact, TA is actually a good, sturdy tactics game, which is actually worth a look at. The game is set in 3 different acts. In each one you will be the commander of a platoon of marines whose task will be to get rid of the alien bug infestation. You will travel to Klendathu for your first few missions, where you won't have as much opposition, but will learn to hone your tactical skills. Remember, you are in charge of a relatively small contingent of troops, so it doesn't pay to go full Leeroy Jenkins as that will spell certain doom. Instead, you will have to learn to master the art of guerilla combat, take advantage of cover and always play it safe. Within the course of the game you will have to take down the infamous Brain Bug, destroy, Arachnid clusters and will be faced with increasingly perilous scenarios. Truth be told, the game is still highly playable today. You can issue orders to one or more of your soldiers and will have to think on your feet, as the alien bugs will become increasingly relentless.

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