Traditionally, games start out easy. They let you get a feel for the controls as they gradually introduce new obstacles. By the time they start giving you serious opposition, you’ve built up the skills to deal with it. Starship Troopers: Invasion “Mobile Infantry” dispenses with this tradition entirely. From the game’s opening moments, it hits you with a raging tsunami of difficulty. In other words, you’ll die early and often.
The game is a mash-up of genres. Half of it is clearly modeled after Temple Run, so you run forward automatically, dodging obstacles, making tight turns, and collecting in-game currency. Periodically, your character ducks behind waist-high cover nodes, and the game turns into a cover shooter, very much like Epoch. During these parts, aliens (or bugs, as they’re called here) pop up and attack you either with projectiles, or with in-your-face physical attacks. You swipe to move between cover, and tap the enemies to shoot them.
Come on you apes. You want to live forever?
In an ideal world, the game would work great. After all, these two genres are ripe for blending, and they complement one another nicely. But Starship Troopers does not exist in an ideal world. The developers have jacked the difficulty level up so high that the game is a disheartening grind from very start.
In the Temple Run-style sections, there’s no gradual build up of speed. You start at a break-neck pace, with no way to slow down. You even maintain your psychotic speed after you bash your head on a metal door or run straight into a wall. And you’ll do both of those things often, because not only are you moving way too fast, but the controls aren’t nearly responsive enough. Early on, you might even lose all your health before you even get to a shooting part.
Welcome to the Roughnecks.
The shooting parts aren’t any easier than the running parts. Since your character and weapons are upgradeable, you start off very weak. The enemy bugs didn’t get the memo, so they can overpower you very quickly. Adding to the issue is that you earn currency very slowly, so unless you want to spend real-life money on federation credits or ore, you’re in for an unreasonable amount of grinding.
The game does have a “Mama’s Boy” difficulty level that’s marginally easier to play, but here you earn the game’s currency at a truly glacial pace. Also, the longer you stay alive, the more of a slog the game becomes, because the running and gunning sections are highly repetitive.
On top of the difficulty issues, the game is dark, blocky, and muddy-looking. Unless Starship Troopers: Invasion “Mobile Infantry” receives a major overhaul in future updates, not even the most avid fans of the series should bother picking it up. It’s a poorly made game, plain and simple.