Starship Troopers: Extermination Has A Key Feature Helldivers 2 Lacks

Starship Troopers: Extermination Has A Key Feature Helldivers 2 Lacks

Starship Troopers: Extermination Has A Key Feature Helldivers 2 Lacks


Releasing a Starship Troopers game this year might seem like bad timing. Helldivers 2, a game similar in many ways to Starship Troopers, launched in February and has been a major hit on PS5 and PC. This game lets players team up to fight endless waves of alien bugs, and it remains hugely popular. However, Starship Troopers: Extermination (STE), which first launched on Steam Early Access last year, is about to hit its full 1.0 release and come to consoles. Despite the tough competition, STE has a unique feature that sets it apart and might give it an edge: carnage.


Starship Troopers


Similarities Between STE and Helldivers 2

In many ways, STE and Helldivers 2 are very similar. Both games drop players into large maps where they face off against hordes of monstrous aliens. Players must complete various objectives and extract safely to survive. Both games also feature a galactic war metagame and offer cosmetics for players to unlock. Additionally, both games brim with parody elements. Helldivers 2 clearly draws inspiration from the original Starship Troopers movie, while STE maintains the same vibe as it’s an official adaptation of the franchise.

STE’s Unique Features

I spoke with Peter Maurice, the lead developer of STE, about how his game stands out. He acknowledged the success of Helldivers 2 and expressed happiness for the team at Arrowhead. “I think I’m just happy when any developer achieves success in our game space because it’s so hard. It is so hard,” he said. Maurice is proud of what his team is creating, too. “We’ve achieved success on PC, like we’ve sold through quite a few units, and people are coming and going because they know we’re in early access and we’re trying to finish the game.”

Maurice highlighted that STE and Helldivers 2 aren’t clones of each other. “We kind of diverge […] We’re full 16-player, we have a different gameplay loop, we have building as a core component of our loop. When you dig deeper, you pull that one layer off, you can see that there’s two really distinct games: They kill bugs. We are the bug game.”

Distinct Gameplay Mechanics

While both games share the premise of space soldiers fighting bug hordes, they have many key differences. STE includes per-round base-building, supports co-op sessions with up to 16 players, and is played in first-person. These distinctions make each round in STE play differently compared to Helldivers 2. However, the game-changing feature that really sets STE apart is the new carnage update.

The Carnage Update

The Carnage on Planet X-11 update, which launched earlier this month as part of STE’s roadmap to its 1.0 release, allows the dozens of dead enemy bodies to persist throughout a level. This may seem like a minor detail, but it fundamentally changes the gameplay. As the level progresses, the battlefield becomes littered with the corpses of defeated enemies. This creates a chaotic and immersive environment.

With the carnage update, players can use these bodies in various ways: taking cover behind them, burrowing through them, blowing them to bits, or even getting trapped under them if not careful. The battlefield soon looks like a mass grave of Arachnids, adding to the intensity and mayhem of the game.

One of the most interesting aspects of this update is how the piles of bodies create makeshift platforms for the enemies. As players build their bases and fire on the waves of enemies, the bodies pile up, allowing the enemies at the back to climb over their fallen allies and breach the base. This dynamic creates a new level of strategy and challenge for players.

Impact on Gameplay

Before this update, STE was already a challenging and engaging game, but the carnage update takes it to a new level. The constant presence of enemy bodies adds a layer of realism and chaos that makes each mission feel more intense. Even with 16 players working together, the game demands strategic thinking and teamwork to survive.

The final moments of a mission in STE are particularly thrilling. Unlike in Helldivers 2, where the extraction ship lands close to the players, STE requires players to move across the battlefield to reach the extraction zone. This creates one last opportunity for heroism or defeat, adding to the excitement and tension.

STE’s Future

As a fan of Helldivers 2, I found my time with Starship Troopers: Extermination to be incredibly enjoyable. The game has already built a strong following on PC, and its upcoming console release is likely to attract even more players. The carnage update, along with the game’s unique features and mechanics, sets it apart from other co-op shooters.

Offworld Industries, the team behind STE, has also announced a single-player mode featuring Casper Van Dien, the star of the original 1997 Starship Troopers movie, reprising his role as Johnny Rico. This addition is sure to delight fans of the franchise and add another layer of depth to the game.

Room for Both Games

In a market where we often have multiple popular zombie games, there’s certainly room for two standout bug-squishing games. Starship Troopers: Extermination might not have been expected to compete directly with a Sony-backed hit like Helldivers 2, but its unique features and engaging gameplay give it the potential to do just that.


Starship Troopers: Extermination offers a fresh and exciting take on the co-op shooter genre. With its unique carnage update, large-scale battles, and base-building mechanics, it provides a different experience from Helldivers 2 while maintaining the same thrilling bug-squashing action. As the game prepares for its 1.0 release on PC and consoles on October 11, it’s poised to capture the attention of even more players.

Download this game and join the fight against the alien bugs. Whether you’re a fan of the Starship Troopers franchise or just looking for a new and exciting co-op shooter, Starship Troopers: Extermination is a game worth playing. Get ready to experience the chaos and carnage of this thrilling game and see how it stands out in the crowded world of co-op shooters.


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