UK developer Rebellion has officially confirmed its acquisition of Strangelight Studios, which completed late last year as embattled software publisher Empire Interactive struggled to maintain its market presence.
There is proof of an interventionist God. The most remarkable crash to date, locking up all sound from my PC into a sampled loop, freezing all controls, forcing a hard-reboot, has spectacularly rendered Starship Troopers unbootable. I am free, free to write the review.
It didn't start well, either. But before we get to that, it's time for a quick check that everyone's in line when it comes to the film this FPS is based upon. Verhoeven's film is, and this cannot be stressed enough for the hard of thinking, a SATIRE. The problem is, satire requires thought from your audience. Do your satire well enough, and those who aren't willing to engage their brain will confuse themselves, and start pronouncing the film as pro-war, all-American, or as has often been the case, fascist. To give Verhoeven his credit, he wasn't exactly subtle about it. The superb spoof propaganda adverts provide belly laughs, and really ought to make the point ever-so-slightly clear. But it's never better than when people attempt to speak the truth of the situation, and are drowned out by the gung-ho nonsense from the main cast. And it has Doogie Howser in it.
Sadly, included in the numbers of those who didn't really 'get' Starship Troopers are Strangelite, Which is only made more strange by the inclusion of clips from the film between missions, painfully containing all the information anyone might need to know that the Bugs are completely innocent in the interplanetary war, and that the forces of Earth are the bad guys. Low quality clips of the film, despite the game coming on DVD.
Releasing a game adaptation of Starship Troopers some eight years after the movie might not seem like the smartest commercial decision ever, but as far as '90s sci-fi action goes, Paul Verhoeven's movie was definitely one of the most memorable of its time. Fortunately the signs are promising that this isn't just another generic game-of-the-movie exercise, with Empire Interactive having widened its scope to take in the entire franchise including the cult Robert A. Heinlein book that the film was based on, as well as the animated cartoon series. Oh, and the completely ignored movie sequel, but we'll gloss over that one and move swiftly on.
A release date has been shot out for Empire Interactive and Strangelite's first-person shooter, Starship Troopers, with news of a playable demo on its way too.