Netflix now streaming sci-fi classic that inspired Helldivers 2 – with mixed reviews

Starship Troopers is a camp classic. Satire like this doesn't get made anymore!

Starship Troopers
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Rarely has a science fiction film from 25 years ago been quite so unbelievably culturally relevant, but that's the blessing that has hit Starship Troopers this year.

This cult-classic satire from sci-fi master Paul Verhoeven was always well-loved by some, but the stunning success of Helldivers II, a videogame that takes extremely direct inspiration from the movie, has seen it skyrocket in popularity.

Netflix has jumped aboard that hype train, bringing it to its library in the US this month, making now the ideal time to watch it if you never have. 

Starship Troopers tells a depressing tale of future warfare, as a pretty deliberately fascist-coded society persuades massive populations of young people to sign up for an apparently vital war on the frontiers of space.

They're taking on monstrous insectoid bugs, and once our young heroes, played by the likes of Denise Richards, Neil Patrick Harris, Casper Von Dien and more, arrive on the front, they soon see how horrific war really is. 

From the primary enemy (nasty squishy bugs) to the armor, to the airstrikes and rampant friendly fire incidents, Helldivers II wears the influence of Starship Troopers on its sleeve as a military patch. 

Its developers have been open about this association, something that has helped them to make players realise that their game, too, is trying to make a point about the futility of warfare and the industrial military conflict.

Helldivers II has been a wild success since it came out on PS5 and PC earlier this year, instantly and enormously outstripping its expected sales to tally up millions of players in its intergalactic war. 

Recent controversy over PC players being forced to link their accounts to the PlayStation Network has seen it hit the headlines for the wrong reasons after months of great PR, but after that policy was reversed it looks like the good times are flowing once more.

There's no better way to get a deeper appreciation for the game than to watch Starship Troopers, making Netflix the best streaming service out there for fans of either, since that's where it's now streaming... well, not in every region (how painfully apt).

If you're playing plenty of Helldivers II meanwhile, and you think a TV upgrade could make things even better, our list of the best gaming TVs on the market is sure to help you pick one. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.