Plot: What’s it about?
After endless and blood soaked battles with the bug menace, the Roughnecks are headed back to Earth, but this is no time for a vacation. As it stands, the bug invasion has spread to the home planet of the troopers and that means the stakes are higher than ever, since a loss would mean losing the place they know as home. As if previous conflicts weren’t hard enough, now the Roughnecks have to not only fight these powerful bugs, but do so without harming local citizens, as well as keeping destruction to a minimum. This all adds up to the Roughnecks being at a severe disadvantage, but of course, they’ll never surrender to the bug menace. As Rico, Flores, and the others push ahead and blast through the waves of bug opponents, the hope of winning increases, until the unexpected happens. A loss stuns the squad and begins to tear down their teamwork, which places them right in the path of danger. As the end of the battle nears and mankind’s fate hangs in the balance, can the Roughnecks overcome and ensure that humanity will live on, while the bug menace is eliminated?
Although I am pleased to have more episodes of this series, I am at a loss as to why episode 31 isn’t included here, as it damn well should be. That episode bridges this campaign with the previous one and without it, there seems to be a gap and of course, that hinders the flow of the storyline and that isn’t good. In addition, due to budget issues and studio decisions, this arc serves as the close to the series and that doesn’t work well either, as we’re left with an open conclusion and no sense of closure whatsoever. I know it is a longshot, but since the series has done so well on DVD, I hope Columbia finances the episodes intended to end the series and gives fans the conclusion the filmmakers envisioned. If viewed as the finale, this arc is a bitter disappointment, but as additional episodes to continue the story, the arc works well and fits in with the others, provided you can somehow see episode 31, to fill in the blanks. This arc is brutal and nasty, taking up close and personal with the horrors of war, as well giving us some cool guest stars. I recommend this disc to fans of the Roughnecks series, but I still hope Columbia comes to its senses and funds the remainder of the unfinished episodes, as this series deserves a proper close.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The image here is in line with the rest of the series, which means it looks terrific, but has some minor flaws. I saw some light grain in places and some instances of jagged edges, but nothing to an extreme level. The series was also running low on cash at this stage, as the studio decreased the budget, but it doesn’t show much, which is good news. The colors are bright when needed and muted when called for, while black levels are tight and well balanced. Another round of sharp looking episodes, which should please fans to no end, since this series has some cool visuals.
Audio: How does it sound?
Given that this was a television series, the Dolby Digital 5.1 option is very impressive and brings the action to life quite well. Although not as bombastic and powerful as a feature film might be, the audio here is dynamic and enhances the experience, very good work indeed. The battle scenes have solid depth and more reserved moments seem natural, a solid blend of what a surround track should be like. I had no troubles with dialogue either, as vocals were clean and crisp throughout. This disc also includes additional language options in Spanish and French, as well as subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
As with most of the prior discs in the series, you’ll find two audio commentary tracks, one with the filmmakers & cast members and the second with the animation team. While both sessions are informative, I think most people will prefer the filmmakers’ track, as it is less technical and has more humor, including many anecdotes. This disc also houses some talent files, as well as a promotional trailer for the series.