The episodic nature works perfectly within this framework, and the mix of Marine grit ("No retreat, no surrender!"), military jargon, and understated melodrama give a feel somewhere between the steely seriousness of an old-fashioned war comic book and the spectacle and romance of a Japanese anime space opera. The CGI animation is less ambitious than in such feature films as Toy Story, but it's one of the most impressive examples of the animation made for TV. The detailed designs, rich textures, 3-D modeling, and awesome sense of scale (not to mention the pumped-up action and whiplash speed of the bug army) give it the look of an impossibly sophisticated video game, with the rat-a-tat editing and soaring camerawork of a Hollywood movie. The budgetary shortcuts are evident in moments of blurring and jerking, but overall it's startlingly effective. The PG-level violence may not be appropriate for younger viewers, but it's aimed at an older crowd and has won a loyal adult following.
The packaging is very convenient (a shelf-space-friendly four discs in Thinpaks), but unfortunately, serious Roughnecks fans will want to hold onto their old discs. Cramming the eight discs of content plus bonus episodes (granted, Trackers was a short disc) onto four single-sided discs apparently left no room for the producer/technical commentary tracks that accompanied most of the previous discs. The only bonus features are photo galleries and a fold-out illustration.