Sunday, September 4, 2011

Natural Selection 2

Natural Selection 2 is a FPS (first person shooter) and RTS (real time strategy) game for PC. It is the follow up to Natural Selection, the highly acclaimed HL1 mod. They are both made by the same team, Unknown Worlds, except Natural Selection 2 probably has more developers since it's no longer just a modification and it is now a retail game. The first natural selection had over 2 million downloads and was loved because of the alien versus marine gameplay that was not only very fun, but strategic and deep. Natural Selection 2 carries over the same gameplay model that made it famous. You still have Aliens versus Marines and each side still has a commander that handles the RTS aspect of the game. Like another mod turned retail, Nuclear Dawn, handles RTS in a seamless fashion that fits right in with the core gameplay.
Let's start with the commander gameplay. Fortunately I used to play Natural Selection one quite a bit and I've seen a good deal of NS2, so I can slightly describe the duties of a good commander. If you are on the human side, the Marine Frontiersmen, then the commander manages resources, by creating collectors around the map and also creates buildings like turrets, armories and other buildings that allow upgrades for the common soldier. The commander does not just magically create buildings though, he uses resources to create it and then will order soldiers to build it. New in Natural Selection 2 is a robot that helps build things so the commander doesn't have to entirely rely on soldiers to get it done, but they look rather fragile and possibly expensive. If you are a commander on the other side, the alien Kharaa, you essentially have the same kind of buildings, except they are all more geared towards infestation and alien technology. Many buildings for each side are similar in purpose, but they don't feel like copycats. The commander has a top-down view that let's you survey the map easily and you can watch your teammates move around the map. You can also give orders to your teammates and hopefully they will follow your orders, but they do have a slight incentive to do so. A good commander will lead your team to victory in this game, without one all there will be is death and failure.
The common soldier is just as important as a commander, without the soldier the commander means nothing. Soldiers for the marines are what you would think, assault rifles, grenades, miniguns and plenty of things reminiscent of the marines from the Aliens series. The Kharaa on the other hand have an unique look. They have aliens that run along the walls, fly, giants, quick small runners and a couple other different types. While the marines rely on armories to upgrade them the, the Kharaa evolve their abilities and spread their infestation across the map.

I haven't played the beta for Natural Selection 2, but it looks like a improved version of the first one and there's nothing wrong with that. When it comes out, whenever that is, it will cost $34.99 and be on steamworks. Right now, you may pre-order the game and get into the beta on steam, which has been going for quite a long time. Here is a beta trailer below to wet your appetite. If all things go well this game will be a major competitor for the other team based multiplayer shooters out there, the first one certainly was in it's time. To find out more info on the game I will drop some website links just below. Thanks for reading.
Natural Selection 2 Info:
Natural Selection Info:

Natural Selection 2 Beta Gameplay Trailer

If you would like a video that shows off quite a bit of gameplay, look no further. Natural Selection 2 HD is fantastic and incredibly long. It shows off a entire match of a game and makes it look pretty great.

NS2HD Natural Selection 2 Beta

-Written by Sean Cargle


  1. LorenSep 4, 2011 06:21 PM
    The graphics are fantastic, but combat looks like ass, of the arcade-y, floaty variety.
    Everyone moves way too damn fast and I see some bunnyhopping in there too, which is something I really was hoping was finally dead in shooters.
  2. LokaiSep 4, 2011 11:07 PM
    Didn't notice the arcade-y combat first time around, but I see what you mean. Hopefully that's not a favorable play style and it actually makes you worse.