Reviews for Natural Selection II

90

A Role Model for AAA-Titles

Fabio13 | Oct. 27, 2014 | See all Fabio13's reviews »

It is unfortunate that in today's world despite the astounding technological advancements there are few games that actually surprise you with their novelty and innovation when putting this new arsenal of potential to use. However, Natural Selection 2 is twice as surprising in this regard as it innovates not in one, but two genres simultaneously. The concept of an FPS/RTS hybrid has been around for quite some time though never properly executed by any major title in gaming. This has always puzzled me as there is no greater satisfaction than seeing a game unfold from both the perspective of an overarching command and the boots on the ground itself. While Natural Selection 2 is a purely multiplayer experience it excels in bring new exciting gameplay to the stagnating genre of first person shooters, most of which have simply resorted to throw bigger guns, toys, and vehicles at you. Instead Natural Selection 2 recognizes the strengths of its predecessors innovative gameplay and polishes it to make an impressive new clean-cut version of a game every gamer should try at least once. While this game truly shines because of its innovation and creativity it does not spare any expense on its presentation either as all the character and alien models are fantastic and really brought to life by the dynamic lighting, sounds, and overall atmosphere that is simply blooming in this games thematic atmospheres. The first thing I noticed jumping into a lobby of NS2 is that cooperation between teammates is not only recommended but essentially necessary. This is absolutely phenomenal! There are too few games in this is online gaming world that actually demand that you interact with gamers in such a way as to properly execute a plan rather than everyone simply going at it alone, lone-wolf style. I've played my fair share of both Call of Duty and Battlefield and neither of those two triple-A giants require you to communicate with your teammates as much as NS2. If the new gaming era is going to strip us of local multiplayer and let us only play with strangers online, then they better give us a reason to want to talk to these people, and NS2 does just that by making the alternative to cooperation abject failure. The reason that cooperation is so essential in NS2 is because of its unique gameplay featuring 2 asymmetrical sides, the aliens vs. humans, and furthermore one player on each side must be chosen as your Commander/Hive mind, who will view the entire map from above and play the RTS portion of the game building, giving orders, and researching upgrades. The twist of course being that apart from a few builder units the Commander/Hive mind has no forces under his direct control but only the other players on his team who benefit most from executing his orders. Again, cooperation is paramount and having seen the difference between a skilled commander and bumbling one you really get to understand just how effective or ineffective you can be as a player or a leader. As for the gameplay as a soldier on the ground, the games generally proceed as follows. You will run out of your initial base to go seize the nearest resource point with your teammates and if you manage to control it without the enemy showing up then you will continue on to the next one. However, due to the impressive array of maps and the units/upgrades available to the different sides, you can never truly be sure just how easy or hard an objective given to you by your commander will be. Let us discuss some of the key differences between the sides at this point. The human marines are standard enough beginning the game with an assault rifle, pistol and trusty little hand axe. Throughout the game their commander will be attempting to accrue enough resources to get them upgrades such as shotguns, flamethrowers, jetpacks, better shielding, damage upgrades, and eventually mech suits. While all of these things seem like surefire upgrades from the starter equipment the truth is any of it is only as useful as the player who wields it. The aliens on the other hands begin the game as the base unit known as the skulk, an equivalent of a zergling more or less which can only effectively attack via melee. They however, are naturally much faster at moving about and can make use of the maps numerous vents which marines cannot enter. These skulks can then evolve throughout the game into other creatures ranging from the builder/medic class of the Gorge, the swift flying Lerk, the deadly Fade and the almighty Onos. Each of these creatures has its own unique strengths, weaknesses and special abilities and knowing when to use each one is critical in being a good alien player. Returning to the gameplay itself, there are some caveats to be given to new players. This game is rather unforgiving and those who are not any good at shooters on the PC will not find any user-friendly playground here. Though there are beginner level servers they are often such only in name and host just as many veteran players as any other server. Gameplay is rather fast and frenetic and you may often find yourself saying things like "How didn't I hit that guy!?" or "4 of us ambushed him! How did he kill us all!?!" And unfortunately if there is one thing to be said about this game is that the learning curve is about as steep as the Hoover dam. That is not to say that the community for the game isn't great, because since servers and players can sometimes be limited, dedicated gamers will do their best to teach newbies the ropes every chance they get. Yet despite the helpful tutors you'll run across you can't help but feel that the majority of people you are playing with in this game have simply come over from the Counterstrike community and have years of practice and experience over you. That being said, if you happen to be a CS gamer, this is your bag and you will feel right at home. The truth is however, that despite sometimes going all game without even a kill, I could still make a difference in the match through my targeting of key objectives or even posing as a distraction for my teammates who could actually effectively hit a moving target. This is what makes NS2 so brilliant, that even if you aren't your teams Rambo who CAN take on 4 aliens at once, there is always something that you can do to make yourself useful, and if you really must learn how to be a Rambo then simply practice, practice, practice, and eventually you may get... your first kill. All jokes aside, there is such a vast gap between some players in the NS2 community and while the game may not be as accessible to newcomers as I would like, it generally tends to balance out throughout games. Overall NS2 is a real treasure for all gamers and tells the success story of an ambitious group of modders who managed to create a revolutionary game that I believe has not gotten the attention it deserves. If more studios focused on innovation rather than repackaging and retheming then we would have more games with the spirit and uniqueness of NS2. The FPS/RTS is still a largely underused genre and yet probably my favorite, and while NS2 may have a steep learning curve which may prevent it from being my go-to just because I don't have the time to dedicate to mastering it, it is still an unforgettable and incomparable gaming experience from which larger studios should learn from.

85

a unique multiplayer experience

mirta000 | May 20, 2014 | See all mirta000's reviews »

It's a fun mix between a strategy and a first person shooter. Both sides have to have a commander. Those will be responsible for upgrades and telling the troops where to go. A good commander is very very important. Now everyone else spawn as troops. On a human side this is a regular horror FPS - you get a gun (upgrades determine what kind) and you go down the dark corridors shooting scary aliens. On the alien side it's a bit more complex and more fun in my opinion. Upgrades allow you to morph into a specific amount of very different aliens. You can be a slow moving tank that kills up close, or an easily killable spitter than hangs on the ceilings. There are many different aliens good for many different things, but the only way to make a successful push is to work as a team. This is what the game is mostly about successful commanders and good team work. In my opinion it's a great multiplayer game if you're on the winning team and unfair one if you're on the losing team - because you can simply be losing because your commander didn't get the right upgrades. It's still one hell of a game to experience. Most definitely recommend it.

75

Jet packs and alien rhinos.

CheezeGaming | Feb. 17, 2014 | See all CheezeGaming's reviews »

Natural selection 2 may be one of the funnest game I've played last year with its expansive gameplay quality. At pre-game, you can decide which of the 2 races to play as from Aliens or Marines both having there advantages and disadvantages.

With both races 1 player must take command, think of it as battlefield 4 commander mode, with 1 player taking command on each teams, they must assist each of their team members to build structures to push back the enemy back while reciving points to upgrade you're teams aresnal that include new armor upgardes, weapons and and JETPACKS!!!, the samething happens to the Alien team except your given an option to metamorph into a new species, each species having a set of unique ablitites, so if you ever wanted to fulfil your dream of being an alien rhino now you can.

As for the gameplay, the controls feel smooth and very reactive like a twitch shooter suppose to feel and anyone new to twitch shooters it may take a while to get use to. Another thing you'll be trying to get use to if you're new to the game is the difficultly curve because it may be troublesome for you not knowing what to do during the middle of the game from experience it did not go well.

The duration of the matches can be very lengthily taking up to 1 to 3 hours if both of the teams are equally matched but if you have not very experienced commanders it may take 30 minutes to win a match, this game can suck so many hours out of you're day, you'll be wondering where you're went.

And don't forget to have fun and play with friends it makes the game more fun to play.

85

Lacks a Large Population but Great Fun

ROKET | Dec. 26, 2013 | See all ROKET's reviews »

This game is great and the best team based game Ive played since Team Fortress 2. The only problem is that the devs didnt move fast enough to promote and support the game. It released as a generally unoptimized game but has since been fixed to not only perform well but also invite players in. Yes it has a learning curve but its very easy to get into.

Gameplay:

This game is solely multiplayer. There are two sides to the battle and each side is very different. One side, the aliens, are very organic and utilize a zerg like creep to spread across the maps. There are a few different maps and each provide different environments to choose from. The second side are the marines. These are your typical space marines and they sport mostly generic weapons. It isnt until higher tier tech is unlocked (through your commander) that you get the awesome stuff such as mechs or in the case of the aliens, giant rhino like creatures that tear the marines apart.

Overall the gameplay is smooth and even better now after the various content updates that the devs have released. The game also runs more smoothly and with less lag than it did at launch.

The best of the game is the commander which overlooks the battlefield aiding his marines in battle. He also sets up the base and other outside structures that help the marines, or the aliens, progress through the map. The game ends when either all the hives or command posts are destroyed.

Presentation:

The marines have a mostly generic look but the graphics and textures are really smooth and nice (especially with SweetFX). The beauty in the game resides with the aliens, however, and they are a site to see. When creep has spread and structures are built a map becomes another world. The aliens also sport the most interesting HUDs and character models.

Overall this is a great game: 85/100

85

The true aliens experience.

TETfromLondon | Nov. 20, 2013 | See all TETfromLondon's reviews »

Many people will remember watching the film 'Aliens' and wishing that there was a game that accurately recreated that atmosphere. Unfortunately, most of the actual 'Alien' games have failed to do so. However, Natural Selection 2 is as good as it gets for the genre. Both the creatures and the humans feel fun to use, but both are played in different ways. There is a great element of strategy involved, as if you split off from the rest of your team, or attack at the wrong moment, or as a human, if you wander off by yourself, you will probably die quickly. Adding to the strategy is the fact that both teams have a commander, so fans of strategy games such as Starcraft will feel at home in this role. If not, then there is no need to do it and you can just be a normal soldier or alien. The game also looks excellent and the environments are brilliantly designed. I would highly recommend this game to anyone.

83

Natural Selection II - review

Neapolis47 | Oct. 24, 2013 | See all Neapolis47's reviews »

Natural Selection 2 is a first-person shooter mixed with a real-time strategy that sees soldiers opposed to terrible space aliens. Each side has its own peculiarities and can evolve in different ways during the game . The player is then called to create a strategy much more complex than a normal shooter , because he has to manage the future of the match, studying the situation and choosing which evolve your creature alien, or what weapons to use in combat with the soldier . There is also the role of the commander , or a supervisor of the team that has a very important role : manage tactically attack and defense. Through an interface is not very easy to master, the player / commander must monitor the map , giving instructions to the team via microphone , distribute healing items , directing scientific research, build various structures and so on. It is a game in the game. Natural Selection 2 requires the development of dear old skills, but also requires the ability to reason about their moves without the fray .

93

Cinematic Fun

landsharky | Oct. 18, 2013 | See all landsharky's reviews »

I've found that when games try to portray/create the classic aliens versus marines scenario there always seems to be something lacking, something that doesn't make it feel real. Search no more my friends, this game captures truly cinematic moments that feel as if you are fighting for dear life to fend off waves of aliens. It's not just the marines, when playing as aliens you can feel the power you are capable of the second you spawn but also how easily that can be taken away. Both factions feel complete and balanced offering a slough of items, abilities, maps, and mods at your disposal for countless hours of fun and re-playability.

Initially the game will take some getting used to but the community is by far the best I have encountered and are more than willing to guide you along every step of the way.

Get this game.

82

Great fun, particularly as aliens.

ZoraLink | Aug. 13, 2013 | See all ZoraLink's reviews »

I bought this game after being disappointed by Nuclear Dawn failing, hoping for more of the same. It is a fantastic mix of RTS and shooter elements, myself being a big fan of commanding in this game. I've never enjoyed the micro management side of RTS games, so having each unit I would normally micromanage have its own autonomy is perfect.... so long as they're competent. Every once and a while you'll get stuck in a game that is just a completely massive stomp, or with a commander who is either utterly clueless and doesn't listen to advice, or is just blatantly trolling and ruins the game before you can kick him/her out.

The actual mechanics of each side are fun, I enjoy aliens much more than marines, scuttling around as a Skulk is probably one of my favorite things to do when not commanding. I also enjoy that aliens are a bit more able to do things when alone in comparison to marines, who are very much team oriented, which can be frustrating when in public groups.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend it, I got my play time out of it easily. Whether you want to command or whether you want to be a foot soldier, each side is satisfying to play.

92

Lots of fun.

crankafoo | Aug. 12, 2013 | See all crankafoo's reviews »

This is one of those games where every match can play out completely different from the last. It's got solid gunplay and it's a ton of fun to play as the aliens. You can be a mere minion/soldier or a commander for your respective team. The commander will set waypoints and direct the team to build things in certain places, along with managing resources for ammo and health packs for a team in need. Natural Selection 2 is a game where conquering the other team actually feels very rewarding and challenging. There's a lot of mod support which is always fantastic. It's also a blast with a group of friends, so find some buddies to sit down and play with. You won't regret it.

94

My Multiplayer favorite

Kradath | July 14, 2013 | See all Kradath's reviews »

This game is currently my favorite teamplay oriented online game. It's very complex and hard, which makes it also hard to get into. Being a player of NS1 (which was a HL1 mod back then) it was easier to get into but to all new players: don't get frustrated or scared by the first hours!

As soon as you understand how the game works you will simply have a blast playing this title.

You should bring a quite powerful machine though and the game still got its problems, but you should always keep in mind that this was not only done by an indie studio, but the whole engine was built by themselves from scratch!

Get it if you love teamplay.

Highest recommendation

91

Awesome Deal!

Sinjin | July 8, 2013 | See all Sinjin's reviews »

Now I have been looking at this game for quite some time and was hesitant to buy it at first, but in the end I'm glad I did. This game is beyond spectacular and very unique. Its a FPS shooter as well as a strategy RTS like game whenever u play as the commander. Combat is thrilling and gives you adrenaline as it shakes your nerves. Team communication is a big deal in this game or else you will most likely fall. GET IT NOW! Its just that good.

90

Great Game for Fans of Battlefield 1,2 or RTS Games

chandler10s | July 4, 2013 | See all chandler10s's reviews »

If you loved the Battlefield games because you could either play as a soldier or in the seat of a commander then Natural Selection 2 for you.

NS2 is a tactical shooter where you work with a team of either Humans or Aliens to combat and destroy the opposing race.

If you have never played a Natural Selection game then don't worry. Well over half of the community is ready and willing to help those with little to no experience with Natural Selection. Many server owners set up Beginner Servers that allow you to be taught by people who know the game and share their strategies and tips for defeat your opponents.

The great thing about Natural Selection 2 is that it has nearly unlimited replay-ability. The game is never the same because you always have different people you are playing with and have different types of commanders who like to achieve the goals differently.

The games graphics are great and the sound is amazing. The community is amazing and helpful and the game is realistic and fun.

If you enjoyed Battlefield Commanding or even any real time strategy game then this game has just what you want! You direct your team to capture objectives that you want and place structures there to build up your resources allowing your team to become more advanced in their weapons and movement.

Natural Selection 2 is a great game for any fans of FPS or strategy games as well as those who are looking for a strong and powerful community in gaming. The developers of Natural Selection 2 are developers and people in the community played the original Natural Selection. Natural Selection 2 was developed by the original developers and members of the community who were fans of Natural Selection 2 and after playing for a few hours you yourself will become a member of the community that is directed at improving the game.

I highly recommend this game to anyone and you will too after learning the game for a little bit!

85

If you have a good server

tnkh | July 4, 2013 | See all tnkh's reviews »

If you have a good server to play on with good team mate it can actually drag for quite a long game to end. This game is not about individual skill but the ability to work as a team. Constant communication is required.

If you are look for some game that just shoot then perhaps this game is not for you. At time you need to strategies with your commander to work out the best attacking and defending option for your team.

80

Nice fps\rts online game

Xibalba | July 4, 2013 | See all Xibalba's reviews »

Very fun game made with lot of effort from the developers, was made by a handful of dedicated people with an ENORMOUS modding community behind their back every step of the way. New content will be continuously released (including combat mode from ns1) on a monthly/weekly basis including: maps, models and skins, game types, etc. one of the best FPS with a mix of rts online of the last years. really hard and rewarding game

70

Very hard to learn; very poor performance

hamster | June 8, 2013 | See all hamster's reviews »

NS2 is an adversarial multiple-only game pitting the marines against the aliens. This game is refreshingly different from other shooters in that the game also contains a heavy dose of RTS elements, such as the presence of a commander, base building and resource acquisition. For the marines, this means that resources generated from claimed resource nodes can be used to purchase and/or research equipment. Similarly for the aliens, resources can be used to "evolve" the default lifeform into a more powerful species.

Be warned: this game is tough, unforgiving and difficult to learn. The typical alien lifeform can only engage in melee, so twitch-shooting skills useful in other FPS is otherwise useless when playing the aliens. Furthermore alien evolutions are NOT permanent, so you will respawn as the default lifeform (a weak and small dog like alien) after death. But the most difficult aspect of the game - which is an aspect that ties into every other area of NS2 - is learning the map. The maps in NS2 are extremely large and convoluted. The aliens species are practically unplayable until you learn the map. Without map knowledge, you will not know how to get to a destination; you will not remember how to get to a destination; you will escape into the maws of the enemy; and particularly, since aliens rely on more or less hit-and-run warfare, without sufficient map knowledge you will find yourself running into walls rather than slipping into vents, thereby limiting your offensive potential by basically 100%. Yes, aliens in NS2 are so fragile that even advanced lifeforms can not take sustained fire for any period of time. Think of the complexity of a single NS2 map as about say, 10 dedust maps. The dedust maps must not only be joined on the horizontal plane but also overlap by varying degrees - the vertical nature of maps in NS2 makes it extremely difficult to grasp your position vs. the destination position even with the presence of the mini-map. Perhaps the game should have been shipped with cut-down maps to assist newer players (and also allow first time players to quickly have an enjoyable experience).

Another aspect i would like to touch on is the technical one. Performance in NS2 is notoriously poor even for advanced gaming machines.

But as a whole, the game has an incredible premise and when everything is clicking the game is really quite fun. The graphics are incredible and the detail in each map is astounding - the depiction is so extensive that the maps actually feel like the area that they are supposed to represent, rather than just an excuse-of-an-arena for battles to play out.

Perhaps the most important thing to take away is that NS2 will not be all too enjoyable as the alien species without a significant time commitment. If you are willing to invest the time (or get lucky, with combat being focused on a few easily accessible/iconic areas of the map) the game is definitely worth the money.

75

Too Much like the Original

jjkim325 | May 23, 2013 | See all jjkim325's reviews »

As much as I liked the original, I was looking for some major improvements. Seemed like the old version with just a upgrade in graphics to me.

Having said that, it's still fun to play here and there when some of the newer games get boring after a while. So in a way it's timeless.

Worth a play if the price was lower... maybe $15-$20? But not worth it for $25.

88

Fun game!

SaburoSakai | May 11, 2013 | See all SaburoSakai's reviews »

This game is fun! If you enjoy a simplified rts style and a sci style fps game you'll definetly love this game. I was a fan of the Savage series, Savage I and Savage II the two tgames that pretty much were one of the first few RTS/FPS games out in the market back then. This does that style with a justice by fighting in a more futuristic would rather then middle ages style of Savage.

The two races are quite different , but it adds a nice twist of play depending which side you go to. Because the style of plays are different it requires a lot of practice to be good.

Its fun but you can't go rambo style it'll only get you killed.

80

Fun Game With a Few Issues

dorky24 | May 1, 2013 | See all dorky24's reviews »

Great game but there is a steep learning curve. Your first few gameplays, you will be lost. The maps are huge and can be confusing with all the vents. The map is helpful though.

My biggest gripe though is that the game is poorly optimized. It constantly causes my video card drivers to crash. It should be noted that this only happens to me in this game. However, when the game is running, I can only get 20ish fps in 1920x1080 and 1280x800 resolution. Not sure what's happening but it's pretty unplayable for me. I'm still trying to figure it out....Your miles may vary.

95

Hours and hours of fun

Stebsis | March 11, 2013 | See all Stebsis's reviews »

Natural Selection 2 is an interesting mix of strategy and fps games. It doesn't do either of those spectacularly like, say, Battlefield 3 with FPS or Starcraft with strategy, but it blends them in an interesting ways.

When you start the game, you're split into two groups, aliens and marines and gameplay between these is very different. As an alien, you start as this basic four legged dog-like creature that can climb walls and if upgraded can go into stealth mode, move silently and stuff like that. As you play you collect points so that you get to evolve, you can evolve to healing based alien that shoots this green goo that heals your allies. You can also build walls to block marines and sentry type alien turrets. If you choose to build up these points you can evolve to stronger and stronger alien, flying alien that's weak to gunfire but is really fast, teleporting one that's quite fast and has powerful attacks, or if you really want to devastate your foes you can build points up to Onox, this big hulking mammoth-like creature that's powerful as hell and if you have stealth upgrade for it, it's even more terrifying as a marine when suddenly a big Onox is staring at your face killing you with one or two hits.

As a marine you spend your points to gear, like shotgun, repair tool to use for these mecha type powersuits that can go head to head with onox or jet pack which is really useful against aliens that can't fly. These types play very differently and in the end are balanced excellently. But the thing that can set these sides apart a lot is the strategist.

Both sides have one member playing a strategy game and he is the one that's most important out of all. As marine the strategist orders stuff for marines to build, like power generators and turrets, and also can notify where there are enemies trying to destroy your stuff and where you should go.

As alien strategist your job is to provide aliens with spawn pods that they use to "hatch", and provide upgrades like stealth and silent running. As alien you don't build anything, your job is more to expand your territory and take out marine powersources and their headquarters.

You aren't forced into strategist position, you can decide if you want to play it as FPS or strategy game. For the first 6 hours of your playtime, you're considered a "rookie" and your name is in green, so if you decide to hop into strategy right away your teammates know your still a newbie and trying things out, and the community is really nice so they will give you support and if you're doing poorly, at least for me they always try to help or nicely ask to step aside, gladly there doesn't seem to be any really butthurt players there who take the game too seriously. There are also servers marked green that are like rookie servers, and white ones are for more experienced players. Yellow servers are modded servers which can have all sorts of crazy stuff in them, just try out and experiment.

I really, really recommend this game. One of the most fun I've ever had when playing, especially when it's really even with marines and aliens. Community is nice, gameplay is solid and fun and graphics though not great provide atmospheric stages. The keyword here is teamwork, you have to support each other and stick together. Like in those older alien films, people who go alone and don't support the group are usually the ones who get killed.

86

Great multiplay FPS with some unique variety.

Bigshrimp | March 11, 2013 | See all Bigshrimp's reviews »

This is the sequel to the Half Life mod Natural Selection. I remember playing this when in beta and it has came a long way since. The premise of the game is that you are either an Alien or Marine and the goal is to take over resource points throughout the different maps available.

The game has a learning curve that times to master, You are either a commander or one of the different aliens or marines that you can upgrade by taking the resource points on the map. Over time as you gain more of a foothold you get stronger units. It is like a tug of war of both teams are doing a good job fighting for the map points.

Overall the graphics, map designs, and sound effects are pretty well done. The game is quite balanced and a lot of bugs have been stamped out.

If you like multiplayer shooters with some unique variety, this is the game to try. Two thumbs up.