Just finished a 3 hour session of Marines vs Aliens in game Natural Selection 2. And man it was fun with the team that I had under my command. This game is a blend of FPS (First Person Shooter) and RTS (Real-time Strategy). Actually, the best way to describe it is to take Starcraft and add first person shooter mode to it and remove Protoss race. That’s exactly what Natural Selection 2 is. It’s really that similar if I think about it.
I’ve always been a bit of an eccentric guy and never really followed the mainstream multiplayer games like Battlefield, Crysis, Call of Duty etc. The only such that I played was Counter Strike. Played Vietcong and Deus Ex 1 Multiplayer with a clan, still playing Killing Floor and now Natural Selection 2. I just always want to try something new and different and NS2 delivers that.
Anyway, if you want to try something a lot different from the rest of the so-called “triple A” titles that big gaming corporations churn out every year, try Natural Selection 2 instead. Especially if you like Starcraft and FPS games and you don’t mind trying something really fresh and different. Takes some time to learn the basics, but when you get the point of the game, it’s really fun, especially if you learn under a command of a good commander and decent fellow marines (or aliens, whichever you prefer).
There is so much under this category it’s impossible to really describe it. It combines what I wrote above with fluid switching between classes where you are not stuck to one class until you switch through game menus, instead you “evolve” yourself in-game through upgrade structures. Either with different weapons, additional welder that can repair stuff or even big mech like machines called Exo’s. And even these can arrive in 3 different flavors, railgun, single chaingun and dual chaingun. Aliens of course have similar equivalents, they just look a lot more nasty and gooey. Commander is building structures and does the research, but can also spawn ammo, health packs and weapons along with Exo’s to the marines under command. And using a microphone is really a necessary thing to properly command. I’ve tried at first by typing, but you waste too much time doing that. Voice chat helps a lot and is then very nice thing to do. I actually enjoy it far more than shooting things from first person…
Only thing that I really don’t like with the aliens, particularly Skulk’s is the fact that even when you hang of a ceiling, your view is not rotated like in Aliens vs Predator games. being a big fan of those series, it’s really a strange feeling to be on a ceiling, but still looking at the world the same way you do when on the ground. I know this might sound silly, but if I’m on a ceiling, I want to look down from it. I know they just wanted to make it more accessible this way, but I don’t like it. And the whole wall moving is not as fluid as it was with Aliens in their games. Here is not as smooth and connected and that kinda kills it for me. That’s why I prefer the marines I guess…
Graphics and sound
I have no idea what graphics engine this game is using, but despite of sometimes washed out textures in some places (might be because of the streaming feature that I use for graphics), it looks really good when you crank everything up. Lighting, particles, bump mapping, size of the levels, it really looks impressive and up with the best modern games.
The other part that I also like a lot is sound design. Music is a bit annoying sometimes, but the rest is done really well. Everything makes noise and you have to take advantage of it to hear other players or to prevent others from hearing your noises. You can sneak around and backstab enemies or just listen where they might be to take an advantage. Weapons have proper punch to them and once you fire up Exo mech’s, they really feel heavy and the noise chainguns or railgun make is just sublime.
Donno, there is so much stuff around this game I could go on and on about it for several pages. I got the game from Steam during Summer Sales 2013 and it was another good investment this year. I’m really glad that I bought it. It wasn’t that expensive, but it’s properly awesome. I again wonder why I haven’t tried it before, even though I heard about Natural Selection 1 before (but haven’t played it either). If you do happen to like the above stuff, try it. I’m quite sure you’ll like it. Just don’t give up after few rounds of gameplay where you’ll most likely die on every combat encounter. It might be a bit frustrating in the beginning, but you’ll start to slowly like the game, learn how to play it and really appreciate what it is. At least I do… easily one of the best games i’ve played in years and it’s so deep that i still haven’t fully got it after few days of playing it online. But it just feels awesome every time you master one tiny thing in this game 🙂