How many alien games have you played? Now I can’t hear your answer but if you’ve played the same games as me then it’s a few. They normally featured a good single player but a rubbish multiplayer; only 2 games have ever got multiplayer action right in my eyes, Alien vs Predator 2 was the first. It was super fun but challenging if you wanted to be the best, I remember playing in clan matches till the early hours of the morning swearing I’d shot that alien before he’d diced me to pieces, they were the days…. So what’s the second game to get this right? I’ll give you 2 clues:
Firstly it one of my most played games on steam
Secondly it’s in the title of these review
I called Natural Selection 2 one of the finest FPS MAB RTS game of its kind in a preview piece here; now it’s true only the original sits in the same genre but that’s why it’s unique and not like anything else you’ve played. Natural Selection 2 pits aliens vs marines both trying to expand and survive. Marines play in first person view and aliens from their mouth, expect for the commanders. Each team will have 1 commander who can see the map from birds eye view, he’s the playmaker, the builder, the healer and your saviour.
Each species has different upgrade paths because an alien with a mini-gun would just be silly. Marines use technology to upgrade themselves, with each armour and weapon enhancement giving them an edge over the enemy. The commander can research new weapons like shotguns and grenade launchers, teleports to maneuver marines around the map, mechs to mow down aliens and much more.
The Aliens upgrades increase health, speed, invisibility and the ability to evolve, which is key for the aliens to be victorious. You start the game at the bottom of the species table, after killing a few marines you’ll then have a chance to evolve to either one that can fly, or maybe your saving for that rhino looking alien who costs the most. The aliens commander has many tricks up his selves like defences and invisibility, a great upgrade if you want to hide an entire hive.
The commander is a big part for both teams, without a commander you won’t win. It’s a hard role to play which requires hours of game time to hone your skills; but I have good news, the community playing this game are really good. The first game I played as commander we got defeated, it was a hard game and I now know the errors of my way, when I went to say sorry they said “don’t worry, we all have to start at some point”. It’s that spirit which kept me coming back and enjoying losing because we were all in it together.
Teamwork, Teamwork and Teamwork. That’s what this game is all about, and it’s why I love it. The more you put into this game like talking to your teammates and shouting out enemy positions, the more fun you will have. It can really draw you in with matches lasting around 30mins a time with only respawning giving you a chance to relax.
This game also features a full modding suite so you can create your own maps, skins and games. The game incorporates Steam Workshop so once you’ve completed your master piece you can upload for all to enjoy. I’ve had a little mess around with the modding tools and they seem very simple to use, as long as you know what it all does. Currently there isn’t a whole lot of content on the Internet to help but give it more time and we’ll see a flood of tutorials to help everyone… especially me.
Graphically the game is beautiful, on the highest settings it really stands out from the crowd. The mix of hard metal and alien structures gives it a real space feel, and very eerie at times. Levels have been constructed well giving aliens air ducts to scuttle through and marines loads of room to run down the corridors. Each map has many different sections all with their own feel allowing you to know where you are without having to keep looking at the map.
When I play this game it brings back many memory’s of Alien ss Predator 2, a truly great game which requires hours to master. This game features many features I loved from AVP2 and expands with even more I couldn’t do without anymore. Natural Selection 2 is an indie game which is currently £18.99, it’s one of the finest multiplayer games I’ve ever played and I’d recommend to everyone. So what are you waiting for? Go download and play….. I’ll see you on their rookie.