Natural Selection 2
Unknown Worlds Natural Selection 2 is hands down one of the most strategic and entertaining first person shooters out there to date. Aliens are pit against Frontiersmen in a struggle for survival in brutal and unforgiving engagements. The games learning curve can be difficult at times, but once you get a hold of it, you can sink over 1000 hours into the game without it ever being stale or boring. Each round is different from the last.
It seamlessly combines a fantastic unmatched first person shooter with a real time strategy (RTS). Teamwork is absolutely necessary for survival and victory, and lone wolfs lose the game the majority of the time. A single great player can make a difference, but it will never be enough, and without your team at your side, the other team, if working as one cohesive unit, will dominate the splintered group. Each team is lead by a commander, who plays in a overhead RTS view. The commander is responsible for building the bases, expanding territory, and researching upgrades.
First up are the Frontiersmen. They play as your typical first person shooter soldier would. Only you’re infinitely more bad-ass, because you get to stomp on bugs with a wide assortment of toys.
You have access to assault rifles, pistols, a variety of grenades to play catch with, flamethrowers for cookouts, grenade launchers, and other surprises that will make Aliens stop in their tracks and take off in the opposite direction. They also come in female flavors and more bad-ass versions of their allies.
Up next are the Aliens, also known as Kharaa. The Kharaa can expand their territory much faster then the Frontiersmen can at the beginning of the game. They come in five different play styles each one with different and unique abilities and advantages, so many different ways to slaughter an unsuspecting soldier right?
First up is the skulk. The shock trooper of the alien army. These tricky little bastards can stick to walls and ceilings, laying in wait to ambush Marines from above. They use speed, cunning, and hunt in packs to be extremely efficient.
Next is your “support class”. Gorges are adorable, pudgy creatures that aid their alien brethren. Just don’t let them spit a ball of acidic bile in your face. On top of melting away enemy structures, they can blockade hallways and heal up friendly units. They can also slide on their fat bellies, because Gorges are awesome like that.
Lerks are by far one of my favorite creatures to play. They are in essence, an assassin with wings. Their bite is poisonous, they shoot barbed needles at a distance, and can lay down a gas that buffs up your friends, or chokes enemy soldiers to death.
Personally, I do not like talking about Fades, unless they are on my team, even then, they still scare the living hell out of me. But for this review, I am required. Fades, are the Kharaas equivalent to a Terror Squad, only all that “I just shit my pants” is packed into one creature. These things can vanish before your eyes, then reappear behind you with their claws in your back. Moving on.
Last but not least, we have the Onos, which is essentially what you yell at the top of your lungs when you see one. They are the game changer. The tank. The bullet sponge. They are literally by definition an enormous mutant god elephant. You will do one of two things as an enemy when confronted with one. You will trick yourself into believing that “You’ve got this.” Or you will turn and run like the picture above.
On top of being constantly legitimately balanced, the developers add free content, that we actually SHOULD be paying money for. The developers have put in untold hours to give us tons of FREE content. So Unknown Worlds set up a fund for anyone who wants to reach out and say thank you. They call it the Reinforcement Program. With each donation tier you actually get some cool stuff in return for saying thank you.
The game goes on sale in Steam all the time for 75% off or more. Or you can pick it up in the humble bundle for cheaper.
If you play already and are looking for someone to play with, feel free to add me on steam.
Are you ready to adapt and overcome? Or will evolution phase you out.