follow us:

Latest News

Reptile spews his acidic spit in Mortal Kombat X trailer
NetherRealm revealed a new "old" character for the upcoming Mortal Kombat X. Everyone's favorite former secret character returns full of piss and acid.... [read more]
Barry and Natalia try to survive wave of zombies in Resident Evil Revelations 2
Barry and Natalia are two new playable characters in the upcoming episodic release of Resident Evil Revelations 2. A new video shows some action from Mr. Burton. ... [read more]
The Order 1886 Story Trailer promises an epic showing
Ready at Dawn released a trailer for The Order 1886 that will leave you stunned.... [read more]

Latest Articles

PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 3 - Quick Tips
So far we’ve told you what to do in San Antonio as well as where to eat and drink while at PAX South. Now we have a few quick tips for those traveling to our great city. ... [read more]
The OG Replay for Jan. 19
We're less than a week from PAX South and everyone here is excited. Not only is one of the biggest gaming events coming to our home city of San Antonio, but we're going to have our own panel. ... [read more]
PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 2 - Where the locals eat and drink
If there’s two things San Antonians know, it’s good food and drinks. Although the city is the Tex-Mex capital of the world, San Antonio offers a wide range of food from classic Mexican to Japanese. Dowtown San Antonio has it all, and to save you some time, we have a few ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Driveclub Review
Originally announced at the PS4 reveal event in Feb. 2013, Driveclub was due for release as a PS4 launch title. Development misfortunes led to an 11 month delay and the game was finally released in the first week of Oct. 2014. The game faced major challenges at launch as the... [read more]
This War of Mine Review: A new angle on war games
11 bit studios made a name for themselves with the Anomaly series where they flipped the script on the tower defense formula. They flipped the script again with This War of Mine that doesn't put you in the shoes of soldiers fighting a war, but rather the people trying to sur... [read more]
The Evil Within Review
When Shinji Mikami and the team at Capcom developed Resident Evil, they changed gaming. There were scary games prior to that first RE game, but those games didn't have nearly the impact. With The Evil Within, Mikami hopes to change the industry once again by bringing back su... [read more]

Latest Videos

8-Bit Eric: Shiny the Firefly Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at Shiny the Firefly on the Wii U. An indie game developed by Padaone games where you control a firefly on a rescue mission to protect its babies.... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Ping 1.5+ Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at the Wii U puzzle game Ping 1.5+ from Nami Tentou Mushi for the Wii U. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Top 10 Wii U games of 2014
2014 has come and gone, and the Wii U had such a kick ass year with several big releases such as Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros Wii U, Shovel Knight and more. 8-Bit Eric counts down his top Wii U games of 2014.... [read more]
Natural Selection 2 Review
Posted on November 10, 2012 by Nickolai Niver

Natural Selection 2 is a title that was ten years in the making by developer Unknown Worlds. Ever since the first release back in 2002, the concept of a PvP style game that wasn't just space marines blowing each other apart has intrigued people. Undoubtedly drawing inspiration from both Starcraft and Alien vs. Predator, Natural Selection 2 is quite possibly one of the most unique shooters to date (that's not really saying much with shooters though).

The premise of the game is quite simple. Your objective is to beat the enemy team so badly that when the match is over and they're lying in a fetal position on the floor, you'll be able to crouch over them and drop your tadpole purse on their faces with knowledge that you deserve to do this. One part real-time strategy & another part shooter, it's a game mash-up that looks insanely good on paper. One race is a bunch of melee dependent animals that rely on speed and numbers to beat their opponents. The other are a bunch of ranged space marines who get some really cool gadgets to fight off their enemies. It's the ultimate showdown that I only have one question about: Will it blend?

THOSE MARINES ARE DELICIOUS

I Make the Rules Because I'm in Command - Let me explain how the commander position works. One player is in charge of resource management for the team. They set up buildings and buy upgrades to help their peons. It's similar to how StarCraft plays with one major exception. The commander has no direct control over his soldiers. Each warrior in the commander's army is an individual player. With the right players, this is a winning combination as it let's the commander focus on conquest instead of micro management.

(Mostly)Balanced Combat - If one were to remove themselves from the fight and simply observe what's going on, a match with equally skilled players on both sides looks breathtaking. Watching a lone marine get backed into a wall as a bunch of skulks (primary infantry unit for the aliens) close in is as beautiful as a marine with a flame thrower clearing out a hive. It's captures the beauty of the famous Aliens series made it into a game. You really won't see a better representation of man versus animal than this title.

It's.... Beautiful - As the game goes on, the level will change to fit whichever side is winning. If the aliens are winning, the level will be mostly covered in this strange substance that makes the level look like an alien home world. Conversely, if the marines are winning, the level will continue to look like a typical sci-fi space station. While this might not seem like much, running down a floral corridor as you push into the human scum's main base just feels right.

Ooh, Creepy - I try to avoid playing the marines as much as possible, because it's damn creepy to be them. You don't really realize it playing the aliens, but they are the embodiment of fear. It doesn't help that the complete lack of a soundtrack means that when you hear those buggers in the vents, you're going to poop yourself.

Speaking of No Soundtrack - Sound can be good for two purposes. Either it can be that sweet soundtrack that makes that boss fight feel so good, or it can be the sound effects. Opting out of heavy metal guitar riffs and overdone dubstep, Natural Selection 2 likes to keep it natural. No music means you hear everything that's going on around you, and it sounds amazing.

O-NOS

I Pick Marine Because I Don't Know What Skill is - The first and largest problem I came across with the game stems from the selling factor, the factions' differences. I enjoy playing aliens personally, but the marines initially have a huge advantage on new players. This advantage comes from the fact that players on the marines side are literally playing an FPS. They don't have to learn too many tricky controls. Additionally, in most cases a new marine player will kill a new alien player. This problem disappears the more you play, but it's frustrating for new players.

Remember That “Mostly” Balanced Combat Part? - Nothing is without imbalances, and this game is no exception. For example, the Onos (the alien's strongest unit), if spawned early enough by a commander, can completely halt the marine's progression and buy the commander enough time to win the game. Conversely, aliens stick out further than their vision lets them see. Players can sometimes be shot out of position without realizing they were poking out at all. While these are mostly minor, I don't exactly enjoy having to compensate for balance issues.

It's Destroying My Computer - Not necessarily a complaint, but this game will eat your computer alive. As it stands, I’m running an Asus Republic of gamer. Even at a year and a half in age, it’s running an i7 with a Geforce GTX 460m (as well as 8GBs DDR3 RAM), and the game is still asking for more from it.. My wife, who also has an amazing laptop had to cut the resolution drastically, and another friend had the game at 512x384 just to keep it at 12 frames per second. Be careful. Your granny's eMachine isn't handling this game.

About Those Controls... - As I mentioned in a previous complaint, marines will have little to no issue figuring out how to play. Aliens on the other hand can climb walls, fly, and cause general havoc. The controls are solid enough, but take a long time to get used to. Even then, tactics that some alien players need to conquer can take far too long to master.





 

I’m quite fond of Natural Selection 2. It’s one of those titles that I get along with because it factors fun before everything else. It’s a new take on the FPS genre that works well. Sure I may not like the initial imbalances that favors marines, or the clunky controls, but those are minor complaints. If you have $25 laying around and a decent rig, I suggest to pick it if yo8u're already tired of the major AAA releases this holiday season.

*This review was based on the PC version of the game with a review code provided by the devloper.*

Nickolai Niver - Staff Writer nic (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

What was your GOTY for 2014?

Shadow of Mordor
Bayonneta 2
Dragon Age Inquisition
Divinity: Original Sin
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Dark Souls II
Destiny
Hearthstone
Far Cry 4
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Shovel Knight
Alien: Isolation
Child of Light
Sunset Overdrive
This War of Mine
Monument Valley
Transistor
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
Mario Kart 8
Other (Let us know in the comments)
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Time to start 2015


Call of Duty: World at War Review

Call of Duty: World at War Review

Call of Duty: World at War Review

Other Gaming News From The Web