This is a screenshot of Natural Selection 2, featuring a Marine firing a flamethrower near the corpse of a Skulk.

Natural Selection 2 Review

Genre | Hybrid Shooter + Real Time Strategy game
Developer | Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Platforms | PC, Linux

Natural Selection 2 is a multiplayer game that is a mixed first person shooter and strategy game. Aliens and marines fight over various locations in a first person shooter, while a commander on each team researches upgrades, builds buildings, and issues orders. Aliens can chuckle at their enemies while marines can dispense a variety of taunts, including one that goes “now there’s something you don’t see every day… thank God.”

Natural Selection 2 has five alien classes, six marine weapons, and various pieces of equipment that the marines can use, like mines and jetpacks. Both sides have a number of buildings that can be constructed, including resource extractors that must be built on resource points. As the round progresses, each team uses its resources to unlock new upgrades and equipment.

The teams that win most often in Natural Selection 2 are the ones that communicate in order to coordinate strategy, so that players can get the right upgrades, and tactics, so as to control the map effectively and destroy the opponent. There are number of ways to upgrade the aliens and the marines which gives both sides options when it comes to what they choose to invest in.

The graphics in Natural Selection 2 are realistic in style. The maps are set in space stations and outposts on distant planets. One map is set on a space station orbiting a large blue planet. There is a walkway in the map with a glass floor that players can look down through to see the planet. The sounds in the game consist of things like bite noises, bullet noises, pain noises, footsteps, and explosions. Some surfaces are reflective. Alien infestation spreads dynamically.

In Natural Selection 2 each alien class has different abilities. The Skulk is the size of a dog and can walk on walls. They are about the right height to bite a marine in the ankle when they are on the ground, but they are often not on the ground, because they can walk on walls. The Gorge is a pig-like alien that can heal allies, construct buildings, and slide around on its belly. The Lerk is a flying creature that can fire spikes and perch on surfaces, including cliffs. The Fade is a man-sized alien that can teleport and use its claws to attack enemies. The Onos is a rhinoceros-sized alien that can charge marines and knock marines down. Marines that fight an Onos alone typically die.

This is a score for an objective game review.