Posted: December 30, 2013
I don't normally review games, but Natural Selection 2 is a special case.
For the tl;dr version-
-Pros: Great game concept, smooth controls, intense gameplay, teamwork definetely required.
-Cons: No progression system
I picked up this game a while ago, considering it among the many other great games I had in mind, but I still decided to experiment, and I spent my money on it. I was slightly wary of this purchase though, as I have made bad choices in games in the past, but I decided it was worth a shot. I started it up, and as soon as I joined my first lobby, immediately loved it. The game concept is great, merging a sort of warped MOBA with an First person shooter. Throw some aliens in there and basiclly sums it up.
The game in essence is a moba, with two teams going at eachother, trying to destroy a immoble structure, but its so much more complicated then that. At the begining of the game, a commander is chosen for each team, a commander for the marines, and the "Queen" for the aliens. To win, the marine must destroy the Aliens "Hive" structure, where the Queen operates, and the aliens must destroy the Marines Command Station. Basiclly, the Commander/Queen is like Battlefield 4's Conquest mode, where either team's commander can virtually call in support, ping key points on map, research new weapons or technologies, and generally advise the team.
Resources are important to either team. They are gained from building extractors, and can be used to buy upgrades, and weapons.
However, the Marines are arguably as important, if not moree, then the commander. While commander can call in buildings, it takes the Marines to actually construct them. The marines also do all the fighting, their arsenal consisting of a medium range assault rifle, pistol secondary, and combat hatchet. (God I love that unholster animation) The Commander can research new weapons to add to the arsenal, including shotguns, landmines, and a range of grenades. Mid-to-late game, the Commander can order a lab drop, which lets you buy (with enough resources,) flame throwers, or exo-suits. Marines expand their territory by building facilities, such as power generators, then extractors, and so forth. If Marines can get multiple bases running, they can build teleports, which let you sweep across the map faster.
For the Aliens, the game is very similar, yet so different. The "Queen" (Alien's commander) gets a skyhigh view of the map from her hive. She can ping areas, advise the team, and spread the infestation across the area. The aliens are very diverse.
The default alien is a skulk. It appears to be some sort of hybrid of a crab, and a hyena or something. They run much faster then marines, can scale walls, or even crawl across the ceiling, even using vents to their advantage. Their default melee can kill a Marine in 2 or 3 hits. It also has a far weaker range, called Parasite.
The second alien, and cheapest to evolve into, is the Gorge It generally resembles a turtle/hippo, with a swollen belly. It's attacks are all range, and involve it spitting up on Marines. But the Gorge's main purpose is to support. It can build Infestations, which cover rooms with swells of green goo. It's primary attack can also heal allies.
Lerks are the third cheapest alien evolutions. They resemble pterodactyls, and flies around, quickly striking down Marines at close combat, or picking them off with their ranged spikes. Very agile and hard to hit, Lerk's are a fresh pain in the ♥♥♥ for Marines.
The second most expensive evolution is the fade, the Fade is virtually an alien assassin, that can leap, teleport, and fade itself into invisiblity. Leaves Marines Wondering what hit them.
The biggest evolution there is, usually a mid-to-late game version, is the Onos. Basiclly the alien equivalent of an exosuit, this thing appears to be a huge rhino, dinosaur mother hubbard that charges its way through enemy lines. It absorbs damage in its shell, and excels at smashing Marine structures to pieces.
The game is amazingly fun to play, and much more diverse then the average moba. Unfortunately, there are a few cons. There is literally no progression systems. Of course, good Mobas really don't need them, as progression is'nt the point of the game. (Unless you play LoL, and your spending twenty bucks on a revealing outfit for your female champion.) But there are not even leaderboards, apart from some server's fanmade versions.
The other problem I have with this game is its rarely updated. Currently there is 4 maps, but I believe there is definetely room for more. Of course, the way most of the game is already is pretty balanced, and trying to change the roots of it would not be good, but this game needs some DLC. Some kind or reskin, weapon modifications, anything.
Overall this game deservers 8, or even 9 out of 10. It is one of my favorite games, and I hope to enjoy this game for many more years.