User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 597 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 597

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  1. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    Ok, to all the people saying "it's only fun as marine" watch the tutorial videos and you'll see how to play as an alien because playing s an alien makes it a completely different game from being a marine. A marine plays like A N Other FPS but the aliens require tactics and learning your chosen form. Personally now I've learned it I prefer playing as alien and it really makes the game when you get on a server where people understand how to play as aliens and you end up with a great game. Expand
  2. Dec 23, 2012
    9
    15 years ago I played StarCraft, 12 years ago I played Aliens vs Predator. Now these two games combine to create a spectacular mix of strategy, tactics, teamwork, and FPS. The game sucked me in like no other this year. I recommend it to every fan of the abovementioned titles. Despite some flaws (engine optimalization not at its best, no commander = no fun), Natural Selection 2 merits universal acclaim! Expand
  3. Oct 23, 2013
    10
    Oh my what a masterpiece. An original concept where players play as either Aliens or Marines. The gameplay of the 2 are very different and both are surprisingly balanced. Wins are traded often. I just can't express how much I love this game.
  4. Feb 16, 2013
    9
    Incredible game. This is extremely fun and a great way to hang out with people. If you're a fan of the Aliens series or if you like sci-fi horror or team games, check this out.

    There are some quirks with balance and such. For example, one side might be able to get a cheesey snipe on important buildings in some areas. Its a multiplayer only game, so success and fun games rely on the
    competence of players and how well they work together. Speaking of which, the community is super friendly despite the troll era every other game and website is undergoing.

    I've played this for over a hundred hours. Never gets old, despite pretty repetitive maps. I do wish, though, that there were some cooler things like sealing off vents. Maybe if they had a spaceship scenario ala Warcraft 3's 'Parasite' where engines, life support, and power can be shut down. That would be a really cool role-play environment.

    The RTS element works pretty well, but it takes time to learn and if you do it wrong or in a way people don't like you get a lot of backlash. The success of the marine commander depends so much on his marines that it almost makes the aliens, who don't, imbalanced. But that adds to the onslaught/zerg nature of the aliens.

    All in all, its a really good game and its certainly worth it.
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  5. Mar 25, 2013
    10
    If they hadn't made a free weekend and sale I wouldn't have bought this very cool game it turns out, and no one should complain about having a bad commander, like if your that upset about it train to become one yourself then you can just blame the team and/or yourself but just try to have fun which is suppose to be the main purpose of playing. The maps are well designed and i'm even playing this game on the lowest settings so I don't lag which is going well. I'll be cutting this short, overall their are alot of great things about this game that you must try out especially if your into rts and fps. Expand
  6. Jul 19, 2014
    9
    Awesome game, a sequel to the best Half Life 2 mod Natural Selection or NS1, now comes Natural Selection 2 or NS2! BUT there are some problems, it takes too long on the loading screen and times-out a lot in the multiplayer! But over the past few months, I have seen Unknown World Entertainment doing updates to try and fix the problem so I know the company knows about this problem and that they are trying to fix it Expand
  7. Nov 7, 2012
    9
    NS2 = NS1 on steroids. Just simply an Amazing MP experience. One of the best ever. When you win a round of NS2 (that can take up to an hour or more) you know that everyone on your team was working together and you literally see each others sacrifices result in hard earned area control on the battlefield. The game is balanced on a knife edge, where the thrill in the battle is the unknown of what your enemy is going to bring against you next. Did they upgrade to a shift hive or did they get jetpacks yet? One moment you feel like you are slaughtering the aliens and then a lone alien gets into your base while you're all off establishing a new front, manages to cut the power and suddenly your entire team can't respawn and the race is on to get back there before that bloody Onus arrives and starts mopping up. Expand
  8. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    Surpasses the first game in most ways, beautiful visuals and fantastic modding abilities / community. For one of the best Multiplayer games around, its well worth it!
  9. Feb 17, 2013
    9
    A truly excellent game. Right up there with StarCraft as one of the best multiplayer RTS games. Make no mistake about it, all but one player on each side uses a FPS point of view, but this is still a strategy game. You win by teamwork, skill and strategy not by FPS skill alone. As an RTS player playing on a decent team, there is a really enjoyable sense of teamwork, aside from the fun FPS elements and the fact the game looks great. As a commander (someone commanding their team, who uses the RTS view of things) you'll spend much of your time issuing orders to your team via voice chat. With a team that has any understanding of strategy (and most do), this almost completely eliminates micromanagement for you, and means you can spend your time developing map control, thinking strategy, and issuing orders like "PlayerOne, harass BaseName. Try to pull as many of them over there to defend it as you can. Everyone else, group up, wait in LocationOne. When you see them move to BaseName to defend it, hit Base2.". Trying to do that in a traditional RTS would be a lot of micromanagement, but in NS2, its simple. There's a lot to be said about NS2 as an RTS game, and this barely scratches the surface. The main thing, though, is that if you are a fan of team-based shooters, OR a fan of strategy games, I would urge you to definitely give this a try. The combination of RTS+FPS might seem odd, but it works well. Really well. Amazingly well, in fact. Expand
  10. Jul 20, 2013
    9
    If you enjoy online first person shooters you can do no wrong adding Natural Selection 2 to your collection. With its asymmetrical combat (Aliens vs Marines), transformative maps (alien infestation), and its combination of real-time strategy elements with that of a traditional first person shooter it offers an unique gameplay experience that very few if any other FPS titles can.

    Real-Time Strategy Gameplay: One player on each team takes on the role of the commander building bases, researching upgrades, using abilities on his allies, and coordinating his team's movements/strategies from an overhead real-time strategy point of view.

    Traditional FPS Gameplay: The other players are playing from the standard first person view with respawns coming ~8 seconds after death (so downtime is minimal). The gameplay consists of securing resource points around the map for both their personal resource income (so they can buy weapons/upgrades) and for their team (so the commander can build/research things). The ultimate goal: Destroy the other team's "headquarters."

    The Marines have the familiar weaponry at their disposal. Shotguns, assault rifles, flamethrowers, grenade launchers, jetpacks, and giant mechs. Teamwork is of utmost importance and death awaits you around every corner (especially when the power goes out hope you brought your flashlight!)

    The Aliens rely on speed, stealth, and ambush attacks. Their alien lifeforms vary greatly (to suit anyones' playstyle) and their ability to see in the dark, walk on walls/ceilings or even fly, as well as the ability to take shortcuts through vent systems gives them distinctive advantages over marines in many areas of the map.

    Both sides are fun to play and both require teamwork and skill to achieve victory. Keyword being skill. You are rewarded for good aim, situational awareness, and teamwork more than most shooters. If you lack these you will die.

    But, thats part of the fun and replayability of this game. Seeing yourself improve with each and every match and then having your efforts pay off as you start getting kills that you couldn't when you first started playing. It makes for good competitive play if that is your thing or just good ole' fashion shoot-em-up in the standard public servers.

    Note: There is no single player mode. If you don't like playing against other players then you should skip this title. Multiplayer matches typically last 15-30 mins.
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  11. Nov 17, 2012
    9
    There were a number of RTS/FPS mixed games 10+ years ago, but they seem to have died out. Kids these days probably don't remember them :)

    It doesn't really add or take away anything from the original, but it doesn't need to. It's still a great game and much better than most big budget FPSs to come out recently.
  12. Nov 2, 2012
    10
    Buy this game. Not just because it's a cheap, beautiful, independently developed game, but it because it it so much damn fun. I go into fits of laughter quite often. It's a ****ing hoot.
  13. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    The first few game sessions might be a bit confusing, but once you start understanding what is going on the game is gonna become really enjoyable. Here it is all about leadership (for the commander) and teamplay (for all the players). A commander on each team gives out orders to the squad (marines) or the the hive (aliens). High quality command is essential for victory. This game is original and best played with some friends with microphones on. The spirit of the game is similar to left 4 dead, the aliens and the atmosphere are rather creepy :) Expand
  14. Nov 2, 2012
    10
    This game is just too damn impressive. Every competitive PC gamer needs to buy this. It can be rough for newbies, but its still super fun even when you're getting your ass handed to you. I love that this is a game where player skill makes a huge difference, unlike all the run and gun stupidity conquering mainstream FPS games. A pair of good players can totally carry a battle... but a good commander leading a squad of newbies can equally carry a victory. And the fact that such a small team designed such a great game engine blows my mind! I just wish all those big budget games would use an engine that looks and plays as smoothly as Unknown Worlds Spark engine. It looks frickin' amazing at 2560x1440 resolution! Expand
  15. Nov 8, 2012
    9
    Please, at least ignore Gamespot's review. I'll do them justice and clean theirs up for them.

    The game is amazing. But it is multiplayer only. So if the community dies, you no longer have a way to play. Well, you still do, but awfully. The developers need to keep the game fresh, and that's purely on them.

    The learning curve is giant, and it expects you to learn things via youtube
    videos. Which works, but an actual ingame tutorial works 5000x better. HOWEVER, unlike Gamespot made it out to be, the learning curve is easily learned once you've had the chance to play around as the marines and aliens enough. After about 4-5 hours, I'm pretty confident in my ability on either side. Commander is a totally different field though, and you'd have to watch the videos to understand that, or walk into a room and command without knowing anything.

    The game itself is amazing. Just hope that it doesn't lose support anytime soon.
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  16. Mar 7, 2013
    9
    Extremely fun game with some performance issues and a steep learning curve (hence the -1). Otherwise I really cannot find that much at fault with it.
  17. Nov 27, 2012
    10
    Very good game, very unique. Has it very own style. I really like it. I hope they bring a demo soon for the undecided buyers among the players. Have fun with that game.
  18. Nov 14, 2012
    9
    Not enough improvements/additions from the first game to give this anything more than a 7. People new to Natural selection will probably disagree with this review. Natural selection is a very fun game if you're new because it encourages team work even with random people in public servers. But people that played Natural selection 1 heavily will get bored of Natural selection 2 because they are pretty much identical except much laggier. Expand
  19. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    Natural Selection 2 is a game that rewards teamwork and skill with amazing victories and surprising comebacks. A good game can last an hour, or twenty minutes, depending on how well your team bands together to defeat the other team, be it the ranged-combat Marines, or the close combat Kharaa (or Aliens.) Each team has one player that plays from the perspective of an RTS. That player sees the game from a top-down perspective, places structures (which Marines have to build for the Marine team,) and works to guide the team. The main goal is to take out the other team's command station (that is, the Marine's Command Stations or the Alien Hives.) Thus, if the game isn't over quickly due to a Zerg-like rush from the Aliens or a stomping Marine power-play (which is fortunately rarer and rarer,) the game becomes a mix of putting pressure on the other team and capturing resource nodes and tech points. Each team does this quite differently. The Marines get all sorts of technological upgrades, like teleporters, mobile siege turrets, jetpacks, grenade launchers, shotguns, and the amazing Exosuits. The Aliens get biological upgrades, or evolutions, that provide additional abilities to their life forms. Examples of this are Carapace, which gives the aliens additional armor, Leap, which allows Skulks (the base life form that can run on walls.) to leap a good distance, and Stomp, which allows the Onos (the massive Gorilla-meets-Rhinoceros alien) to send a shock-wave through a team of Marines that knocks them down. There are many more than these, but you get the idea.

    The graphics are slick, the gameplay is extremely well balance (if you read anything else, they were on a bad team or fighting a bad team. Two competent teams will have a balanced match.) and the teams are fun to play. Shooting is very solid, biting a little, tiny bit less solid, but still good enough on its own. Commanding is a blast once you get the hang of it (I particularly enjoy leading Aliens to victory.) Overall, this game has a little of everything, including unmatchable mod support, and community support. Unknown Worlds Entertainment owe their existence to the community, and they don't forget that.

    10/10
    Pros: Balance, Aliens are awesome, Marines are awesome, RTS elements are well done, maps are good, graphics are slick, performs fine on an i5-750 @ 3.0 GHz, 4 GB RAM, HD 6970 2GB.
    Cons: Load times can be a bit long (should be addressed in a patch this week,) server browser can be laggy, occasional crashing and freezing for some users.
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  20. Nov 5, 2012
    10
    A game a long time in the making; originally designed for the source engine but it didn't suit their needs so the devs reaction? write their own engine that did. The result is the source engine which is still under heavy development even after the game has shipped, they are working on improving the engine and working on new content (which will be released free and not drip fed in a never ending torrent of pay for DLC) You get the entire source gameplay source code and all the dev tools to create your own maps and mods (gameplay code is LUA).

    The game as it stands on build 228 (version 1.0 on steam) has now had a enough optimisations to dismiss most of the complains the people who only tried it in it's beta (which was a true beta and not a PR demo) and the servers can now support full populations for long term play with lots and lots of building and with no framedrops.

    As for the gameplay it's a fantastic asymmetric mix of ranged and melee combat and a fusion of RTS and FPS combat for the most part works really well, overall each team is directed by a commander in RTS style and the rest of the team are playing an FPS game where weapon unlocks and creature evolutions are researched by the commander.
    It's by far the most original mix of gameplay elements in many years and will appeal to players of most games apart from modern grey millsim games and chest high walls.
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  21. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    It's an excellent game with a fresh combination of First Person Shooter and Real Time Strategy elements. If you look for a new experience, natural selection delivers it!
  22. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    Great game, but for some reason crashes my computer quite frequently (twice in an hour) when BF3 on ultra doesn't. Very fun, very innovative, tons of replay value.
  23. Nov 9, 2012
    10
    This game is not Call of Duty and it doesn't want to be like COD. I don't think there is greater praise that can be said about an FPS in such a stagnate modern warefare shooter day and age. My problems with the game comes from the community. It seems like there maybe a few hacks out for the game as I've seen some shady stuff go on in games like being tracked through walls and instagibbed repeatly by a player with 50-2 or a commander having way to much res compared to the amount of resource gathers they have and the amount of game time elapsed. Expand
  24. Jul 22, 2013
    9
    This game is fun to play both alone and with friends! It does not matter if you got it on sale or not, but this is worth your cash! I recommend that you and your friends play, its really fun!
  25. Nov 16, 2012
    9
    Fantastic game with many options for what you can do next and a forgiving community when you gaining your bearings in the rookie servers. Only problem in my opinion is it seems pretty unbalanced with the favor in the marines direction. The jet-pack shotgun combo is way over powered since when it comes to ranged attacks the aliens are lacking and cant match speed and mobility of the jet-pack. Other then balance issues its a fun game with few levels but the pace and tactics make those all that are needed for now. Expand
  26. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    Awesome! I can't stop playing it... Memories come from 10 years ago :) Though it needs some graphics optimization, performance is not awesome unfortunately.
  27. Nov 13, 2012
    10
    This is my favourite FPS/Strategy game so far. If you're fan of NS1, then for love of the god buy it. I really like the changes they did compared to NS1. The graphics are nice and gameplay is smooth too. Teamwork is key to success in this game, I really recommend to try this game. It's worth every penny.
  28. Aug 21, 2013
    9
    A cool creative take on a class TDM/FPS genre with a dose of top-down RTS thrown in for measure (Commander Chair/Hive). Somewhat of a rehash from the original Natural Selection and with some of the things we learned along the way (Tremulous). Aliens are varied, rewarding but hard to master, Maries come loaded with tech to take out the alien scum. A cool, unique and addictive style well worth the time required to get your head around. Promotes team play (safety in numbers) and abolishes camping by rewarding work-ethic over ktdr. Expand
  29. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    It was a long way of evolution..** First of all, sorry for my bad English. I played the game since the early alphas and i played part 1 as well. The positive aspects of the game are the big difference between the classes, (teams, weapons, attacks, tactics,..), the fine graphics, the complex maps and, of course, the combination of RTS and FPS. I don't know how long it takes new players to get used to all the game mechanics. It took me very long when I started playing beta after a long pause but its it's was easier now with all the help that found into the game in the last months.

    **..and finally they released a great sequel of a great half life 1 mod.
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  30. Oct 31, 2012
    9
    I played the original Natural Selection back in the days of CAL and I'm glad to see the developers succeed with NS2. Unlike remake failures like CS:Source and CSGO, this game was actually developed by people with passion - and it shows. The controls are intuitive and the engine is gorgeous (*bad dum ching*). It may take a bit of time to learn how to play and com but you won't regret it.

    9/10 - only reason is that there needs to be improvement in what was called 'interp' in NS1 but could also be called netcode.. Being killed when your character is 5 meters around a corner is an irritating and unnecessary part of the gameplay.
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    71
    Certainly not for newcomers in the genre; but it’s a blast for hardcore gamers that crave for action instead of the classic FPS mechanics and want matches that last something between a Counter-Strike and Battlefield 3 battle. [March 2013]
  2. Feb 15, 2013
    60
    Natural Selection 2 is unquestionably a unique title, but its bar to entry is incredibly high for the average FPS player. For the hardcore strategist, it has its appeal, but its complexity severely limits the enjoyment in matches that aren’t significantly populated by experts at the game.
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    75
    I am sure Natural Selection 2 will gather a group of devoted fans. After all it’s a good, surprisingly original game. [CD-Action 02/2013, p.50]