User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 600 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 55 out of 600

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  1. Dec 28, 2012
    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. Collapse
  2. Jul 14, 2013
    While the production values aren't high a lot of fun can be had with this game if you're able to grab a group of mates to play with you or cooperative strangers; The game's success really hangs on the quality of the community and whether you are willing to get yourself involved too.
  3. Feb 12, 2013
    This is a great game depending on what server you land on. While it is open to modification it is also open to exploits. When you get into an exploit free game the title is simply fantastic. When you are faced with an exploiter or worse a whole server of exploiters the game becomes pointless. The mechanics are great, the atmosphere is intense and while I prefer to play a marine the aliens can be fun as well. If I could split my score I would give the game play, atmosphere, graphics, and melding of first person shooter with strategy a 10 and give the overly open code a 3. However I am forced to give a single score and reluctantly give it a 7. Expand
  4. Nov 4, 2012
    Looks ok and runs ok so it is surprising they could have messed up it from there on in. The premise is promising but I am guessing the people that wrote it dont play it as anything other than Marines. For a Marine you have nice tool and feel fairly omnipotent most of the time. Especially when you have points to spend. But as aliens it is like your on the wrong side of an old school arcade game. It doesnt take a grenade to kill you or even a single burst but one bullet from a burst. Insta kill if remotely near a hit. Sort of fun for a bit as a marine but it does feel a bit hollow and people keep leaving if the Marine team is full. I wish I had known and I would have wasted money on it. The issues are glaring so hopefully it will be fixed but right now I would avoid. Could be a game if the game busting balancing gets fixed. What blows my mind is that this is so obvious yet the game was still released. Expand
  5. May 15, 2014
    Any game that doesn't even start gets a zero in my book, because that is how much fun I got out of it. I feel bad for the guy who gifted it to me, but I'm glad I didn't pay for it.
  6. Dec 23, 2012
    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
  7. Oct 23, 2013
    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.
  8. Mar 25, 2013
    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
  9. Feb 16, 2013
    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.
  10. Jul 19, 2014
    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
  11. Nov 7, 2012
    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
  12. Oct 31, 2012
    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!
  13. Feb 17, 2013
    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
  14. Apr 17, 2014
    The biggest problem of Natural Selection has always been that even in the most casual of matchups, there is a heavy reliance on teamwork. There's no way to Rambo in a game like this, which means you're only as strong as the people you're working with. It's great as a high-level competitive e-sport, but for people who just want something to play in their free time, this isn't the right game. If you're a newbie you're going to get chewed out constantly by people who *know* what they're doing and are really vocal about how bad you are to the entire team (since it isn't just a matter of K/D ratio, you need to coordinate resource captures, base strikes, base defense, buliding, etc. etc.), or you're going to be the guy that knows what he's doing, and feel like a loser for getting frustrated that people who don't play as much as you are ruining a *video game* for you.

    Aside from that, the load times are still ridiculously long, and the game has ludicrously high system requirements, either because it isn't well optimized or it's too big for its own good (the longer games go on, the more tech both sides have which means more effects going off at once, and there's also more buildings, more creep for the game to render).

    It's a really great concept, but the realization is that a game like this is too massive to be wielded. The engine collapses upon itself regularly, and you aren't going to even be an "average" player without being able to play this game like a full-time job.

    The 6 is not because it's a bad game, it's just too ambitious for its own good. I feel like the development team is composed of a bunch of hardcore gamers that are passionate about their work and wanted to take a genius idea they had and share it with the world, but they didn't have anyone around to rein them in and keep them in reality. In NS1 or NS2. Which is a real shame, because if this game was even half of what it is right now, it'd not only remain as a unique multiplayer FPS in a sea of derivative titles, it'd likely actually be a better game all around.
  15. Sep 18, 2013
    I played the original. This is a good game and a good remake. The community sucks and the lack of anti-cheats (full on VAC is not enabled) hurts the game a lot.
  16. May 23, 2013
    Just bought this and played a quick game. Seems like it has a solid and original concept, what with the commander and all the perks you buy in-game. Seems like a mix between a moba (hon/dota) and a FPS. Shame my framerate was quite low (about 40) I'd imagine if I could get it higher it would be a lot better because the aliens move so fast I barely see... Maybe that's the point. Only problem is the small(ish) player base so it takes a while to find a decent server. This is FPS at its finest though, this is how aliens vs predator game should've been. Expand
  17. Jul 20, 2013
    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.
  18. Dec 25, 2012
    I hate giving a game like this such a low score because you can tell a lot of passion and effort went into making it. I played the old natural selection mod for 1 day but it was still unfinished at the time and I didn't really understand it so my review is not from the perspective of everything in NS2 should be like NS1. Starting with performance, this game is about as bad as they come with optimization. If you're buying this game make sure you have an i5-7 processor or AMD equivalent because from what I've read this game takes all the processing power you can throw at it. My video card is decent enough and plays many games at max settings 1080Hd res but if I go anywhere near mid-max settings on this game the video starts to stutter. According to the forums the problem is caused by my weak processor (8400 wolfdale) and not by my video card so I run the game at very low settings to make it playable. In my non-expert opinion the small dev team should have just licensed some game engine and used that instead of trying to invent their own. Now to the gameplay, this game is treated like a casual fps multiplayer where players can drop in and out of a game and switch teams but this style of matchmaking does not work with the gameplay which is far from casual. I would say 80% of your victory/loss relies on the commander which is a lot of pressure to put on one position that can be taken by simply walking up to the hive and pressing E. I held off on writing this review until I played in some more "advanced" servers but I noticed they behaved in a similar fashion to the "rookie" servers. Lack of commanders and bad commanders doing nothing (no upgrades, no communication). Without upgrades or communication from the comm the game is over yet you have to sit through the whole round unless everybody drops out to the lobby. Why not require a comm to be picked before the round starts and maybe add an ability to vote for comms if multiple people want to command. The current system is just absurd. If your team gets behind because there is no commander or there is a total idiot with no communication skills commanding the round is over. I have yet to see a team recover from such a setback. I have no problem with unforgiving team games (I play a lot of dota2) but at least structure the matchmaking properly with rating systems or voting systems or something. When you break it all down I don't even think voting or ratings would help the game because it is structurally flawed by putting too much responsibility on one position. In the 20 NS2 games I've played, about 1 or 2 were evenly matched. Im not giving up on the game because I think it could offer some unique teamplay aspects but to stay sane I might have to start learning to be a commander when nobody else steps up to the task. Expand
  19. Nov 17, 2012
    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.
  20. Nov 2, 2012
    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.
  21. Nov 2, 2012
    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
  22. Nov 13, 2012
    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
  23. Sep 5, 2013
    Great game and a ton of fun with friends. Draw backs are the maps and how same old same old they become which really hurts the game long term. But they are always adding to it.
  24. Dec 20, 2012
    The game itself is like everyone says , fun times but omfg the load screen to join a game is stupid dumb annoying. I literally sit from 5-15mins waiting for it to load then initialize then precache, etc etc etc its **** retarded.
  25. Nov 8, 2012
    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.
  26. Mar 7, 2013
    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.
  27. Mar 29, 2013
    This game is very creative and a great game to play with friends. Modded servers are AMAZING, you could pretty much play a different modded server once per hour for a whole day, and it would never get boring. However, if you are not playing with friends, matchmaking is terrible. Basically what happens is you either select a server or use quick match (which obviously selects a server) and once the server loads you go to a room where you pick to be a marine or alien. However, once you are in the room, either you pick a side and there is no one playing the game or the sides are locked. Matchmaking never choses a balanced server and it takes forever to find one. The gameplay is very fun, and it is great to play with friends. However, I advise to look elsewhere if you are looking for quick multiplayer games Expand
  28. nop
    Jan 18, 2013
    I both love and hate this game. Idea is fun, but implementation is abysmal. Let me list some of the points: Horrible framerates even on lowest settings. On a decent system capable of 1080p @ 60 FPS in last year games I only have single-digit framerates in heated battle scenes in sub-HD display resolution and lowest possible settings. Single digits, in a fast-paced game! Network lags. For me, it is next to impossible to hit faster-moving targets. From time to time I suddently find myself in a different corner of the room. Questionable game mechanics and balance, seemingly changing after every patch. Countless minor issues with user interface and controls. alien vision frequently limits visibility instead of improving it, this doesn't make sense. NO MATCHMAKING. Literally, you can find a seasoned veteran being ordered around by someone who sounds like 12-year old child and has a green rookie nickname. This is fun for a few times, but not sustainable in a long term. No support for russian language despite popularity of this game in Russian-speaking countries. I would accept many of these problems if I didn't buy this game for 20 bucks assuming it's a finished game, not an alpha. 9 for what it tries to be, 1 for implementation quality and misleading self-advertisement. Expand
  29. Sep 17, 2014
    This is a game with great potential but falls short of greatness. The community desperately needs more players, who are turned away by the combination of toxic experience of being pubstomped by the pros and being berated by them. The lack of matchmaking prevents this from becoming a more widely appreciated title. A diamond in the rough.
  30. Nov 27, 2012
    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.
  31. Dec 28, 2012
    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. Collapse

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
    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
    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
    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]