Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 575 Ratings

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  • Summary: Natural Selection 2 is a revamped version of the Half-Life mod that will be available through Steam as a stand-alone purchase.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Nov 5, 2012
    Natural Selection 2 is one of the best FPS online of the last years. It blends FPS and RTS perfectly. Buy it.
  2. Dec 5, 2012
    Quotation forthcoming.
  3. Dec 12, 2012
    Tightly designed version of the eternal struggle, aliens versus space marines. Maps make it too easy to lose one's bearings and biting/hitting a marine could use some visible feedback.
  4. Nov 6, 2012
    Natural Selection 2 isn't great only because it's different, but because it does asymmetrical multiplayer so damn well, offering up a variety of experiences in one small game.
  5. Nov 23, 2012
    Natural Selection 2 has quite a few things to be nitpicky about. Pared down strategy elements, scanty arsenal of weapons, lack of single-player missions and decent tutorials – yep, it's all there, but, in contrast to shooters that come off big assembly lines, the developers put love and effort into making of this game.
  6. Nov 12, 2012
    In keeping with its title, the steep learning curve is a form of natural selection of its own. If you're not willing or able to drop the badass space-marine demeanor you have been conditioned to adopt by other titles, you'll regularly play a huge part in the downfall of your team. At the same, it's a hugely satisfying experience to act as a well functioning military unit or monstrous collective. I'm sure this form of intergalactic Darwinism will continue to thrive in its own little biotope.
  7. Nov 7, 2012
    Natural Selection 2 offers a promising combination of strategy and first-person shooting, but disappointing execution holds it back. [Editor's Note: this quotation and score are from the original GameSpot review. Metacritic, per long-standing site policy, only accepts a publication's first review/score for a given game.]

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 209
  1. Oct 31, 2012
    Based on a 10 year old Half-Life 1 mod, the developers set out to create a standalone sequel, company, and their own engine (The Spark Engine) to one of the most popular Mods ever created. No small feat. What they have accomplished has been nothing short of incredible. Not only is the game more fun and more accessible to new players than the first game was, but their source code & tools come with the game, so ANYONE can make their own mods in a simple scripting language called Lua. Teamplay is encouraged by the game mechanics themselves, which forces players to play together, encouraging a friendly vibrant community. With the community's backing, the amazing game and technology you get for such a low price, this might just make NS2 one of the most important games of recent times. Not just for how amazingly fun the actual gameplay is, but for what it could mean for Modders and total conversions in the future. This game might just spawn the next Dota. A truly spectacular achievement for such a small company. Expand
  2. Nov 6, 2012
    Its been years since this was a CS MOD and loved it. Now its back and its a Official game?! WhAT! saw it, bought it, LOVE IT. marine or aliens there both equally fun.... i sense no un-balance, feels both side equal witch i love. Win or LOSE! i cant stop saying.... I LOVE IT!!!!! i thought i was gonna be bored after awhile but still its so open with options of team work....i cant never regret buying this for 24.99 when normally i expect to pay 59.99 Lol, its a must have! Add my steam ID "Shinigami4Life" this is one of a kind game that best discribs the perfect game lol... no serious! :D i would write more to show the passion for this game but ill just end it here hehe :P Expand
  3. Dec 31, 2013
    I believe Natural Selection 2 is a masterpiece of a game, that represents the perfect blend of FPS and RTS game play. It is one of the few games where teamwork and individual skill are highly rewarded. On top of that, the community is accepting of new players and offers a friendly hand to educate those who are new.

    Due to the fact that Natural Selection 2 is a hybrid of FPS and RTS game play, it allows for very competitive play in that the deciding factor of victory and defeat involves the long term decisions of a commander and/or the quick reactions and overall skill of the individual combatants (whether shooting aliens, or stalking marines). Due to this style of game play, games can very well last over an hour and yet feel very "tight" throughout the entire match.

    However, as of now, there is a lack of a ranked match system. The fact that the average game easily lasts over 20 minutes, and longer games tend to last for at least an hour, a very serious deciding factor of the winner is simply how many players leave and join the game. I understand that this is not really a game breaking problem, however due to the fact that players do not have much "loyalty" to their respective team, and the fact that the average match is rather lengthy, if a number of "pro" players join or leave the match during the middle of the game, it could drastically change the fate of the match instantly. I believe that having a sort of ranked match system, like that in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, will serve a very competitive game like Natural Selection 2 justice. Having ranked matches will also remove the occasional "newb stomping" matches, where there is a skill-based team stack.

    The game features asymmetrical teams with very different game play styles. This provides for a different style of FPS game play, and not the traditional shooter vs shooter like in most FPS games. I believe that because of this asymmetry, it expands the average gamer's experiences about FPS games in general. However, in Natural Selection 2, because it is also an RTS hybrid, a player could choose from essentially four game play experiences within one match alone which highly increases the game's overall learning curve. These four game play "roles" are: Marine commander, Marine player, Alien commander, and Alien player. Each type of "role" presents new strategies and information upon which the player has to know, and ultimately, having a sense of all the 4 roles is the minimum requirement for being "decent" in the game. Overall, having asymmetrical teams can interest those who are tired of the same-old shooter vs shooter, and because Natural Selection 2 is an asymmetrical FPS/RTS hybrid, such game play increases the overall learning curve to become fully understanding of every aspect, tactics and counter-tactics within the game.

    Do not let the lack of a ranked match system and rather difficult learning curve stop you from playing this game however. The lack of a ranked match system simply means that Natural Selection 2 is always going to be played on a "casual" game play setting, which many FPS games have. The difficult learning curve is also easily passed if one simply spends about a good 2 hours playing in a sandbox training server by themselves, learning all of the abilities, techniques, tech-trees, map-knowledge, weapons, and life forms to get that "full" understanding of the 4 game play "roles" I mentioned earlier. Furthermore, if you still need further clarification and help, the overall community in Natural Selection 2 servers are kind, vocal, and willing to help those who ask.

    I believe that Natural Selection 2 marks the standard for all asymmetrical and even symmetrical FPS/RTS hybrid games in the future. I would highly recommend this game to anyone, especially those with a background in playing other FPS and RTS games as they could easy apply their knowledge of both game genres into their Natural Selection 2 game play.
  4. Oct 31, 2012
    Natural Selection 2 is a fantastic game that blends first-person shooting with RTS elements. The dynamic map control reflected through growing/receding infestation helps to reinforce the atmospheric nature of the game. Probably the friendliest, most enjoyable community that I've ever seen in gaming, the mechanics of the game actually encourage helpfulness and cooperative teamplay. I'm not sure what else to say -- if you don't like this game, maybe team-based first person shooters just aren't for you. Expand
  5. Nov 19, 2012
    This game is an amazing blend of FPS & RTS. If you like team-based games, you're in for a real treat. The only reason I don't give it a 10 out of 10 is that sometimes I don't like how you know you have won or lost a game, but it takes another 20 to 30 minutes for the game to actually end. Still, I highly recommend! Expand
  6. Nov 2, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Buy this game if you like:

    - Natural Selection 1
    - Nuclear Dawn
    - Savage series
    - Left 4 Dead series
    - Alien vs Predator series
    - Gloom(Quake 2)
  7. Feb 17, 2014
    I've been playing Natural Selection since it was a mod for HL way back in 2002. I was there for first beta, the content additions, the constant nerfing and rebalancing where each patch lowered the quality of the gameplay (one step forward, two steps back, like most MMOs or games focused on tournament/elite level play), the insulting community which included the mod makers themselves (a nastier group of people you'll be hard pressed to find, even the wider MOBA community isn't as bad), and the slow grind down from "great but poorly balanced mod that everyone loves to play" to "semi-balanced tournament mod, hated by all except the few elites that still play it". I pre-ordered NS2 (two copies) and then have had nothing but bad experience after bad experience since release. NS2 has one of the worst communities in gaming history, the engine is not optimized AT ALL (runs terrible, loads terrible, regardless of hardware), the gameplay itself is horribly unbalanced unless every player in the game is elite (one single bad or newbie player can ruin any game in minutes), and worst of all almost nobody is playing the game so you're stuck with the same group of elite losers every single time you play. Thus, Natural Selection 2 is indeed a natural progression from where NS1 left off: It's got slightly better balance than NS1 had after all the patches, but it's the kind of balance where it is ONLY balanced when everyone is a pro, otherwise the game isn't even worth playing at all because nobody is playing NS or NS2 anymore unless they've been faithfully playing since release and newbies are instantly kicked even if they're trying. I got sick of the community more than the game to be honest, because you can't have one without the other in a game like NS/NS2 where your experience is 100% dependent on the people you play with. The fact that nobody plays NS or NS2 anymore speaks volumes about the series in general and where it is heading: Nowhere, and slowly. If a 12 year veteran (first beta of NS was Halloween, 2002, back when I was still at University) hates a series that is totally hostile to newbies, how can it survive? Obvious answer is obvious. Enjoy your elite circlejerk losers, and thanks for turning so many people off kickstarter games and the Natural Selection franchise in general. Expand

See all 209 User Reviews