50 Gamechangers Natural Selection 2 feature image

Published on February 22nd, 2014 | by Nidde


50 gamechangers: Natural Selection 2

Scan of Natural Selection 2 from LeveL #74

Natural Selection 2

Format: PC
Developer: Unknown Worlds
Premiere: 2012

It’s not just Nintendo going for asymmetrical gameplay. The multiplayer game Natural Selection 2 – where 32 players can square off simultaneously – is both shooter and realtime strategy in the one and same indie package. The first Natural Selection by the way was a mod for Half-life. That wouldn’t do for the sequel – so Unknown Worlds built their own game engine.

Image and text scanned and translated from LeveL, issue 76

While the curve for getting into Natural Selection may be a little steep, the game itself has a lot to offer. Claiming that it’s a combination of FPS and RTS is a little untruthful, because you either play FPS or you play RTS. Granted, as long as the RTS-section of the game is available you can switch to it, but since there’s a limit to the amounts of commanders/hive minds per team most players will play an FPS.

But the premise itself is absolutely phenomenal, and the execution is spot on for what they’re trying to deliver. A team-based shooter with asymmetrical teams; marines versus aliens. And not the aliens from the franchise, this isn’t a licensed title, but an entirely original setup of creatures. And the focus on team-play sets the tone for the entire game. You have to play WITH your shooter companions so that your commander can help you more efficiently and expand your area, going solo will only get you killed and feeds your opponents.
The mentioned curve comes from the game being multiplayer-only and the dedicated fanbase means you have to learn to play good pretty quickly to not get discouraged. But hopefully you’ll play with people that are helpful.

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About the Author

For 500 days, from January 1st, 2013, until May 16th, 2014, Nidde will set aside all AAA-titles and only play indie games to find out if the indie scene can replace the big budget landscape.

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