Worth the price, this gem is a near-perfect relaunch of an old multiplayer classic.

User Rating: 9 | Natural Selection 2 PC
Having participated from the alpha over two years ago, I can say that I have watched this game evolve to the great build it was upon release. The engine still has some optimization problems but generally it runs fine. Load times can be long, and sometimes the frames per second will seize up if a lot of things happen on screen at once. Usually disabling Ambient Occlusion will increase performance, though I just run it without anti-aliasing and I can play with a consistent 30 fps on my relatively mid-low end machine.

If you want a solid multiplayer game centered around team cooperation and coordination, do yourself a favor and get this. Gameplay is solid, gun-play and movement is fair, controls for the aliens are tight and centered. The game is well balanced, so far the aliens seem to have a slight advantage, but competent marines can easily counter them early game and win.

The maps are incredibly designed and are complex affairs, with many redundant pathways and switchbacks allowing multiple means of attack and retreat, giving vast amounts of replay value. The lack of the map's symmetry only adds to the fun, and competitive RTS and FPS developers should take note. Symmetrical maps, in my experience, are boring and force players on a pathway of repeated experiences. Having the maps varied adds a dash of believability to it being a part of a bigger and living world, instead of the inclination of being just another arena to duke it out in.

The strategy elements for the team commanders isn't as in depth as, let's say, Age of Empires 2, but its a step above anything else you'd find in an RTS/FPS hybrid. Considering games usually last anywhere from five minutes to a half hour I'd say the RTS side is as balanced as it needs to be. The marines have a strong mid-game and potentially late game, while the aliens approach each tier of development as the jack-of-all trades, so to speak. With the aliens it largely depends on the individual player's talents instead of the resource pool of the entire team like the Marines. Aliens have the ability to be relatively self-sufficient, while the marines actively depend upon one another to keep resources flowing through map control.

New players should be as helpful as they can, and ask for help when they need it. Follow orders. Stay in groups unless you definitely know what you're doing, a lone player is a dead player.

9/10 Would buy again.

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