The Darwinner Takes It All: Natural Selection 2

By Kieron Gillen on February 8th, 2010 at 12:35 pm.

Marines and aliens, coming to blows. What are the chances?

Crikey! At last. Following their winning of the best upcoming indie game in the ModDb award, they’ve uploaded some better quality footage than what was used in the award reel. It’s still pre-alpha, they stress, and they wouldn’t normally release this into the community in this state, but they’re in a celebratory, sharing mood. Frankly, it looks fine to me.

Thanks for Nir Gooday for the heads up.

, .

73 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Nick says:

    I *love* the teeth-o-vision for the alien there, it reminds me of some old splatter film.

    • Clovis says:

      I think I would be embarrassed if caught playing a game with teeth-o-vision.

      I can’t tell if teeth-o-vision is an example of narm or Nightmare Retardant.

    • Nick says:

      I don’t think its either in the game, its not mean to be super serious.

    • Martin Edelius says:

      The mouth cam is in the game ans was one of the most loved features of the first game.

    • Dinger says:

      Teeth-o-vision is awesome. Your TV trope assertions are powerless! I maul you!

      Besides, it’s an fps convention for the player’s weapon to be in view. If that weapon is teeth, you can either show the view from the eyes, and suffer players thinking they’re unarmed as well as melee combat parallax problem (leg bite mistaken for amorous advance), or teeth-o-vision, which is EXACTLY what your non-gaming buddies need to see.

    • Clovis says:

      @Martin, Dinger: I can understand this working well and being really fun for a gamer. I’m just saying it would look wicked retarded to a non-gamer (say wife) seeing you playing it. It’s supposed to look cool, but comes off as silly.

      This wouldn’t stop me from playing it. I gladly played Viva Pinata, and broadcast that through GFWL to my teenage brother. I entertained my wife for hours with tales hot buzzlegum action!

    • Dinger says:

      Clovis, your wife was the one wanting you to convert yourself and your kingdom to Christianity, right? If I recall what my boy Greg says, she was cool with you continuing to slaughter folks on the battlefield. So maybe it’s time for her to cut you some slack on the teeth-cam issue.

      FWIW, I think the teeth-cam looks silly too. That’s why it’s so cool. If you’re gonna have a bunch of men, women and children act like adolescent males in an arena laced with testosterone, phased-energy weapons and alien canines, you gotta have some superficially silly aspect. The teeth: they shock, and draw the viewers attention in. Now, the giblets have to seal the deal. I mean, other games have customizable uniform patches. But what other game lets you tear those patches off and swallow them whole.
      I’m thinking this is a perfect showpiece for the foreground space in 3d-videocard technology.

    • Leper says:

      As far as I can remember the teeth cam was explained by the alien actually having its eyes inside its mouth…

    • jsutcliffe says:

      @Leper

      Not really, but somebody did make a replacement skulk model with two cartoonish eyes in its maw.

      I think the best explanation is that it’s emulating predators who close their eyes to protect them when they attack, like sharks. Also, mouthcam just looks cool. Other also: How else would you represent biting from a first-person perspective?

    • Cooper says:

      Re: Teeth cam

      Eyes inside of head or no, we get obligatory guns bobbing gratuitously to the bottom right of our screens all the time. It makes perfect sense to have the aliens’ ‘weapon’ framing the view.

    • Clovis says:

      @Dinger: Yeah. I didn’t like that part where I had to take a bath, but the killing all seemed to go so much better afterwards and people really started doing what I told them to do, so I really can’t complain.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Jeeva says:

    Ahh, it does look nice. I’m looking forward to the release. =)

  3. Heliocentric says:

    The gorge isn’t cute anymore :(

  4. Scythe says:

    Glee! Footage!

    I hope that third-person shot of the gorge was for cinematic effect. I’m not a fan of third person in my action games.

  5. Vague-rant says:

    Looks fine except for the stuttering…

    Maybe its a product of the recording software or its just not quite optimised yet (I’ve no doubt it’ll be better when its ready to ship), but in any case there’s a chance some people with lower end systems might be reluctant to get the preorder right away.

    I daresay someone like EA wouldn’t release something with such a low framerate, but that’s probably more of a byproduct of lack of communication to their public than anything else. I hope an indie company won’t be penalised for showing what they’ve got at such an early stage.

  6. Flowerpot Wang says:

    I am so glad I preordered the overgrowth/natural selection 2 pack now :D

    • DXN says:

      Same! :D

    • Stromko says:

      Personally I’m not comfortable preordering a game that AFAIK has no announced release date.

      It looks nice and interesting now, but a year from now? Something better could come along. Being alpha footage of course, NS2 could improve a great deal from the videos, but that wouldn’t be required, and what would I be missing out on if I waited until a month before release when they have an even spiffier launch trailer ready?

  7. Rotekian says:

    It does look good. It is also interesting to note what the video doesn’t show.
    The marines never seem to shoot directly at the aliens (although on the last shot it is too close to be sure). The alien doesn’t attack at all.
    I should note that this isn’t a complaint and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished game.

  8. DesolationJones says:

    To be honest that looked incredibly polished. I’m assuming attack/hit animations are yet to be completed seeing as the aiming was console poor and nothing actually died.

    Excited about this to be honest.

  9. Dominic White says:

    I’m super-chuffed right now that I preordered Overgrowth back when it was something like $30. A few months down the line, I get an email saying that I get a free copy of NS2 thrown in!

    Huzzah and things!

  10. JonFitt says:

    At this rate it could well be a better Aliens game than AvP 2010.

  11. SirKicksalot says:

    So I guess its main competition will be Interstellar Marines…

    • Heliocentric says:

      Nah. NS2 is multiplayer through and through. IM looks to be entirely singleplayer. Also, ns doesn’t have landsharks.

  12. jsutcliffe says:

    Looks almost exactly like NS1 with pretty graphics, which is all I want. I’m really looking forward to it.

  13. pafnucy says:

    Reminds me of Tremulous.

  14. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Can’t wait, NS1 was pure joy and this looks even better.

  15. asdadfafafwefea says:

    YYAAAAAAAWWNN…
    Marines? Again?
    Awesome!, I get to control professionally trained marine number 220475 to go on another adventure of shoot-tastic fun. No room for any interesting story here… Not even L4D-type non-verbal story telling. Oh well, everyone knows that all ships are manned to the teeth with marines, and not captains, navigational officers, doctors, numerous engineers, maintenance crews! Who needs all those types of people when all marines get access to this information in their training manual.

    You know, the quantum physics accelerator repairs are right next to which way to put a claymore. I’m sure storing temperature for unobtainium is in there too.

    … that’s my only gripe! More skins! Otherwise, looks great!

    • Lilliput King says:

      Your only gripe is the lack of Quantum Physicists as a playable class?

      It’s a big ask, to be honest.

    • Psychopomp says:

      …people play as the marines in NS?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ging says:

      Sometimes the alien team is full, so you have to play as marines!

      It’s a disgrace.

    • diebroken says:

      Naturally…

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      @asdadfafafwefea So Half Life would have been right up your street then?
      (also, some of the sailors on nuclear subs are supposed to know all about the reactor, so they know more than your average physicist, but point taken)

  16. Heliocentric says:

    The marines are teleported in nano bot infused storm troopers trying to destroy an ecology of sentient bacteria which deploy the alien combatants as antibodies.

    There will have been crews on these ships, its just the bacteria will have broken everything down for food.

  17. RogB says:

    not keen on the alien designs at all, but the graphical ‘fidelity’ looks great. that engine looks pretty tasty and the editor looks fun.

  18. PixelCody says:

    Absolutely loved NS1 and can’t wait for this to be released. I got so much joy out of encroaching on the Marine base with turrets. Funny that I can’t stand tower defense games. Desktop Tower Offense vs real players however..

    The video looks a bit choppy in places, I hope my machine holds up on relatively high settings.

  19. Collic says:

    rps, i swear your puns are getting worse !

    looking forward to this after watching that.

  20. Zyrxil says:

    Crikey, that claw on metal floor sound will get old fast.

  21. Tei says:

    I approbe all of this. Nice “commander encapsultion” animation. The teeth-o-vision is somewhat lame, but some people seems to like it. Other games with monsters (like AvP) runs with a minimalistic GUI, that I like better than this.
    Nice work soo far.

  22. saDFADAD says:

    True… I guess this IS an indie dev team. I should hold them to separate standards, I suppose… Kind of like how the standards are different between the Olympics and the Special Olympics.

    Seriously, what is preventing this team from getting creative? They have the gameplay aspect down, why not create some atomospher… nevermind this is pointless. RPSites don’t like to discuss.

    • Starky says:

      Huh? Do you understand the concept of pre-Alpha?

      They’re still building the basic engine and assets, building the basics of the game – which isn’t the time to start introducing new features or new idea’s – down that road lies endless feature creep. A game filled with half-baked idea’s.

      They are doing it right, make a good engine, make the assets look good, then make the core game-play as solid as the HL1 mod that made us all love NS.
      Then once that is done, once you have the foundation that is the time to start looking at new exciting features.

      Oh and your Olympics comment, dickish, massively dickish.

    • Lilliput King says:

      It’s true, we hate discussion.

      Also, whatever atomospher is.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Oh, yeah, you know us. The second someone opens their mouth to say something, we just roll our eyes and groan! “Shut up, atomospher, I’m trying to enjoy my tellie!”

      That atomospher feller can go fuck himself too

    • Tei says:

      saDFADAD: “Seriously, what is preventing this team from getting creative? They have the gameplay aspect down, why not create some atomospher… nevermind this is pointless. RPSites don’t like to discuss.”

      My experience with competitive communities is that don’t want these type of changes. Eyecandy for the sake of eyecandy is a malus. Graphics faithfull to the original are a bonus. Graphics that “get in the way” are a malus. “Clean design” is a bonus ( still TF2 has this ‘clean design’ philosophy but somehow the stile is conductive to awesomenes while normally this ‘clear design’ will get you some boring stuff ). Realistic maps is a malus. … I can continue..
      It could be that this people “know his public”.
      Multiplayers game-communities are more like this:
      http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/6529/ezquake004largewo4.jpg
      Than this:
      http://www.zumacaya.com/Videojuegos/Clive%20Barkers%20Jericho/clive_barker_s_jericho2.jpg
      note: not all people want his games look “clear”, but the ‘hivemind’ seems to want it that way.

    • Psychopomp says:

      …malus? I want to guess malice, but that makes no sense either.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Latin for evil, I think.

    • Tei says:

      yea, malus=bad, bonus=god, … sorry, my bad.

  23. cyrenic says:

    @everyone worried about system requirements

    Go look at their website! The system requirements are amazingly low:

    1.2 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, a DirectX 9 level graphics card, Windows Vista/2000/XP, mouse, keyboard and an internet connection.

    From: http://www.naturalselection2.com/buy

    • RogB says:

      do people ever believe, or use system requirements any more?
      ive always been of the opinion that they were utterly useless so never took any notice of them at all.

      except in the dos days…

    • cyrenic says:

      Yes.

  24. Babs says:

    I find it quite ansettling when people release PC FPS footage taken by someone using a joypad. It just ain’t right dammit.

  25. DMJ says:

    Something about this game deactivates my cynicism-gland. I want it to work.

  26. RandomEngy says:

    Wow, they release more footage of stuff I absolutely care nothing about. They can’t even shoot anything yet. I’m getting the feeling that they’ll make a bunch of pretty looking maps and models, then get around a table and ask “Alright, now how do we shoehorn in some gameplay around this?”

    • Lilliput King says:

      Are they going to be changing the basic gameplay concept from that in NS1, then?

    • RandomEngy says:

      Well, hopefully it will be more than just straight up making the models more pretty. I bring it up because from what I’ve seen so far, the game design is all backwards. In TF2 they’ll try out new weapons by getting the basic gameplay working with some stupid placeholder model. They’ll tweak, iterate and make it fun before going and making it cool looking. From NS2 all I’ve seen is “wow look at this fog effect.”

      I would have liked to hear more broad strokes about how they plan to fix the biggest gameplay problems of NS1. And this comes from someone who played NS a whole, whole lot.

  27. Dominic White says:

    Developers really shouldn’t release alpha or pre-alpha footage. Not because it’s not interesting, but because stupid people on the internet don’t understand what ‘alpha’ means and will complain that the game looks unfinished/unpolished.

    • Starky says:

      Nah, it is fine, I don’t want those people playing NS. They are the kind of people who drool over pre-rendered FMV trailers, the same people who bitch about bugs in a beta test, the same people who fall for back-of-box bullet-point game features.

      I’ll be quite happy if they never play NS – though I hope the buy a copy for the NS devs sake.

      Hell that was the best thing about combat maps in the original NS, it got rid of the idiots (not saying everyone who enjoyed co_ was an idiot, I enjoyed it), those Rambo wannabie deathmatch kiddies who were almost always dead weight on ns_ maps.

  28. Mark says:

    I hope people commenting on this game are familiar with the first Natural Selection, which was a mod for Half-Life (not Source, the ORIGINAL Half-Life from 10 years ago). Natural Selection was already a better game than almost every Aliens v. Marines game then and since.

    If you’re not familiar with it, it’s not purely an FPS. The marine side is controlled by a “Commander” who enters a command chair – I believe you see it in the video. The Commander player is basically playing an RTS. He sees the map from a top-down view and directs the marine players (who don’t HAVE to comply, actually) to go build resource nodes or other map points. The Commander can then use the resources from the nodes to drop more buildings like turrets and ammo consoles, as well as research better weapons (like grenade launchers and flame throwers).

    The alien side is completely different and more typical FPS.

    • Starky says:

      No way, the alien side was not typical FPS at all…

      For the marines one good commander could make or break a game, but the rest of the team really only needed to be able to follow waypoints and shoot – even your average halo 3 player could probably manage that.
      Oh and point the welder at things occasionally.

      Aliens had to quickly and efficiently decide roles, stick to them and perform them very well, adapt if those roles went wrong.
      Who’s going to save for hive? Who’s going to get what res node, and in what order? who’s going to early fade? Who’s going to lerk (if anyone)?

      With no central leadership Aliens needed much better teamwork and willingness to sacrifice for the team, because not everyone can go early fade – not if you want to win.
      Aliens also were much more reliant on personal skill for the whole team – compared to an average marine team needing a skilled commander. If your early fade died without doing anything, you were usually boned, because chances are the marines had shotguns, more RTs and level 2 armour/weapons by then – and were probably at that moment gunning towards your second hive before it could complete.

      While on the other hand, a good fade (of which I was one, not even close to the best, but good) knew that the most important thing for them to do was to survive. It wasn’t worth risking the Res investment for a few kills, your job was to slow the marines down, defend the vulnerable second hive and just chip away. If there were too many marines with shotguns, run away, go attack some lone marines (of which skulks should be tagging). Let some skulks go in to distract then blink in and kill one – but most of all survive to keep harassing them.

      So I’d say that marines was more your typical FPS so long as you were not commanding – aliens on the other hand was a utterly different experience from any other FPS out there
      A level of teamwork, and fast tactical choices that I don’t think any FPS before or since has managed to capture.

    • cyrenic says:

      @Mark

      It’s worth noting there will be an Alien commander in NS2.

  29. jsutcliffe says:

    Further to what Mark says about aliens being more typical FPS there’s one important difference, and that’s that they’re heavily focused on melee.

  30. Culprititus says:

    NS2 is very much looked forward to here.

    The amazing blend of intense FPS and strong RTS concepts really puts it in a very different standing to most FPS’s, RTS’s, RTT’s or other hybrids of these genres.

    NS2 will feature some very interesting territory control RTS aspects inspired by CoH. The aliens will have dynamic infestation that will grow and expand under the control of the alien ‘commander’, while the marine side will have a power-grid system that connects their bases and structures together.

    While NS1 had no such explicit territory control mechanism, the emergent gameplay certainly implied it most of the time. Much like higher level RTS’s, scouting and countering were extremely important for the team to function as a whole.

    • Starky says:

      This almost reads like a PR blurb…

      “emergent gameplay”, “dynamic infestation” “aspects inspired by…” and “territory control mechanism” all phrases I’d expect to see in a PR statement, or Dev interview. I swear Devs have a checklist of these terms handed to them by the PR dept. and told to put as many in an interview as they can…

      I’m sure you didn’t intend it, I just thought it amusing.

    • Culprititus says:

      Well if I can get a gig doing game PR, I’d be very pleased!

  31. Thiefsie says:

    I hope they improve the creature/marine animations a fair bit…! Otherwise looking good!

  32. Melf_Himself says:

    Bungie called, they want their Master Chief back.

  33. Malibu Stacey says:

    ITT: obv trolls who never played nor even heard of the first game. e.g “Melf_Himself”.

  34. Morticus says:

    “How’d I get to be so good?”

    XD