Natural Selection 2 Selects October Launch Date, Naturally

By Nathan Grayson on September 6th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.

Eventually, natural selection will fail our frail, ground-bound species. But when it does, there will be jetpacks. They are the wind beneath our lack of wings.

True fact: natural selection, the “survival of the fittest” cornerstone of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, was named after Unknown Worlds’ Natural Selection 2. Yes, that’s right: Natural Selection 2 has been in development since the mid-1800s. Check a history book. It’s the truth. But now, after generations of tweaking and perfecting its particular brand of asymmetrical aliens vs marines blasting/teeth-gnashing, the developer’s ready to unleash its promising creation on our lowly, non-immortal forms. What exactly will you get, though? Let’s find out.

Natural Selection 2′s dropping on a thus-far-unspecified day in October, but pre-ordering – usually a dirty word that I won’t allow to escape from my mouth in even the most hardened and gang-violence-prone of nurseries – is actually pretty tantalizing here. Basically, the standard edition will run you $24.99, but if you snag it before launch, you get a free upgrade to the $39.99 deluxe edition – which comes with a soundtrack, art book, special armor, and other goodies.

Granted, previous supporters of NS2 are the real winners here. To show its gratitude, Unknown Worlds is handing out the deluxe edition, a free additional copy, and continued beta access for folks who got in on the testing process’ ground floor. That’s pretty cool, I think.

But is it worth risking your time, money, and pristine, un-trampled-by-giant-elephant-monsters body? Well, you can watch an entire shout-casted match below and judge for yourself.

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38 Comments »

  1. Zanchito says:

    I have it and it’s a brilliant game. And I don’t like FPSes all that much!

  2. deadly.by.design says:

    This looks really interesting, but there are simply too many good games to choose from these days.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I played the hell out of the original HL1 mod & am intrigued to see how they’ve improved on it but I fear if I buy it I’ll either play it a couple of times & not bother going back or it’ll eat into my Dota 2 addiction playing time.
      It’s hard enough to find time to play Just Cause 2 (which is fantastic fun) and Demon Souls in between Dota 2 & real life.

  3. Apfelkern says:

    Why doesn’t the news post mention that all of the people who previously pre-ordered the game are getting a free upgrade to the deluxe version and are also getting a extra free copy of the game to gift it to friends. Unknown Worlds Entertainment is giving out ~45.000 free copies of the game with this!

    • Zanchito says:

      But it does!

      “Granted, previous supporters of NS2 are the real winners here. To show its gratitude, Unknown Worlds is handing out the deluxe edition, a free additional copy, and continued beta access for folks who got in on the testing process’ ground floor. That’s pretty cool, I think.”

      • Apfelkern says:

        But the number of copies is the important part, it’s not just a few copies. They’re giving away the incredible number of 45.000 copies of the game!

    • Grey Ganado says:

      Not everyone has friends.

      • OMMad says:

        Well they’ll be getting some new ones when the free copies get out.

  4. SelfEsteemFund says:

    Really fantastic game by a team of very talented & honest developers, this is one of the few mp-only games which will have a dedicated fan-base long after release. How someone can pay £50 for Borderlands 2 + DLC rape but not drop £19 on NS2 which gets free updates & mod support is just insane. Support your indie devs people!

    If there’s one thing I can nitpick about it’s performance/lack of optimisation, I’ve heard the plan was to get all planned features in the game then start optimising (iirc) which is reasonable enough but with the release date closing in I just wonder how much they can possibly get done, there’s always the updates though.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Well, in my case through a combination of Green Man Gaming deals, aforementioned site giving my credit for free crap I never played and then somebody at Steam cocking up in a fairly major way, I got Borderlands 2 plus a Season Pass for £16. I ain’t complaining.

      • Bork Titflopsen says:

        “How someone can pay £50 for Borderlands 2 + DLC rape but not drop £19 on NS2 which gets free updates & mod support is just insane.”
        I raised you better than this, son!

        Really though, can you explain to me exactly what you mean by ‘Borderlands 2 + DLC rape’? It seems to me that 50 bucks is a pretty normal price for a full-sized AAA title. Pre-ordering giving you guaranteed access to future DLC, free of charge, also doesn’t strike me as anything inherently objectionable.

        • Shockeh says:

          Unfairly playing at post analysis, but all valid counter-arguments:

          1. Because ’50 bucks’ and ‘£50′ are not equatable at all.
          2. Because forcing a pre-purchase (on games which often turn out to be questionable themselves) in order to get the ‘full’ game, because DLC is rarely ‘add-ons’ but more ‘core content we felt we could monetise separately’ is questionable.
          3. See #2 to understand why it’s not ‘full-sized’.

          • aepervius says:

            True with some company, but has not been the case with gearbox. look at borderland 1 DLC for example.

          • Bork Titflopsen says:

            #1 Moot point. The word ‘bucks’ is used to describe an amount of currency NOT a type of currency. The kind of money it describes depends on the context, in this case that would be British Pounds.

            #2 But they don’t force you to pre-purchase at all. Not only will the DLC not be available at launch, as it stands now it’ll only add a flavor character that is in no way adds or subtracts to the original story. It’s also very easy to conveniently forget a companies track record when it comes to DLC and generalize it among with the rest of the industry.

            #3 Will someone please clean up the redundancy spill in isle three?!

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Prevailing opinion says bucks has always meant dollars. The pound equivalent has always been quid.

            So says the magic 8 ball.

          • Chaz says:

            And besdies that, Borderlands 2 is not retailing for £50 anyway. It’s £29.99 on Steam for a single copy or £89.99 for 4 copies, and also Amazon have it listed for £24.49.So you could have Borderlands 2 for as little as £3.50 more than Natural Selection 2 if you bought a 4 pack. Suddenly doesn’t seem quite so insane now does it.

    • Flint says:

      Because not only Borderlands 2 has a singleplayer mode, but the multiplayer mode is also completely different to NS2 and it’s easy to imagine a person who buys one won’t necessarily buy the other.

  5. Shockeh says:

    I’ve been part of the the Natural Selection community since 2002, and it’s one of the most cohesive, friendly places you’ll ever visit on the Internet. The game managed to collect such a good fanbase, and I think that’ll hugely help Natural Selection 2.

    • Bork Titflopsen says:

      I think it being quite a niche title really helped with that. Now that it’s a more prominent entity in the industry the internet’s general attitude will cross over with the wave of new players that it’ll get. Let’s hope the existing community is strong enough to keep the new guys in check.

      (Admittedly, the way the game was/is set up and the way they force you to work together if you want any chance at survival at all is a work of art and is something that I really miss in other team based competitive games, like LoL or Counter-Strike)

    • Williz says:

      I agree but I really miss the siege game mode, no one plays it anymore on NS :(

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      NS community was pretty decent 10 years ago when HL1 mods were all the rage. The only exception being the rift between ‘competitive’ players & ‘pub’ players but that’s the same in any multiplayer game community in my experience. Neither side was innocent before anyone jumps on either bandwagon.

  6. masterpine says:

    NS2 Beta became pretty much feature complete recently with the delightful addition of Robofist/Minigun wielding giant Exosuits. Punching aliens in a giant mech, if that doesn’t convince you this things a bit alright then nothing will. Delightful trailer of this here: http://www.youtube.com/unknownworlds

    The best thing about NS2 isn’t in any video or press release. The community rules. We want you to play better and learn this thing. It is hard and odd but oh so rewarding. 11 years on and i still have not gotten tired of this thing.

  7. ilduce says:

    It’s not a giant elephant monster, it’s a giant rhinoceros monster, as can be witnessed from the huge horn sticking out of it’s face.

    • Williz says:

      It used to be more elephantine based, now it’s more Gorilhno

  8. Duke of Chutney says:

    been playing in the beta for over a year now and i can confirm that it is as good as it looks.

    the original HL mod still had a couple of functional servers last time i checked (about a year ago mind you), nearly a decade after it was released. The beta usually has around a dozen servers that are well populated so i suspect it will have an enduring community.

  9. subedii says:

    Heard about this on-and-off for years.

    Was never really interested in it until I saw the series of videos TotalBiscuit did showcasing the two sides and the commander mode.

    Sealed my pre-order at that basically.

  10. ZeroByte says:

    October launch? I hope they release it on October 31 for historical reasons.

  11. Schaulustiger says:

    Will I still get beta access if I preorder this on Steam?

  12. mrbeman says:

    UWE’s forums are filled with a lot of complaining and wailing about balance and how basically everything in the game is OP, but I have to say I’ve been having a lot of fun with it in builds 217 + 218. Performance has increased quite a bit since I first got beta access (I think a build in the 190 range), where I played a few games and then gave up.

    I definitely still get some freezes! It needs more work. But it’s improving and it is fun. I would definitely encourage people to try it.

    • Williz says:

      I’m waiting for the netcode to improve to be able to do 32 player matches or even 64 because that’s what I loved in the original.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        Even though the game was balanced around 6 vs 6? Anything more than 10 vs 10 was a wipe for the Kharaa unless they were spectacularly clueless due to the asymmetric method of resource distribution.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      UWE’s forums are filled with a lot of complaining and wailing about balance and how basically everything in the game is OP

      Sounds pretty much like it was 10 years ago with the original.

      Actually scratch that, sounds pretty much like any multiplayer game forum ever on the internet.

  13. MadTinkerer says:

    NS2′s launch feels a bit like Minecraft’s launch due to having preordered so long ago already. But they have added a lot of stuff since that first Alpha version.