Natural Selection 2 Monster Mash

A Skulk, lurking. As opposed to a Lerk, skulking.

Time to check up again on upcoming Half-Life mod-goes-pro Natural Selection 2: is it still bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and wet-nosed? Its creators Unknown Worlds have been dribbling out a stream of bestial teasers for this long-time coming multiplayer shooter. Natural Selection’s big draw has always been man vs aliens – with the neat twist that those aliens are playable. And they’re really not just A Man With A Funny Hat On…

Here’s the boneheaded Onos, stepping proudly from concept art to in-game graphics:

His uber-power is to create a boneshield that makes him and his chums essentially invulnerable to forward attacks. Getting around this horny bugger will be quite the challenge, I suspect – with the added horror of not wanting to see his behind because of those unsettlingly floppy things on its back. More information on the thinking behind him and his purpose on his game over here.

Next, The Skulk:

Skulky here is described as the main character class for the aliens, and has no shortage of creepy cock-thingies itself. As revealed in the extensive write-up here, his base abilities are pretty analagous to the Alien – Geiger’s beast always having been something of a touchstone for NS.

Finally (for now), the Gorge:

This hippo-like brute is the aliens’ defender/healer type, so won’t be doing too much stomping and head-munching himself. His write-up explains that his glowing enormo-belly keeps him plugged into the hive rather than roaming the frontlines.

Keep an eye on the NS2 site, as the Lerk and Fade are due for a reveal over the next couple of weeks. Also, they have a video of a turret render up. Woo.


  1. richmcc says:

    Some great memories of the original NS, and jamming endless Onoses (Onii?) into doors too tiny for their chitinous bulks. The not-quite-right interactions between floor and alien-feet made for some overly hilarious sessions, and happy skulking.

    I’m hoping for a bit more atmosphere in this one, possibly a bit slower in pace to accommodate for stalking your prey as an alien, or letting the panic build as a human, before the inevitable all-out rush towards the end of a game.

  2. HexagonalBolts says:

    Beautiful – but those odd penis things stuck on at random are really disturbing.

  3. Tei says:

    Is this in-game? It looks a bit highpoly. It looks like models in a editor.

  4. Lack_26 says:

    I missed the first one, but so far this looks excellent.

  5. Scythe says:

    Video of a turret render? Are you sure that’s not an infantry portal? Are you REALLY sure?

    Silly Alex. Make any more mistakes like that and I’ll have to start making clever puns using your last name.

  6. zaggynl says:

    Nice article, although I’m with Scythe here, what turret render?
    link to

  7. Andy`` says:

    Scythe: Why not? You’ve already started making clever puns using his first name :P

    Tei: Whether they’re to be believed or not, its what they said. They don’t look way too high poly to possibly be what you’ll see in-game, but its hard to be sure. Got to bear in mind, of course, that alot of the small details you’re seeing are probably due to the texturing, not polys in the model.

  8. Heliosicle says:

    The onos seems to be covered in penis’?

    Thats just me?

  9. Heliosicle says:

    oh sorry I didn’t bother doing anything other than watch the videos

  10. sbs says:

    it’s not penis, it’s some kind of fleshy-looking predator dreads man

  11. Heliocentric says:

    The correct pronouncement of onos is “oh noes” which would make of believe onis “oh naise/niese” be the plural.

    Gorge is king of all aliens by being so different to the others, imagine trying to fight xenomorph’s when they are using guns, you need to take cover from an enemy which can eat you up close. Gorges (aka fatties/george)are suppressive fire, also great lure for traps.

    I want the game on steam (incase their patching system is arse) so i didn’t pre order yet. But its tempting.

  12. CMaster says:

    I’m still a little unsure about the introduction of an Alien Commander and the reductions in Gorge tactics. Still, will wait until I can play it to pass judgment.

  13. Alex McLarty says:

    HexagonalBolts – yeah, they’re bristling with floppy willies.

    Not sure I want to run around as animal with that many pork swords.

  14. Heliocentric says:

    The pork pen is mightier than the pork sword?

  15. El_MUERkO says:


    i’m getting excited for this now

  16. Klaus says:

    Lots of talk of penises in this thread. Although they look like fleshly carrots to me. I have never played Half-Life though, I sure. Woe is me.

    Also, *pork pen* leaves me with some disturbing imagery. Now you all think about it too.

  17. Tei says:

    The skill of these guys is impresive. Hope this one is more fun. I loathe NS1, but this is a artifact of my love for a different gloom-like mod.

  18. pedant says:

    Quick note, Giger was the man who drew monsters. Geiger more about radioactive things.

    Also Giger really liked drawing cocks so they might be an homage?

  19. Klaus says:

    err, I meant *fleshy* not fleshly. Heh.

  20. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    @Tei: Polycount looks fine too me, their just making full use of normal maps is all :3

    Looks pretty cool, although the whole “show a render of all our assets as we make them” is kind of a mod-team way of keeping public interest up.

    I’d rather just get bulky content updates with proper trailers and gameplay vids to be perfectly honest.

  21. Jazmeister says:

    NS was the kind of game I got into after everyone had moved on and the World Opponent Network was just shutting down, so my brother and I managed maybe a couple 1v1 games between eachother before bigger and better things came out.

    Very excited about this one.

  22. radomaj says:

    Scythe: Who’s Alex?

  23. CMaster says:

    @Jaz – NS was still going pretty strong well into the Steam era.

  24. Heliocentric says:

    Ask your mother.

  25. Stupoider says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that those are tendrils on their backs and not penises?

  26. Rich_P says:

    Concept art of the Onos makes them look like dreadlocks or something.

  27. Klugman Revolution says:


  28. Tei says:

    It seems his enginecoder is a crazy guy. He is creating all types of tools, even a map loader that can update textures in real-time. Theres also a model loader, all work smooth and great, the models itself are AAA. Maybe my question is moot-point. because maybe this videos are based on that “model viewer”, but that model viewer share all the code with the game engine.. so my question can be a “moot point”. Also, seems this where the models that will be use on the game itself (thats where the in-game models come from). So yea, seems the monsters will look this awesome in the game.

  29. starclaws says:

    Keep the NS2 coverage coming please :)

  30. cyrenic says:

    The coolest thing about this game? Look at the minimum system reqs for preordering:

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

    I love me a good scalable game engine.

  31. airtekh says:

    NS1 was one of the greatest multiplayer half-life mods, criminally ignored by the masses due to its steep learning curve and FPS/RTS style gameplay.

    If they can nail the atmosphere with this and slow the pace compared to the first game, then this will be something special.

  32. diebroken says:

    “is glowing enormo-belly keeps him plugged into the hive rather than roaming the frontlines”

    No more bile bomb support at the Marine base? No more piggybacking/riding a lerk? :(

  33. Bryan says:

    Is this going to be on steam?

  34. AlexW says:

    diebroken, the actual article suggests it’s more of an aesthetic similarity to the function of the Hive. There’d be hell to pay if they started limiting Gorges like that, I imagine.

    And Bryan, they’ve said before that they will get it on Steam. The question is whether or not they’ll be able to get the pre-Steam pre-orders to link up with Steam.

  35. diebroken says:

    @AlexW : Gorge is my favorite Kharaa class (I just can’t stop building chambers, it’s too addictive!), and I’m not too worried – hopefully it’ll be balanced all round. That defensive posture/stance/damage absorption could be good.

    Wonder if the belly slide will make it in as well… ;)

  36. Noc says:



    . . . that is all.

  37. Army of None says:

    I played so much N.S. back in the versions before they added the Action-mode crap. The slow tense buildup, the horror of hearing over the voice comm that aliens were headed to clear out the little outpost you had just set up and not knowing which vent duct they’d come out of… God I want NS II

  38. EyeMessiah says:

    Fade? What?? Where!!

    Ah, so many fond memories of sheer panic after someone spotted, or thought they spotted a fade early in a match.

    I was always more scared of fades than of onos’s. That said I did once kill a fade with only my knife, so woohoo – go marines!

  39. Heliocentric says:

    Fades are incredible in a skilled players hands. Especially if he allows skulks to move with him and a gorge to keep him healthy. The onos is a blunt weapon, only useful when applied with overwhelming force. 1 soldier backed into a corner might have a 5% chance of killing a fade, but with an onos its over.

    Gorges will always have a place on the frontline, even if only as a medic and suppression fire.

  40. yutt says:

    Yes this game will be on Steam. Also, those are the actual in-game models.

  41. Logo says:

    Can’t… Wait…

  42. Breaker Morant's ghost says:

    Excellent. To be honest, the new skulk looks a bit too bulky though, I like the sleek and deadly look of the original. The new animations make them all look really organic though. Can’t wait to see the lerk and fade.

  43. Crispy says:

    There’s no need to refer to NS in the past tense: NS is still played today. There are a good three-to-four 18-32 player ‘Classic’-only servers still operating in Europe and they’re always 60-100% full (most time I can’t get a spot on my preferred server), not to mention the US, Australia and the ‘Combat’-only servers.

    The details about the Gorge are very encouraging. Currently in NS a Gorge really shouldn’t be dropping the ‘wrong’ chamber because it can veer from being completely ineffective on a local scale to completely screwing up the entire team’s ability to goe toe-to-toe with Marines. But in NS2 it seems they have taken all the tech-tree stuff away from the Gorge and either removed it completely or given it to the new ‘Alien Commander’ class. It sounds like this means the Gorge is free to build whatever he wants without dictating the rest of the team’s enjoyment.

    If this example of preserving the enjoyment factor while improving gameplay and removing player frustration is the mantra they’re applying to the whole game, NS2 could be as deep as NS without the steep learning curve. There is a lot more to be said on the core gameplay mechanics, but this one item alone is encouraging to me.