Aliens vs Presenter: Natural Selection 2 At Rezzed

Are these the biggest teeth in videogames ever? Some naff, desperate site should probably write a top 10

Rezzed was twelve hundred million years ago, but there are still a few dev sessions left to share with those who couldn’t make it down to lovely Brighton on the day. Here’s Unknown Worlds chatting about and demonstrating their aeons-in-gestation FPS/RTS mash-up Natural Selection 2, including a whole lot of giant mouth-based action.

Here’s UW’s Hugh Jeremy taking to the stage (and at one point nearly falling off it):

It’s looking rather spiffy, I think. The idea that I might soon get to play a game I’ve spent a good half of my career writing about on and off is quite extraordinary, too.


  1. rustybroomhandle says:


  2. NightShift says:

    This looks like a game I’d love to naturally select.

    • f1x says:

      Thats quite a hard pun to follow, only the fittest will survive

      • Jamison Dance says:

        Listen, I hope this doesn’t devolve in to one of those stupid pun threads.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          The post count will continue to climb the hill one step at a time.

        • Josh W says:

          Well it’s only natural, this place is their perfect habitat. I suggest you select another venue if it concerns you.

  3. kevmscotland says:

    Loved the first game, so far NS2 hasnt had quite the same appeal.
    Something still feels ‘off’ about it.

    But its developing nicely, and I have faith the final result will be good.

  4. Slinkyboy says:

    I loved NS back in the day. Though the major flaw that carries on to the sequel is bad comms costing the whole game and I hate depending on the comm to make sure we win, because my skill is never enough either :(

  5. Luke says:

    Giants: Citizen Kabuto had quite a large set of gnashers too.

  6. Mbaya says:

    Good stuff, its taken a long time for a small team to get to where they are today…they must be some pationate guys when it comes to this project, bet they’re getting tense leading up to launch.

    Looking forward to playing it, although there are some concerns (some raised in the video, such as the comparison with Nuclear Dawn’s empty servers), I hope it does well.

    I like the community route they’re taking too, the emphasis on not locking things under the hood, adding community features into the base game etc and their treck into eSports. If anything, it seems the engine could produce some nifty mods and projects of its own.

    • Nethlem says:

      Imho the community+eSports interaction is one of their biggest problems. Most of their community interaction boils down to “listening to the eSport players”. So if there’s an decision to be made that’s along the lines “Is it fun and easy? Or is it balanced in an competitive setting?” they always go for the latter as the competitive part of their community is the most vocal one.

      Because of that the game still is an complicated and confusing mess to new players and it’s gonna stay that way for what it’s worth. It’s kinda sad because that steep learning curve has been among those things that prevented the original mod from breaking out of it’s niche and reaching a big audience.

      They have those dreams of the game becoming the next Counter Strike+Starcraft combined and a huge professional scene growing around it. But i really don’t see it happening when the casual experience boils down to being flat out frustrating and feeling unbalanced without a deeper understanding of the games mechanics.

      • BanzaiAlpha says:

        I never understood the comment, ‘complicated and confusing mess to new players.’ I’ve heard of NS1 but never bothered because;
        A: Team Fortress Classic and Unreal Tournament ate up my time.
        B: By the time I heard about it the game was near dead.
        So NS2 was the first time I’ve played the game (back in B184.) Sure, it took a bit of time to understand some of the mechanics (though really it was only difficult to command,) but it was never overly complicated. Why make it simpler and easier for casual players who normally just buy a new game and play it for a week or once in a blue moon when they have nothing else? That’s the problem with this game. They’ll end up making it an over the top E-sports game or dumb down for casuals to have fun with a game until they just get bored; either way they’ll lose if they can’t balance around both communities.

      • Mbaya says:

        Its certainly a balancing act (in more than just gameplay terms). It’s wise to listen to the hardcore…they’re often the ones that spend the most time with the game, but you are certainly at risk of alienating others as a cost.

        Never playing the original myself, I’ll refer to Tribes – the population isn’t as large as the game deserves (opinion, of course), due to many of the more casual players logging in, getting destroyed by more familiar gamers to the series and discarding the game before they’ve learned how it all works.

        The same is very much at risk with NS2. From a personal note, I’d rather games have a strong learning curve, it leads to more variation in gameplay from game to game I find – but you’re absolutely not wrong, not having a clean level of accessabilty can doom the game before its even out the door.

        Even more so when it ‘only’ caters to the hardcore, I sit firmly in the middle of both casual and hardcore – I won’t be competing with the pro’s, so I need some more patient casual players to stick around and learn the ropes with me.

      • blackjackshelak says:

        When it comes to balancing a game between the casual and hardcore crowd, it’s always going to be tricky. Being casual friendly will get you NEW players, but being hardcore friendly will KEEP your players around longer. My way of looking at the situation has long been that the best way to cater to new players without diminishing the experience is by providing educational material to ease the learning curve as best as you can, and refusing to give any significant in-game advantage to older players other than the experience they’ve already gained by playing.

        That said, a lot of that rides on the community. NS2 doesn’t have any built-in tutorials, but Hugh himself (AKA that guy in the video) has worked on instructional videos at several stages throughout the game’s development, and has stated that he will continue to do so. If that’s not enough, there are threads to be found on the forums, and I doubt that it will be long before there are others making videos as well. I plan to do some myself, if nobody better beats me to it.

        I honestly wish LESS games focused so much on getting people in the door, and more on what they’ll find inside once they’ve gotten into the game. Making a game easy to learn/play is one thing, but that mindset needs to be balanced alongside your efforts to keep the game competitive and give it some depth. Again, ease of play gets you new players, but depth of play will keep them around.

        I would just like to point out that there’s a NEW tutorial video up on NS2HD right now. Proof positive of my earlier comment about Hugh and these uploads.

  7. SyKaDeLiK says:

    Just purchased for $35 USD to get access to the open beta. Yeah, it made that sort of impression on me. I’d heard of this game before from PCGamer UK’s podcast. They spoke of how impressive their in-house engine was and that got me interested immediately. I had no idea that we could purchase access to the closed beta. YOU CAN!!! DO IT NOW!!! You will not regret it.

  8. Slinkyboy says:

    SO how much will this game be when it’s out? I hope it stays at $35 USD or goes on sale because I’m not playing a MP game for more than $30 USD. Hopefully on release they have more than what beta had, because it’s really not the full game yet, from what I heard.

  9. Reapy says:

    I never played the original, but I have tried plenty of the rts + fps games, and I always love the idea…but I haven’t seen it work well. Allegiance was the first one I could think of, I think it still runs today, but the amount of work you need to put in to get up to speed on the game is somewhat ridiculous. I think what the ended up doing was having either some sort of new player registry / mentoring program (all community run) to get people in and able to play the ‘real’ games that went on.

    Still that is super hard to set something up like that for ‘casuals’ and not many people are really that dedicated to get it running. Still, am guessing that server communities will sort themselves out a bit etc. Not sure I’ll get this game but still, would like to see this succeed.

    • blackjackshelak says:

      I think the problem that most of the games in the genre have, is that they don’t connect the two halves of the whole very effectively. I know this was a MAJOR issue in Nuclear Dawn for me. When I was playing a game, the influence of the commander seemed nonexistent, and most players just kind of did whatever they felt like. The game would almost be better if they just removed the commander entirely. In NS2, the connection between the commander and the rest of the players feels much stronger. Especially on the Marine side, where the commander has a much more active role.

      It might have something to do with the scale or setting of the game as well. Nuclear Dawn felt a bit more spread out, and the maps felt more like FPS maps than RTS maps. That’s another thing I think NS2 does very well. If you look at the maps from the perspective of a commander (RTS style) it looks very good as an RTS map. The same can be said playing from the FPS perspective of any of the other players, as if you imagined the game to be a straight up “Aliens vs Marines” kind of thing without all the extra layers provided by the strategy side of things. It’s all about balancing both sides.