Halloween is an extra-special time of year for sci-fi FPS-RTS Natural Selection, as the birthday of both the original Half-Life mod and its standalone commercial sequel [official site]. In celebration, developers Unknown Worlds have opened up NS2 for the weekend and let everyone play for free. Battling aliens, knee deep in bacterial gunk, or chomping on the juicy heads of space marines seems fittingly frightful Halloween fun.
If you bop on over to Steam you can download NS2 and play the whole thing free for the weekend. I've not played in yonks myself so I was surprised to see it's a lot slicker and has more tutorial bits now, which is good considering how intimidating NS2 can be.
Natural Selection, see, is an FPS-RTS between two quite different factions. You're both trying to wipe each other out, following the plan and commands of your team's 'Commander' player, by securing resources, denying areas to enemies and... it's the complexity of an RTS with the exciting unpredictability of every unit being a player. There's a lot to learn but it can be proper great. I know the first NS way more than NS2, as 2 was a bit rocky at launch, but I have heard from chums who stuck it out that NS2 has found its form more.
NS2 has another spooky Halloween surprise coming too. Today will bring a new mode, The Infested, via the game's Steam Workshop. The teaser image is awfully The Thing-y.
Here's what the devs say about it:
"You have been dispatched to deal with a dangerous pathogen which has been detected within a remote TSF outpost. Race to repair the air filtration system before the pathogen corrodes it too severely and the air becomes overwhelmed by infectious spores. But watch out, one of your teammates has already been infected!"
If you dig the free weekend and want NS2 for keepsies, it's half price right now - down to £3.49/4,99€/$4.99.