View Full Version : Natural Selection (half life mod)

3rd November 08, 10:52 AM
I'm going to open by saying this is the best video game that I ever played.


It is an older game, but there is a release planned for half life 2 and the producers behind the original mod now have a studio paying them to develop it.


Sci Fi

Natural Selection (NS) is a combination of a RTS and a FPS. Games usually last about 30 or 40 minutes but can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 3 hours depending on the tactics, luck and skill of each team.

the best way to think about this game is if someone somehow meshed counter strike and starcraft into a single game. How the hell does that work? Read on.

There are two totally unique sides, marines and aliens. Marines mainly use ranged weapons and the aliens use close combat (mainly, there are exceptions). Despite totally different abilities, classes, buildings and technology structures, the game is incredibly balanced.


Resources are simple gas nodes that produce 1 unit of gas every few seconds. They are scattered all over the map and most of the game consists of seeking them out, controlling them then attacking the enemy base. Marines collect the gas into a big pool that only the commander controls. Aliens share the resources as a team.

Marines have a command economy. 1 player sits in the 'commanders chair' (an in game protected building) and they have the top down view of the map (RTS). They place buildings, waypoints, and drop weapons and health packs for the marines. Every other marine plays as if he is in a FPS. The other players 'build' the buildings and complete the objectives.

The marine base always begins in the same part of the map (initially). There are about 12 core maps.


Aliens have a team economy. as many aliens can morph into the alien 'builder' class as desired and drop alien buildings. Aliens evolve upgrades individually. Each alien has a personal pool of resources that they use to make building or upgrade themself. All the aliens play like they are in a FPS. Alien alerts and waypoints are managed in a different way to the marines to represent their alien instincts and communications.

The alien base starts in one of three random locations (initially).


The aliens start as these little fast wallhugging fuckers that are really hard to shoot. As the aliens upgrade into larger lifeforms they become more obvious but harder to kill and they get more powerful abilities.

There are specific buildings that players respawn out of and if they are destroyed dead players cannot respawn until they are rebuilt. For the marines it is a teleporter pad and for the aliens it is a hive. Usually when these buildings are destroyed the game ends quickly as the last players are killed off one by one. However there are many of the most exciting games when one team manages to sneak away and build a new respawning building which sparks the match off all over again.

There is an extensive technology tree for both teams. Marines can get heavy armour or alternatively jet packs which literally allow them to fly around the levels. They can also get motion tracking and phase gates (teleporters) to move around the map faster.

Aliens can get invisibility, movement upgrades, heavy armour and various other abilities (like an expanded metabolism for more stamina, or heat tracking etc).

There are about 9 different buildings for each team, including defensive turrets!

This game is addictive, fast, and has so much variety you'll never play the same game twice. Especially since the other team will quickly adapt to the game strategy you choose.

It is really, really fun. If you like science fiction (aliens, predator, star trek, stargate) and video games, you will love this game. The best thing is you can probably get a copy of half life 1 for about $10 and the mod is free!

The coolest thing is that soon, NS 2 will be released! And it will be using the half life 2 engine! Better physics, more features and more coolness! The developers are going to add an alien commander and tweak some of the game issues.

Preview of a new feature: infestation


New game engine:




3rd November 08, 12:45 PM
Ever heard of "Tremulous?" Same exact thing, though this looks - better.

3rd November 08, 01:57 PM
So, the Aliens are Commies.

Just as we've always suspected.

3rd November 08, 05:40 PM
Actually it sounds like the Marines are the commies with a command economy. The aliens sound like individualists.

3rd November 08, 05:47 PM
Aliens have a team economy.

Sounds like the Marines are cogs in a huge, top-down, corporate-dominated economy. Also just like real life.

3rd November 08, 06:21 PM
whoops I was wrong about the half life 2 part, turns out the team has gone rogue and developed their own engine as a stand alone game (to make $$ and profit). They will sell the game through steam and apparently so far the code is 80,000 lines (without the game code!), Q3 arena was about 120,000 lines of code. Not bad for a small team of 4.

I think the cool thing is that these guys are so fresh out of the gaming world and using their player base to help development. They get instant feedback and creative ideas on their websites forums - its like an army of people willing to 'proofread' their material.

3rd November 08, 07:26 PM
I loved this but sadly it's been impossible for me to find a good server. But it was really a great game. It really deserves its own engine.