A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews: Very Positive (5,626 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

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Includes 6 items: Natural Selection 2, Natural Selection 2 - Deluxe Edition Upgrade, Natural Selection 2 - Kodiak Pack, Natural Selection 2 - Reaper Pack, Natural Selection 2 - Reinforcement Pack, NS2: Combat

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Recommended By Curators

"A team based FPS with some strategy elements. A lot of fun that relies on teamwork whether your the Marines or the Aliens."

Recent updates View all (109)

November 26

NS2 Mega Pack 90% Off!



We’ve completely lost our marbles, and are offering a new ‘Natural Selection 2 Mega Pack’ for 90% off. This pack includes NS2 Deluxe Edition, all DLC items, & NS2: Combat by Faultline Games for the low low price of… I’m going to stop right there before I start sounding like a stereotype.

Here’s the short version: Everything NS2 is ridiculously cheap right now. Tell your friends. Tell your mum. Tell your cat.

http://store.steampowered.com/sub/54667/

16 comments Read more

November 1

Reaper + Update 270



A new update ("Build 270") has been released! It will automatically download to your Steam library. This new update celebrates the two year anniversary of Natural Selection 2's launch!

Along with various changes to the core game, this update adds the "Reaper Pack" DLC item, which gives all alien lifeforms a freaky new look.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/310100/

A full changelog follows below, and you can read more detail on the Natural Selection 2 blog: http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/reaper-build-270-live-steam/

**PATCH NOTE** WE HAVE UPDATED SOME SHADERS, THIS WILL MAKE YOUR INITIAL LOAD TIME FOR EACH MAP MUCH LONGER THAN NORMAL

FIXES
Fixed players having voice communication cut off while entering or exiting commander mode
Lerks will no longer grunt when moving at low speed
Bots will not be counted towards the number of players that are required to pass a vote
Fixed an issue which would result in a second IP being spawned at the start of the game with less than nine players
Fixed conflicting default key-bind between the show map key and the 10th commander grid spot (this will only affect new players, current players need to change their bindings manually)
Fixed fullscreen windowed mode to not minimize when alt+tabbing on Windows
If you have something bound to the same key as VoteYes/VoteNo, it will no longer be triggered when casting a vote
Fixed that it was possible to transfer pres between rounds
Fixed occasional error when attempting to enter the Mods menu
Fixed Commander bindings menu not saving cleared binds
Fixed server crash that could be caused by exos in the readyroom
Fixed small visual glitch while in exo that was causing nameplate borders to show up when they shouldn’t be
Fixed customize menu to ensure the variants always show in the proper order
Fixed customize menu to only show arrows when appropriate
Fix marines losing the parasite outline when switching variants / sex
Fixed Clogs having decals projected onto them

IMPROVEMENTS
In the voice request menu you can now select items by moving the mouse past them (similar to NS1)
Added an option in the sound tab to continue recording after the microphone button has been released for a fraction of a second to help ensure your last word isn’t cut off (defaults to 150ms)
The number of players connecting to the server will now be shown on the scoreboard
Building range circles now use decals instead of models
Votes that cannot pass anymore fail immediately
Made Fade and Onos view models not highlighted in Alien vision
Babbler eggs are now highlighted in Alien vision

SDK
Added Server.GetNumPlayersTotal() which will return the number of players that have an active connection to the server, regardless of if they have passed authentication and are finished loading yet
Allow materials to specify a 0.5 highlight value to not be highlighted in Alien vision and not have decals projected onto them

BALANCE
Raised mature tunnel health by 10% to give aliens a little bit longer to respond to a tunnel that is under attack, and raised its maturity time by 15 seconds to compensate

ENGINE
Upgraded Awesomium library to version 1.7
Upgraded LuaJIT to version 2.0.3

MAPS

Biodome
Fixed stuck spot between Agri Labs and Falls
Fixed stuck spot in West Route

Descent
Fixed exploit in monorail vent

Refinery
Fixed bug / exploit in lava falls

Ready Rooms are now Halloween themed and players can throw candy!

16 comments Read more

Reviews

"NS2 is a genius mash of Counter Strike and Starcraft"
Kotaku
"This is getting close to my idea of the ultimate game"
Machinima

Strategy Meets Shooter



Natural Selection 2 is a First Person Shooter and Real Time Stategy game rolled into one! Each team, alien and human, has a Commander. The Commander looks down on the battlefield and issues orders, places structures, collects resources, researches technology, and deploys abilities.



Here's some gameplay examples: A human Commander could drop health packs and ammunition to a trapped marine squad, and deploy sentry guns to help them defend their position. Or an alien Commander could grow a new Hive to spread infestation throughout newly captured territory, allowing more alien eggs to spawn...

Two Unique Sides



Aliens players choose to evolve into one of five lifeforms: The fast, fearsome Skulk can run on walls and deliver massive damage with is jaws. Lerks fly and deploy gasses to support their teammates in battle. Gorges heal other lifeforms and build tunnels, hydra turrets, walls, and other tactical structures. Fades blink in and out of battle, picking off marines with giant scythes. Finally, the giant Onos is so massive and so tough, that even entire marine squads can't take it down.



Marines wield rifles, shotguns, grenade launchers, pistols, and other weapons. Cluster grenades can clear ventilation shafts of sneaky Skulks, flamethrowers make short work of alien structures and infestation, and boosts dropped by the commander Commander like nano-shields and catalyst packs increase combat effectiveness.

When attacking on foot doesn't cut it, marines can construct hulking Exosuits wielding miniguns and railguns, and equip jetpacks for high speed assaults on alien Hives.

Long Term Development



Natural Selection 2 receives constant updates. This year (2014), it has received a major update, on average, once per month! These updates are created by the Community Development Team, supported by Unknown Worlds.

Mod Tools Come Standard



Natural Selection 2 comes with all the tools we used to make the game. All game code is open source. That means you can create, and play, an endless variety of mods. Publish, share, and download mods from the Steam Workshop, and automatically download mods when you join modded games.

Digital Deluxe Edition



Digital Deluxe Edition includes:

Official Soundtrack - 1 hour of tribal, industrial music composed by David John and Simon Chylinski
Digital Art Book - 40+ pages of art by Cory Strader, including environments, creatures, weapons and more
Exclusive Wallpapers and Avatars - Unique views of the NS2 universe by artist Rantology
Exclusive in-game marine model - A new marine model with custom visor and armor plating

About This Game



Natural Selection 2 pits alien against human in an action-packed struggle for survival. Wield devastating weaponry as a Frontiesman marine, or become the xenomorph as a deadly. Kharaa life-form. While both teams fight each other in first person, two commanders look down on the battlefield in a top-down Real Time Strategy view. These Commanders can issue orders, build structures, collect resources, research technology, and deploy abilities to help their team overcome the enemy.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo 2.6 ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1GB VRAM and support for Shader Model 3 (e.g. ATI X800, NVidia 8600 or better)
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo 3.0 ghz
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1GB, AMD 5770, NVidia GTX 450 or better
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
Helpful customer reviews
440 of 491 people (90%) found this review helpful
4,393.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
I dont have to say anything. Just look at my hours.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
102 of 109 people (94%) found this review helpful
18.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
It is unfortunate that in today's world despite the astounding technological advancements there are few games that actually surprise you with their novelty and innovation when putting this new arsenal of potential to use. However, Natural Selection 2 is twice as surprising in this regard as it innovates not in one, but two genres simultaneously.
The concept of an FPS/RTS hybrid has been around for quite some time though never properly executed by any major title in gaming. This has always puzzled me as there is no greater satisfaction than seeing a game unfold from both the perspective of an overarching command and the boots on the ground itself. While Natural Selection 2 is a purely multiplayer experience it excels in bring new exciting gameplay to the stagnating genre of first person shooters, most of which have simply resorted to throw bigger guns, toys, and vehicles at you. Instead Natural Selection 2 recognizes the strengths of its predecessors innovative gameplay and polishes it to make an impressive new clean-cut version of a game every gamer should try at least once.
While this game truly shines because of its innovation and creativity it does not spare any expense on its presentation either as all the character and alien models are fantastic and really brought to life by the dynamic lighting, sounds, and overall atmosphere that is simply blooming in this games thematic atmospheres.
The first thing I noticed jumping into a lobby of NS2 is that cooperation between teammates is not only recommended but essentially necessary. This is absolutely phenomenal! There are too few games in this is online gaming world that actually demand that you interact with gamers in such a way as to properly execute a plan rather than everyone simply going at it alone, lone-wolf style. I've played my fair share of both Call of Duty and Battlefield and neither of those two triple-A giants require you to communicate with your teammates as much as NS2. If the new gaming era is going to strip us of local multiplayer and let us only play with strangers online, then they better give us a reason to want to talk to these people, and NS2 does just that by making the alternative to cooperation abject failure.
The reason that cooperation is so essential in NS2 is because of its unique gameplay featuring 2 asymmetrical sides, the aliens vs. humans, and furthermore one player on each side must be chosen as your Commander/Hive mind, who will view the entire map from above and play the RTS portion of the game building, giving orders, and researching upgrades. The twist of course being that apart from a few builder units the Commander/Hive mind has no forces under his direct control but only the other players on his team who benefit most from executing his orders. Again, cooperation is paramount and having seen the difference between a skilled commander and bumbling one you really get to understand just how effective or ineffective you can be as a player or a leader.
As for the gameplay as a soldier on the ground, the games generally proceed as follows. You will run out of your initial base to go seize the nearest resource point with your teammates and if you manage to control it without the enemy showing up then you will continue on to the next one. However, due to the impressive array of maps and the units/upgrades available to the different sides, you can never truly be sure just how easy or hard an objective given to you by your commander will be. Let us discuss some of the key differences between the sides at this point. The human marines are standard enough beginning the game with an assault rifle, pistol and trusty little hand axe. Throughout the game their commander will be attempting to accrue enough resources to get them upgrades such as shotguns, flamethrowers, jetpacks, better shielding, damage upgrades, and eventually mech suits. While all of these things seem like surefire upgrades from the starter equipment the truth is any of it is only as useful as the player who wields it. The aliens on the other hands begin the game as the base unit known as the skulk, an equivalent of a zergling more or less which can only effectively attack via melee. They however, are naturally much faster at moving about and can make use of the maps numerous vents which marines cannot enter. These skulks can then evolve throughout the game into other creatures ranging from the builder/medic class of the Gorge, the swift flying Lerk, the deadly Fade and the almighty Onos. Each of these creatures has its own unique strengths, weaknesses and special abilities and knowing when to use each one is critical in being a good alien player.
Returning to the gameplay itself, there are some caveats to be given to new players. This game is rather unforgiving and those who are not any good at shooters on the PC will not find any user-friendly playground here. Though there are beginner level servers they are often such only in name and host just as many veteran players as any other server. Gameplay is rather fast and frenetic and you may often find yourself saying things like "How didn't I hit that guy!?" or "4 of us ambushed him! How did he kill us all!?!" And unfortunately if there is one thing to be said about this game is that the learning curve is about as steep as the Hoover dam. That is not to say that the community for the game isn't great, because since servers and players can sometimes be limited, dedicated gamers will do their best to teach newbies the ropes every chance they get. Yet despite the helpful tutors you'll run across you can't help but feel that the majority of people you are playing with in this game have simply come over from the Counterstrike community and have years of practice and experience over you. That being said, if you happen to be a CS gamer, this is your bag and you will feel right at home. The truth is however, that despite sometimes going all game without even a kill, I could still make a difference in the match through my targeting of key objectives or even posing as a distraction for my teammates who could actually effectively hit a moving target. This is what makes NS2 so brilliant, that even if you aren't your teams Rambo who CAN take on 4 aliens at once, there is always something that you can do to make yourself useful, and if you really must learn how to be a Rambo then simply practice, practice, practice, and eventually you may get... your first kill. All jokes aside, there is such a vast gap between some players in the NS2 community and while the game may not be as accessible to newcomers as I would like, it generally tends to balance out throughout games.
Overall NS2 is a real treasure for all gamers and tells the success story of an ambitious group of modders who managed to create a revolutionary game that I believe has not gotten the attention it deserves. If more studios focused on innovation rather than repackaging and retheming then we would have more games with the spirit and uniqueness of NS2. The FPS/RTS is still a largely underused genre and yet probably my favorite, and while NS2 may have a steep learning curve which may prevent it from being my go-to just because I don't have the time to dedicate to mastering it, it is still an unforgettable and incomparable gaming experience from which larger studios should learn from.
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91 of 102 people (89%) found this review helpful
174.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
9.5/10

+Fun, engaging fast-based team combat
+Tactical, strategic, competitive game idea
+Beautiful looking
+Modable
+Highly active community
+Mostly friendly and helpful players

-Strong learning curve
-Somewhat long loading times (even with a SSD)

I highly recommend this game for people who want to experience a fast, team based strategy game. It has elements similar to a first person shooter and RTS games such as Starcraft. There is a large learning curve but the community is always willing to help you have fun. With friends, it's even better, and the game is in constant development receiving fresh updates every few months.
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44 of 49 people (90%) found this review helpful
576.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
I love this game. The action is fast paced but requries thought (tactically and strategically). You don't just run in guns blazing, but you need to work with your teammates. It's a perfect mix of FPS and RTS. Biting marines as a skulk is fun too.

Some say this game has a high learning curve. Maybe it does, but I don't think so. You work with your team, collect resources, and then you and your team can afford to buy upgrades -- oh yeah, and kill the other team while trying to prevent them from collecting resources and upgrading. Is that hard? Try the tutorials. Start on newbie-friendly servers. USE A MIC and ask for direction. It's a relatively small community and most players are very willing to help people who are looking to learn.

Try it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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67 of 92 people (73%) found this review helpful
142.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
High skill curve, high amount of knowledge to play correctly. Do not buy if codfag.
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34 of 39 people (87%) found this review helpful
878.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
I'm a hard fan to please. I want a game thats easy to learn but hard to master. Natural Selection 2 (NS2) is just that, a perfect blend of both RTS and FPS. It can satisfy the most demanding fast twitch high intensity gamers or the casual pubbers looking to watch / help those battling it out for map control. Typical days I find myself jumping on to a server for 20 minutes, before dinner, or spending 2 hours helping to keep a server alive, with action, until midnight. Regardless if your a rookie or expert NS2 has a place for you, find out what your missing!
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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
1,241.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 15
Best blend of FPS / RTS ever, highly recommend people buy this game, the learning curve is steep but once your clocked in, know what you're doing and when to do it, the rewards of winning are immense!

Initially people at the start can be rude but dont let the minority put you off this game, keep plugging at it!

Been playing the series for over 10 years now and no other games keeps you going back like this one.

9 out of 10!
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50 of 69 people (72%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Natural Selection 2 isn't great only because it's different, but because it does asymmetrical multiplayer so damn well, offering up a variety of experiences in one small game.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
A very challenging game that mixes RTS and FPS into one (pretty good) multiplayer game. One player is the commander, who places buildings and drops supplies for his units, who are the other players. This game is very hard, so I would be ready to lose.

Also, this game is very CPU instensive, so it will not perform well (or at all) on older PCs.
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24 of 32 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
This is one of the most overlooked games I've ever played. Natural Selection 2 is a ton of fun for hours on end and one of the most addicting multiplayer games I've ever played. NS2 is a breath of fresh air in a genre that is otherwise polluted by generic shooters like "Call of Duty".
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
26.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Commander, ammo please!
Commander, meds please!
Commander, armour first! Armour first!

A mix between regular FPS gameplay and RTS gameplay, this game balances both for some of the most intense fights I've ever experienced - most notably a battle of attrition between my friend and another which lasted just over an hour resulting in our human victory!

Awesome game! But I'm a ♥♥♥♥♥ commander hehe.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
52.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Love this game! I'll give it an 8/10

Suggestions:
It is a real time strategy and first person shooter. If you don't like the RTS part you don't have to command your team, just ask someone else too. Make sure you listen to your commander if he even talks. This game is very fun when you get to learn it. The biggest problem for me was it has a pretty steep learning curve. You will join a server (hopefully it will be a rookie friendly server) and have NO IDEA what to do, maybe even after you played the tutorial. It took some time learning. If you can find a siege mode server you should try that. The flow of the game play will be more repetitive instead of people trying to do different strategies you don't understand. You will die alot. Your best bet would be to play as a supporting player and watching what other people do. Grab yourself a welder as a marine or follow people around as a gorge. You will be killed by a skulk almost EVERYTIME before you finally manage to get lucky or see them before they see you. Yet when you play as a skulk you will probably get killed EVERYTIME until you at least get a few hours in. The game could change in a heartbeat if you have a good commander on either team. What I like to do?
Xenocide alot
If you get an exosuit stay back and blast the alien scum from a distance,
Don't be a hero
Don't do things alone
When someone wants to rush in or your commander says so make sure everyone is there before you do
Don't ignore your resource nodes
For the love of god don't hop in the com chair when you don't know what you are doing. You will be burned alive
If people want to be jerks to you just ignore them or go someplace else
Join a rookie friendly server.
Make friends with the mods and admins
Don't say I don't know what to do (say what it is you need help with instead)
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
509.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
A great competitive FPS, unfortunately ruined due to in my opinion launching too early. Of course it 'had to be launched for financial reasons' and I love the developers but I really wish they had an extra few years to flesh it out and then do the release. The main issues being performance, lack of in-depth or interactive tutorial, and a real way to have a form of player made matching which is for sure the new standard in all forms of video games, especially competitive video games.

A lot of the negative reviews and feedback came from the games launch and thus I think really hurt the playerbase, and new potential players. The game didn't really come with an in-depth tutorial for this generations of 'everything in front of me, learn nothing' demographic of gamers. These new gamers also do not like to be demolished by veterans and learn from their mistakes, instead they blame things on cheats or simply complain and then remove the game from their library's and continue back with something more casual.

The developers were very active in the forum and with updating even to this date. The community is great and really keeps the game alive and thriving. In its current state I for sure recommend you try it out if you like competitive fps what so ever. But don't always expect to find a server with your preferences as there isn't too many running. Especially if you like small player counts and not an excess of mods.

As for the developers they continually work on other projects and I recommend you follow them and their products if you value your pc games. They keep a great community and really take into account player feedback.. it's pretty much your duty as a gamer to support developers such as this to keep the pc community thriving.. or else you'll end up with some multi-million dollar recycle every year that your three year old brother could play on a high level.

I love this game, its community as I said before, and the developers. I give it a solid 9 out of 10.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
50.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
This game is definitely worth it and its usually on sale. There are 2 playable factions -humans and aliens and each have their own special units and abilities. The amazing thing about this game is that its very teamwork intensive. Each team gets 1 commander who pretty much gets an overhead view of the battlefield and instructs teammates on what to do/build. The game is pretty easy for humans but for aliens its a big learning curve. If you do get the game do not play commander without reading a guide/tutorial because it can be extremely difficult. The combat is very fun and you can do all types of strategies and builds each game, such as fast expand for aliens to get xenomorph or human fast expand with warp gate tech or harassing human extractors with skulks with aliens which is one of the best ways to get yourself back into the game as aliens.

All in all 9/10 Very good game I would recommend.
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16 of 23 people (70%) found this review helpful
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
So yeah. Very good game. It combines RTS with FPS so you can play however you like (although you got to get to the commandstation/hive first if you want the RTS feel.

RTS: set battleplans, give orders, and manage the players on the field. Making poor choices can screw you up but if you are a good commander your sure to win the game. (Victory cannot be achived by FPS alone.)

FPS: Get upgrades, build, fortify, and all-out kick some alien/marine ♥♥♥! Tons of weapons/classes you can select and staying with the group is always the best option in this game.

Happy hunting!
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25 of 40 people (63%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
pretty dank game 10/10 would bang
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
+ Very well-designed blending of FPS and RTS elements
+ Plenty of rookie-friendly servers available
+ Both factions are very, very different with few similarities
+ Fantastic visuals
+ Many available server mods that help break up the monotony and spice up your games
+ Friendly community
+ Fairly comprehensive tutorial (highly recommended)
+ Commanders integrate well with teams and can be the deciding factor in a given match
+ Teamwork is heavily, heavily encouraged by the game mechanics

- Moderately steep learning curve, particularly for Commanders
- Absolutely atrocious loading times
- Poor weaponry selection
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
56.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
Natural Selction 2 is a real standout in the FPS-Genre. The two factions play very differently from one another without feeling imbalanced (even though you will meet some players who say differently). Though there is a rather high learning curve, Natural Selection 2 is worth the frustration and failure you may experience at the beginning. Just visit the "Rookie friendly servers" and you will find many players who are willing to help you and explain certain mechanics that will lead to victory for you and your teammates. To me Natural Selection 2 isn’t great only because it’s very different from all the other FPS's out there, but because it does asymmetrical multiplayer so damn well, offering up a variety of experiences in one small game.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
64.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
If you're looking for a assymetric, tactical, very team-based shooter with a Alienesque theme, look no further.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Do you like first-person-shooters? Do you like real-time-strategies?! Do you like being told what to do while you run around getting bit to death by alien hounds? Well come on down to Natural Selection 2, a game based on a mod based on the BEST IDEA for a team-based shooter ever. It lacks some polish here and there, but it's really addicting & also pretty fun, ok???
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