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Can any of us honestly say we have never dreamed of creating a beautiful garden from flesh and bone, bile and spit? I thought not. That’s the problem with these ‘Craft’ games: they tend to use everyday building materials like stone and metal. Give me great citadels of bone draped in banners of skin, the absurd excesses of heavy metal album covers come to virtual life. Or, failing that, GorgeCraft will do.
The mod turns Natural Selection 2 into a building sandbox, letting us cough up biological lumps and structures wherever we please as architects of oozing monstrosities. It left beta and launched over the weekend, and you can snag it from the Steam Workshop.
Half-Life begot the mod Natural Selection, which begot standalone sequel Natural Selection 2, which together with NS1′s Combat mode incestuously begot NS2′s Combat mod, which now begets standalone game Natural Selection 2: Combat. It’s all a bit like Chronicles with assault rifles.
Faultline Games are taking their Combat mod standalone, they’ve announced, expanding and polishing it up as one would expect. Combat’s a murder-oriented version of Natural Selection, focusing on the asymmetric humans vs. aliens FPS combat while doing away with RTS-y bits like resource-gathering and commanders. It also splashes in RPG-y levelling, with murder-earned skill points unlocking new weapons, tech, life forms and whatnot.
Are you tired of sales? Did Black Friday and Cyborg Monday beat your wallet to a penniless pulp? Well, TOO BAD. Games will continue going on sale from now until the end of time, and somewhere in between, you will cast off your mortal coil poor and probably alone. I apologize. That was too much. Sales just get me super amped up> about mortality, is all. Anyway, the Humble Jumbo Bundle is composed of six games and tons of DLC. Standouts include Natural Selection 2, Sanctum 2, and Orcs Must Die! 2. Details below.
I started writing this story just to point out that Natural Selection 2 is going to have a free weekend over the next few days, and that if you hadn’t yet bought it then you should take a look. It’s a really good indie multiplayer shooter that managed to overshadow Aliens: Colonial Marines in every possible way, and they’ve just updated it with loads of new content. There’s new weapons, female player models, better tutorials, and more. There’s a trailer for that below. But there’s also a trailer for a new crowd-funding scheme as well. Unknown Worlds has released free updates for the game since it’s been launched, but as the game’s returns diminish they need cash to continue working on it full-time. The latest free update cost them $550,000. Their hope? That a tiered donation and reward system will recoup some of that expenditure.UPDATE: Unknown Worlds have responded to some of my concerns. They’re at PAX and recorded a video. I’ve embedded it below.
In Natural Selection 2, you can play as just about anything. Gigantic pairs of teeth with tiny feet attached, mutant god elephants, space pterodactyls, scythe-armed devil wraiths, and, you know, men. But not human women. At least, not yet. Thankfully, that’s all about to change, as Unknown Worlds has unveiled a female marine design that’s, well, pretty freaking great. Better late than never, I suppose. So hurrah! Details after the break.
Here’s a cautionary tale, and a stark reminder that digital goods are still the World Wide Wild West. While a majority of PC games these days seem to ultimately involve a Steam key (which is itself an understandably controversial state of affairs), ownership of one of those keys can be sold by any number of third parties. So we see online stores both reputable and troublesome striving to offer downloads for less than a direct Steam activation, less than each other and, most commonly, less than the frequently outrageously inflated official pricing in some territories. Such was (and presumably is) the case for Natural Selection 2. Revealed developer Unknown Worlds yesterday, “Recently, a batch of 1,341 NS2 Steam keys were purchased using stolen credit cards. These keys were then offered for sale by various resellers. The owners of said cards disputed the transactions, and thankfully received their money back.”
Thankfully for them, but less thankfully for a) Unknown Worlds and b) the people who had bought the keys.
When you look at RPS, wherever you might be, RPS looks back at you. We’re a lot like The Void in that way. Fear not, however, for our uncanny glare should not intimidate you. Usually we simply squint through the screen and ponder what it is about our words and faces that attracts the most handsome readers of all. I can’t confirm whether or not Natural Selection 2 developers Unknown Worlds watch players of their game battling one another in the people vs aliens team-based shooter, but they are evidently pleased with their lovely playerbase because today they are releasing the Gorgeous expansion for free. “It includes Railguns, Gorge Tunnels, Descent, and quite a few fun surprises.”
There are quite a few communities bustling away in the General Sociability forum, and some of those have produced of videos of their antics. I’ve embedded just a few of those below. There are many more, and I am sure others still I haven’t seen.
Are you> doing video stuff with the RPS community? Link your work/play in the comments! (more…)
Natural Selection 2‘s intense multiplayer sci-fi corridor-combat has given me odd dreams. I am not sure why that’s relevant, but I wanted to mention it.
Unknown Worlds’ long-awaited sequel (since 2002!) to the original hybrid mega-mod has been out for a while now, and I’ve been snapping my giant, slavering jaws on the live servers during that time. I believe this means I am ready to send you an encoded transmission that tells you wot I think.> (more…)
Natural Selection 2 is out. You can buy it right now. Given that it’s actually possible both purchase and play (!) a great many games, that might not seem like such a huge deal to you. But make no mistake: Unknown Worlds’ RTS/FPS buildy-chompy-shooty hybrid could’ve easily died on the vine. And it nearly did – over and over and over, for pretty much the entirety of its development cycle. Fortunately, the NS2 team has always had a secret weapon on its side: a community that is – by most definitions of the word – completely and rather terrifyingly insane. This is their story>.