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Natural Selection 2 [Steam] is the FPS/RTS hybrid released for Linux way back in 2013, many years later it's still getting updates!

This latest release adds in a new tutorial named "Skulk Challenge", which will help you learn the various abilities it has like wall jumping. It also serves as a challenge mode, since you can download ghosts of other players and compete against them and earn badges and get a global rank.

They finally updated the confusing spectator system too. Spectators now have dedicated slots, meaning server owners can have full 24 player servers with 24 spectator slots too. A much nicer system, as I was often confused when trying to join a game and seeing "25/24" or something.

It took a long time, but 64bit is officially going into beta and will be released as a small update. Their 32bit version will officially retire, so if you're playing and you're on 32bit, you should seriously upgrade already.

On top of that, they also polished the game as a whole with balance fixes, bug fixes and so on. You can read the full changelog post here.

Anyone here still playing it? There's still a few hundred people playing it every day. It's also rather cheap now, at £6.99 it's not a bad price.
9 Likes, Who?
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scaine 24 August 2017 at 3:15 pm UTC
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I gave up on it because a) a bad commander means losing, no matter how well you play and b) I didn't understand the mechanics of a lot of what was going on, so couldn't make good decisions about how to play well. The learning curve just seems to keep going through the roof! Might try it again later.
STiAT 24 August 2017 at 3:16 pm UTC
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Cool! Was a long time ago I last played it..
RafiLinux 24 August 2017 at 3:18 pm UTC
I really wanted to like this game because I played the freeware mod for a good minute but in the end I removed this game from my library for the same reason I am about to do the same to 'Ballistic Overkill'

  • lag
  • team balance

Servers were wonky too often. And teams would stay lopside for so long that matches were lost 2 minutues into a map.
Lakorta 24 August 2017 at 3:56 pm UTC
I play it from time to time.

RafiLinux
  • team balance

Servers were wonky too often. And teams would stay lopside for so long that matches were lost 2 minutues into a map.
The players on the servers I'm on usually vote to shuffle the teams according to hive performance, which usually results in somewhat balanced teams (of course it heavily depends on the commander and team communication whether you win or lose).
Wompo 24 August 2017 at 4:11 pm UTC
I've played it occasionally since release. It's got its good and bad sides. I still think the Quake 2 modification called Gloom was better.

I do have to admire how this game keeps getting updated so many years after its release. From what I've understood the control of the updates has been given over to a group of volunteers which was a very smart move from the development team.
LakortaThe players on the servers I'm on usually vote to shuffle the teams according to hive performance, which usually results in somewhat balanced teams (of course it heavily depends on the commander and team communication whether you win or lose).
Unfortunately this also makes the game not easily played with a friend or a small group of friends. I cannot recommend this game for that.
rkfg 24 August 2017 at 4:42 pm UTC
WompoFrom what I've understood the control of the updates has been given over to a group of volunteers which was a very smart move from the development team.
That was quite a while ago, now UWE directly make the updates. They hired some of those volunteers though.

WompoUnfortunately this also makes the game not easily played with a friend or a small group of friends. I cannot recommend this game for that.
Considering the small amount of players that's fine. A small group of pros stacked on one side can easily steamroll the opposing team so it's a no go. And it's hard to find another such group to balance them because yes, the playerbase is small.

Overall, The Thirsty Onos #22 is a good place full of mostly adult, respectful and cooperating players (looking at you, Dota 2). I play it every evening (nickname's Sytch because the game requires voice and my regular nick is hard to spell). Just please don't go comm if you have less than 100 hours and even after that if you don't understand what the comm role is (figure it out in the field). No one blames each other for losing and rookies usually don't undermine the team's performance (looking at Dota 2 again where a single rookie can ruin it irreversibly).

So: join up, speak much, ask questions, win, lose, have fun!

Technical issues:
Spoiler, click me
If it crashes often for you, chances are your "Texture handling" parameter is too high so the game runs out of RAM/VRAM OR address space. Lower it and try again, heuristically, your GPU RAM minus 512 Mb is the optimal setting here but YMMV. Turn everything else to a minimum except texture quality maybe (I have it on High). Also, to reduce the mouse lag turn VSync off, if you have it enabled in nvidia-settings you might want to force it off for this game explicitly using "Application Profiles". I noticed significant improvements in my reaction time and aim when VSync is forced off.
morbius 24 August 2017 at 6:10 pm UTC
I expected to love the game because I loved Savage 2, but it just never worked for me. Others mention the problems, but in addition to that, the game is just too dark, fast and frenetic. It would actually be much better if you could play it from third person, like Savage. Aliens move too fast and in combat it's so easy to get lost and not know where you or the enemies are.
rkfg 24 August 2017 at 6:33 pm UTC
morbiusAliens move too fast and in combat it's so easy to get lost and not know where you or the enemies are.
Yeah, it requires a good reaction and aim but it all comes with practice. It's a competitive game after all. I was playing like a potato at first and look at me now (still a potato, but shiny!).
s8as8a 24 August 2017 at 6:57 pm UTC
I am still playing it; in fact, it's one of my favourite games!
cprn 24 August 2017 at 8:12 pm UTC
I watched championship once. It was good. Really good. They're probably getting ready for another one. I was playing it a lot (because of AvP years back) but the way the camera works when aliens climb walls totally puts me off.
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