Review by serados

"One of the best Half Life mods!"

Review for Half-Life: Natural Selection
Natural Selection is a First Person Shooter Real Time Strategy Hybrid. It's a typical Humans vs Aliens game. This time, humans are Marines )(or Frontiersmen), and the aliens are Kharaa (Bacterial organisms capable of evolving). For the most part, the Real Time Strategy part does not apply to most marines other than the Commander because it's mostly just fighting the dreaded Kharaa. For the Kharaa, however, the strategy comes in more. If the enemy has researched Jet Packs, you wouldn't want to go around as a melee-attacker Skulk to attack those flying marines. So, on with the review!

Graphics: 10/10
Best graphics I've (and many others) seen on the Half-Life engine, be it mods or the expansions or the original HL. The many visual effects really give it a sci-fi feel. There will be steam, smoke, and other visual feasts. These are further enhanced by the design team's great graphical ability. The Kharaa are nice and looks what an alien-bacteria should be like. Looking fierce and weird, or even plain funny (as in the case of Gorges, builder aliens). You will fear the sight of a large Fade which looks nearly like Aliens' aliens (pardon me...). Even more scary looking is a hulking Onos which can give the Hulk (pardon me again...) a run for his movie takings. Onos looks like elephants but have three tentacle things on top of his head for paralysis, large tusks for goring marines in bits and pieces and JUST CANNOT BE STOPPED WITH LIGHT WEAPONS. There's also a flying lerk with wings like a bat and body like...something. And of course, the Gorge, with it's body looking undescribable. The marines have shiny armour. They look really futuristic and lends to the sci-fi feel of NS. Great graphics and I would have given 20/10 if I could. 10/10.

Sound/Ambience: 10/10
The sounds seem taken out from a real spaceship itself. The humming of engines when you get near the engine rooms doesn't appear immediately, instead, it fades in as you get close. The ambience fits a space ship with the constant drone of engine in the background. As you get close a Kharaa hive location, you will hear some spleching sound. Very well done. For that I give 10/10.

Gameplay: 10/10
There's a separate section on gameplay, if you read down. Very astounding gameplay. The teams are very balanced and whatever others think, I still think they're balanced. You capture Resource Nozzles and build Resource Towers there to capture it. The more Resource Towers you have, the faster the resources come in. As a Kharaa, you need some gorges to build resource towers. Even so, you need enough resources to do it. Gorges also build hives and alien upgrade buildings and offensive, attacking buildings. For the little Lerk, a machine gunner with Spikes coming out before the first reaches its destination. The basic unit is a Skulk, melee attacker who needs to get close. With 2 hives you can get a Fade once you have the resources. A Fade is a large melee and ranged assault unit, with good ranged attacks and a powerful melee attack. With all 3 hives come the Onos, dreaded elephant. Powerful melee attacker. Dies at range. Gore does 120 damage. So you might think the marines lose out. However, they could win. The marines have an all-seeing Commander, in charge of everything in the Marine base and the whole spaceship. He upgrades weapons and gives them marines heavier weapons like Heavy Machine Guns and Grenade Launchers. The basic primary weapon, the Light Machine gun, has a very high rate of fire and does 10 damage per bullet, slightly less than the Lerk. Shotguns, an underestimated weapon, does 16 damage per pellet, firing 10 pellets. The HMG does 20 damage a bullet, I think. And I'm not sure of grenade launcher damage. There's also mines to fence up the base. Humans have the upper hand by a lot if all technologies are researched. As you can see, both teams are very, very balanced. Unless your commander or gorge is a newbie and does not listen to advice/dispenses items regularly.

Control: 10/10
You set it yourself, no qualms about this.

Replayability: 10/10
High replayability. You must go online to play, so there's always servers waiting for you.

Bugs: 1/10
A large amount of bugs ruin this mod from getting full marks. You would often get stuck at the funniest places. Many people also hate these bugs.

Overall: 9/10
Download this mod now. Play it and be welcomed by a new, beautiful world in Half-Life. Get it at www.natural-selection.org. We'll be waiting...Frontiersmen.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/19/03, Updated 07/19/03


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