Natural Selection 2 Playable Alpha Hits Steam Monday, July 26

By Garnett Lee, Jul 14, 2010 2:00pm PDT Game Director Charlie "Flayra" Cleveland announced in a blog post that the playable alpha for Natural Selection 2 will release through Steam on Monday, July 26. Getting in is easy; everyone who pre-ordered the Special Edition of the game gets to play. Most everyone should be covered as Cleveland notes that a whopping 90% of the community has already done that. But if you've been on the fence, it's time to make the call. Once the Alpha starts, the door closes on Special Edition pre-orders, alpha access, and the special all black marine armor.

To help hold us over the post also included three new screens including the glimpse at commander mode seen above. Cleveland reminds us that this will be a real alpha and there's still a lot of work to come. Their plan calls for an aggressive patch schedule of 1 to 4 updates per month during the alpha. If you've never participated in one before, watching a game evolve through this stage of its development is a fascinating experience. The alpha will feature one full map from the final version of the game along with some smaller ones specifically for testing purposes. We've got the full rundown on what you'll find in the alpha after the jump.

  • One of our shipping maps (ns2_tram), plus some smaller "test" maps
  • Marine, with Rifle, Pistol, SwitchAx, Grenade Launcher (oops, and shotgun!)
  • Skulks, Gorges, Lerks and their basic movement abilities and weapons
  • Marine armory "buy" screen for purchasing new equipment
  • Alien evolution menu for choosing your lifeform and upgrades
  • Basic marine and alien commander interfaces including MACs, Drifters
  • Much of our final sounds, artwork, animations, etc.
[thanks to several who sent in tips!]

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