FPS/RTS hybrids are a fickle creature and although games like Empires, Savage 2 or Nuclear Dawn are definitely entertaining, they can be difficult to pick up and they don’t pander to a very wide audience. Their player populations tend to be small as a result. One upcoming game looks to rise above this challenge though. Natural Selection 2 is reminiscent of the multiplayer of Aliens vs Predator and Dead Space 2 combined into one well polished game.
The original Natural Selection is one of the most played mods for Half Life 2 according to ModDB and a sequel is a welcome addition to an underpopulated genre. Although it looks sufficiently fast paced and challenging, the defining point for a game like this would be whether the the Frontiersmen and the Kharaa (the marines and aliens) are properly balanced and whether the game offers enough tasks, maps and content to prevent it from becoming a tedious back and forth of team rushing.
NS2 is expected to be a summer 2012 release.