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Natural Selection 2 playable female marines arriving September as a free update

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Natural Selection 2, Unknown Worlds' real-time strategy first-person shooter, will receive female marines as a free update late in August or early September, according to an announcement the developer's official website.

Gamers will have the choice of three versions of the female marine. Deluxe Edition owners will receive the ‘Deluxe Armour' version and the standard green marine will be available to all players. Consumers who purchased the Special Edition of Natural Selection 2 during the game's Beta will have access to the ‘Black Armour' version.

Unknown Worlds first revealed its intention of developing female marines for Natural Selection 2 at the beginning of the game's development. Unknown Worlds states in its latest post that female video game characters are often depicted in video games inappropriately and stylized so that they "become sexual objects."

"While their male comrades are clothed, armed and armoured to fight, the female character is notable for the lack of any clothing at all," the post states. "When female characters are granted equal protection, that protection often ignores basic laws of physics in favour of offering titillating form. This is not good enough, and it's not a trope Unknown Worlds will entertain.

"Games are legitimate cultural influences, and game developers are responsible for the message they choose to convey to players. The Natural Selection 2 female marine is first and foremost, like her male colleague, a soldier. Her armour puts function before form, while adopting the science fiction, melee combat aligned design ques that have made the male marine so uniquely recognisable."

In November, game director Charlie Cleveland revealed that Natural Selection 2's development was hindered by money problems and a lack of manpower. According to Cleveland, certain aspects of the title were developed and polished with the assistance of several players. Unknown Worlds went on to sell 144,000 copies of Natural Selection in its first week, grossing more than $1 million.

Natural Selection 2 launched on Steam for Windows PC on Oct. 30. It is currently available for $24.99 for the standard edition and $39.99 for the Deluxe Edition, which consists of an in-game marine model, the game's soundtrack composed by David John and Simon Chylinksi, a digital art book containing concept art by Cory Strader and more.