Gaming in OS X

By Jim Lynch  |  Posted 2005-01-26 Print this article Print

Apple gets a lot of crap about how Macs are bad for gaming, but Ive found that really isnt true at all. The main game I play a lot is Unreal Tournament 2004. Its my favorite, and I really love hopping into it and blasting away at enemies. It ran quite nicely on my DIY box under Windows XP but it ran way, way better on the Power Mac. Granted, my Power Mac does have a very powerful video card (a 6800 ultra) but the DIY box is no pushover, with an MSI 5900XT in it. My Power Mac ran UT so smooth, like butta! Loyd: Thats nice. But where is Half-Life 2, Battle for Middle Earth, Kohan 2, Far Cry, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, Pirates, Joint Ops… well, you get the picture.
Another complaint is that there arent enough games for the Mac. Well that all depends on how often you play. If youre a hard-core gamer, then youd be better off skipping computers altogether and buying a PlayStation 2. Its cheaper and has an absolutely gigantic amount of games available for it. But if youre a casual gamer, you can find more games for the Mac than you might expect.
Loyd: Tsk, tsk. Console games are not PC games; PC games are not console games. At any rate, Apple still tends to trail Wintel when it comes to leading-edge PC games. They did get World of Warcraft, though, which makes up for a lot. A visit to the Apple sites gaming section turns up some very good games: Americas Army, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Spiderman 2, Doom 3, World of Warcraft, and more. Will you get all of the latest releases found on the Windows platform? No, definitely not. Will a casual gamer find enough games on the Mac to enjoy? Id say yes, definitely. Theres quite a lot listed on Apples site, but theres more than that out on the web. Sites like MacGamer, Inside Mac Games, and Mac Game Files, will turn up lots of games and many playable demos as well. Loyd: Trust me, you dont want to call out Spiderman 2. Dont let anybody tell you that Macs suck for gaming. Its just not true. You may not get every title thats out for Windows but theres still plenty of good gaming for Mac owners. And theres nothing quite like blowing up some snot nosed PC user in Unreal Tournament 2004. Very satisfying, indeed. ;) Continued...

Jim manages the PC Magazine and ExtremeTech forums, and is responsible for building community in the forums on both sites. He started managing PC Mag's forum on ZiffNet on CompuServe many years ago. He then transferred the staff and expertise to the Web. He left ZDNet when it moved to San Francisco and came back to Ziff after the split from ZDNet, right before ExtremeTech launched. You can get more background at his personal site:

His favorite movies include Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Three Musketeers (1973 version), Dune (Sci Fi Channel version), and gobs of others. He can't live without his iPAQ Pocket PC—,he uses it at the gym and everywhere else—,and his DVD collection features more than 200 films. His favorite game is Tribes (PC), which is more than three years old but he still plays it all the time.

Jim likes interacting with the folks in the forum and the content. 'I Love both of 'em,' says Lynch. 'It's what makes the job fun and interesting.'

You're welcome to visit Jim's site for more information about him.


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