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Entries in FPS (6)
Since I very first started gaming on an Apple - on a Performa 630 - back in 1994 playing games on a Mac has been a very patchy experience punctuated by some amazing highs and heartbreaking lows. But throughout quite a bit of this time one web site has kept the fires burning for the dedicated Apple FPS player - Macgamingfiles.com. Sadly this tiny sanctuary of enthusiasts seems to have shut it's doors for good.
Above: Ghost Recon Classic on the Apple Mac, a game that allowed Apple FPS fans to play with some partity with their PC owning counterparts. Macgamingfiles.com was THE place to meet up with other GhR players to discuss competitions, mods and expansions on the Mac platform.
Macgamingfiles.com and it's inspirational founder, Monoman, has tried to keep the momentum going for cult classic FPS demos and games by acting as a resource for home-made mods for such games as Ghost Recon, Rogue Spear and latterly the HALO demo. Importantly as it championed the free gaming experience for Mac FPS fans by adding features and extended playability to demo versions of commercial Mac games (important because of the premium that is placed on Mac gaming titles which cost far more than thier PC based counterparts).
Monoman himself was a legendary force behind the very solid Ghost Recon Mac community, developing a slue of mods for this game as well as providing support for others who did likewise. An elusive character I actually had the privilage of bumping into him in (virtual) person on one occassion while he was testing out some mod or other online.
Above: One of the early triumphs for Mac gaming was Bungie's Marathon series. This FPS was developed for the Apple Mac and was, in it's time, generally hailed as the 'Doom killer' by Mac and PC game critics alike. I actually had PC gaming friends who would ask to borrow my Performa 630 just to play this title! It was successes like this that inspired developers like Ubisoft to take a chance and develope titles like Ghost Recon Classic for the Mac - Macgaming files was an ardent supporter of Tom Clancy titles on the Mac.
Macgamingfiles.com was a very important part of my Mac gaming experience over the years and I remember with great fondness those early days of Ghost Recon and those Sunday morning skirmishes on GameRanger (which is now available for Mac & PC but which started out on the Mac).
Left: In many ways this is where Apple Mac FPS gaming began for me, a demo of Wolfenstien 3D in 1994. I got this on a demo disk on the cover of MacFormat - remember floppy disks?
The great sadness that accompanies Macgamingfiles.com's demise is somewhat tempered by the fact that more than any other time Apple Mac gaming is thriving and even growing - with Valve's extraordinary commitment to releasing Mac versions of it's classic games. But whatever the future holds for Mac FPS I would like to take this opportunity to extend my personal thanks to Monoman - wherever he is now - and say a fond farewell to a important, if small, corner of the Internet that represented the Mac gaming spirit.
Today the legacy of Mac gaming enthusiasts is that the platform is better supported that it ever has been with the likes of Valve, 2K Games and Steam giving Mac users some of the newest FPS releases, dispelling the old myth that there are no good games on a Mac. Macgamingfiles.com was one of the web sites which kept the movement for great Mac gaming alive. May it rest in peace.
Above: Today Mac FPS fans can enjoy the same cutting edge gaming experience that thier PC owning counterparts, with titles like CoD Modern Warfare 4, Left 4 Dead 2 and Borderlands, etc. OK so we don't get the newest games first, but in the past we never used to get them at all!
Another ambitious game release and another major disappointment. Brink has held the attension of my gaming friends and myself for a while now with a slew of amazing looking game trailers and teasers which were quite amazing. Sadly the reality - once again - is quite different to the hype and game reviews have been scathing about the multiplayer first person shooter.
For every element that creates intriguing dynamics or grants fun powers, there is something flawed in its execution that hampers your fun.[Gamespot UK Brink review - SCore: 6/10]
I guess the only positive is that - unlike some previous over-hyped releases - I may have finally learned my lesson and I didn't either pre-order this game on faith or rush out to buy the game as soon as it was released. I waited for the game reviews and boy am I glad I did.
It's very sad that such obvious game design ambition, design innovation and hard work has - in the end - been for nothing and I am beginning to wonder whether game developers really know what they are doing. After all, it's very plain to see what works and it's obvious what we game players want, but above that it seems to me that the developers just do not play the game they are developing enough to ensure that it is a FUN as it should be and that it actually works!
Maxing out a character in a matter of days is just too quick. While you can adjust your skills, the repetition of objectives and the fight don’t make this a game you can really hang on to. [IGN Brink review - 6.5/10]
Such is the money that is at at stake that there seems to be a point of no return in game making - once past this point, even if the game starts to look like a turkey in testing the developer is locked into the pre-determined release schedule in the simple hope that thier game hype will shift enough units to justify thier investment. It's as well they don't make cars or electrical appliances using this model!
Gamespot UK video review...
A sure sign that you are suffering from game fatigue is when you start doing silly things in a match 'just for the hell of it'. My big BC2 Vietnam 'silliness' at the moment is my flame thrower runs - my K/D suffers but what the hell it's a flaming good laugh!
As a remedy to this general fatigue I have been keeping my eye on a few different forthcoming games and chief among them is 'Homefront' which seems to be an updated take on the classic movie 'Red Dawn' (the nasty commie North Koreans have invaded and occupied Good Ol' Americee, yadda, yadda...).
The Homefront developers say they have an answer to this sort of game fatigue:
“In an average FPS you’ll blow through 30 to 100 guys every 15 to 20 minutes or so, and you sort of get this… massacre fatigue where you stop even caring. You forget that you’re killing humans.” says Homefront’s Lead level designer Rex Dickson.
“What we’re trying to do is really attach emotion to that [and show] there are consequences to violence. How am I supposed to make the player feel or care about what they’re killing… that’s really the fundamental crux of what we’re trying to achieve.”
Hhmmm, sound a bit like so much marketing speak but hay ho, if they do manage to make a more personally immersive competitive game then so much the better. However, certainly from my point of view, 'personally immersive' comes down to having very evil nasty ways of shafting other players in a one on one situation so that you know that somewhere someone is cursing your name (and maybe even ranting about how you must be 'hacking' - i.e. are a better player than they are)!
Anyway, here's the latest teaser from Homefront...
I am a bit of a Ghost Recon fan from way back - but this game seems to be overlooked by just about everyone in favour of the CoDs and BF2/BC2s of the gaming world. Many feel that the futuristic technologies and weaponry depicted in Ghost recon just looks too 'hokey' to draw people in and that what the vast majority of game players want is authenticity and realism.
Still - take a look at the teaser and judge for yourself.
Useful link: Ghost Recon.net - the ultimate Ghost recon online community
Breach is a first-person multiplayer shooter that arms you with a Destruction Toolbox — a whole new set of real military tactics that are not possible in any other military game. Use these new tactics to shock, manipulate, and obliterate your opponents.
Join the CIA’s mysterious Special Activities Division as it executes deniable operations. Breach brings the clandestine world of black operations to life with accurate weapons, gear, and unique real-life spy gadgets that you can earn based on your performance.
Shatter the conventional tactics of other games. Your Destruction Toolbox makes multiplayer combat much more like the real thing. - Atomic Games.
Atomic Games courted a lot of controversy - not surprisingly - over it's proposed game title 'Six Day in Fallujah', and while they say that this game is still on the cards they have been working on the more immediate launch of the battlefield FPS 'Breach'.
If you watch the accompanying video you will see that Breach seems something of a one trick pony - to me it's just Counter Strike with destructible objects. But while this might appear to be mindless pampering to the console brigade it does signal the broader acceptance that having a destructible environment in battlefield FPS games is now the norm.
Bad Company 2 really led the way but there is still a nagging doubt as to whether destructibles are merely a gimmick which lend some atmosphere to a game or whether they can actually be an intrinsic part of the tactical play. 'Breach' - while simplistic nonsense - does at least seem to make breaching a central element of the gameplay.
Let's hope game developers continue to explore just what destructables can really add to games in the future - bearing in mind that Battlefield 3 is just around the corner (or so we are told!
(To my mind a positive use of 'destructibles' would be in the ability to use them as a integral part of game tactics. For example, if you want to stem an armoured assault on your positions why not demolish a building in order to block a street. The rubble then adds extra comer and obstacles for infantry too. As it happens this is exactly the sort of thinking that has gone into Breach's 'Convoy' game mode.)
Breach is set to launch first for Xbox 360 at the end of January and then will appear on the PC, where I fully expect it to sink into obscurity!
You can visit Atomic Games Breach web site here - [BREACH]
I'm having a bit of a hard time understanding why EA is similtaniously persuing the Battlefield franchise AND the Medla of Honor franchise at teh same time. This trailer does nothing to clarify what is so different between the new MoH and Bad Company 2...
OK, so the action - on the surface - does look a little more urban and a lot more like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but couldn't EA have just brought out some more urban maps for Bad Company 2 instead?
I am sure there is some sort of fundamental difference between MoH and BC2, maybe in the nature of the game modes, but it does have me puzzled about EA's overall strategy and where this leaves BF3.
With both Medal of Honor and Bad Company 2 in it's stable is there any room for a Battlefield 3? (I find it a little unnerving that there has been no news about the development of BF3 for some time now.)