Whatís in it for Mac Users?The point of any Mac game preview is to let you know what users of our operating system can expect from this title. The good news is that we are getting a game that is functionally identical and network-compatible with the PC version of the game, which means online deathmatching galore.
The bad news is that Mac gamers will not be able to use the map editor (known as RED) nor the character or skin editors that the PC crowd will be receiving. As with many other game editors, these tools were developed using Windows-only shortcuts that are literally impossible to port, as they contain copyrighted Microsoft material (known as the Microsoft Foundation Classes.) Thatís the breaks, but that also hasnít stopped many Mac users from enjoying Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament and many other shooters that also did not ship with editing tools for our OS. As with those titles, we will still get to reap the benefit of the existence of powerful editing tools by downloading and installing the many mods and maps that PC users will create, thus extending gameplay and features.
The Mac version of Red Faction is based on OpenGL, and will be Carbonized for Mac OS X. Obviously the game will be ideal with a Radeon or GeForce 2 MX/GeForce 3 card, but those with 16 MB cards such as the Rage 128 Pro should do well also. While the game engine is full-featured, the level design is not exceedingly complex (being crafted for the limitations of the PS2ís available RAM) and so performance should be on par with other Mac OpenGL-based shooters on most systems. While it is a little unfair to comment about a game still in development, I do have to say I was extremely pleased with the performance of this title on my G4/500 and Quicksilver 733, and I am sure it will only get better as the title steams towards completion.
In my last conversation with GraphSim they informed me that Volition is working on netplay and Carbonization right now, and the title is on target for a late October release. Fans of the shooter genre certainly have an excellent title to look forward to, and those of you who have dismissed this style of gaming as brain-dead and boring might find yourself giving it another look. After all, Eos needs your help.