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Publisher: Electronic Arts    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: Intel @ 1830 MHz    RAM: 999 MB    Hard Disk: 6000 MB    DVD-ROM


Battlefield 2142
October 26, 2007 | Alex McLarty
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Windows & Mac

Performance
Since BF2142 for Mac is technically for Windows (in fact, playing BF2142 on Windows works with the Mac disc inserted) we can directly compare performance, while bearing in mind the overhead that Cider inevitably has.

Iíve been playing BF2142 for months on Windows XP on my first generation Intel iMac (Core Duo 2GHZ, 1.5GB RAM, X1600 128MB). Performance is solid with all graphics settings to Medium, resolution bumped up to 1024 x 768. I play regularly on a variety of maps, both Conquest and Titan, and my FPS range is a solid 30-35.

Battlefield 2 was known for itís crashes and while BF2142 has some of the same issues, they have become more uncommon as patches have been released. On a whole the game runs solidly and is enjoyable to play.

Weirdly, reviewing BF2142 for Mac hasn't been whether the game is fun or awesome to play. You just need to look at the thousands of players who play regularly to get your answer. The heart of the review is on the implementation of the game on MacOSX.

I was looking forward to BF2142 for Mac, but sadly it isnít the replacement for the Windows version I was hoping for. Performance on a variety of maps with all graphics settings to low, resolution left to the default 800x600, averaged 17-20FPS. FPS did jump occasionally into the early twenties, but never enough for a consistent and enjoyable game.

There are only two resolution options for the Mac version; 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768. These resolutions leave black bars at the side of your monitor as BF2142 does not support widescreen monitors as it was thought that a wider field of view would give an unfair advantage to some players. Windows stretches the resolution to fill your screen whereas MacOSX keeps the intended resolution. This is not a bug or a flaw with Cider, merely the choice of EA and Apple.

I was hoping performance problems were limited to my machine so I approached a variety of players on forums and via email to see how their machines performed. Feedback was mixed. Some players were experiencing graphical glitches and/or low FPS, some could play the game without any problems.

Generally the newer, or more powerful your system is, the better BF2142 will perform. Carefully balancing your system to play the game is highly advised. Up to 900MB of textures can be loaded into memory if texture settings are set to maximum, so try and be realistic when cranking up the settings.

Transgaming have done a great job of making BF2142 ĎMac-likeí. Installation is drag and drop and all the usual Finder commands work perfectly. In Windows I canít switch between BF2142 and the OS, the game simply crashes. It works perfectly on my Mac.

During testing I spoke to Transgaming regarding my performance issues. I was assured that they are committed to bringing high quality Cider powered games to the Mac. They are aware of some issues and stress the importance of user feedback.

On certain higher end machines, namely Mac Pros and MacBook Pros, BF2142 runs wonderfully with all settings maxed out. The problem is clearly in bringing adequate performance to older hardware. Unfortunately many users, myself included, are running two year old rigs. Most users will not be running the latest and greatest hardware and will have to resort to running the game in Windows.



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