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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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The Future

Apple
If the rumors are true, later this month the next generation of MacOSX, named Leopard, will be released. Aside from a whole range of new features, Leopard is said to have many under the hood improvements. If Leopard has optimized graphics drivers and/or a faster OpenGL implementation, we could see increased performance in games.

Cider
Cider is a sophisticated and relatively new distribution. As itís still in itís infancy, we have to give it some leeway. However as an end product, the Ciderized BF2142 should perform better than it does.

Cider has performed admirably with other games, Command and Conquer 3 and Myst Online being fine examples, but BF2142ís performance on a range of hardware is inconsistent and disappointing.

Cider is one of the first commercial products to break games out of Windows. It is clear that most game development studios will not invest time and money at this point in time porting games directly over to the Mac. As a technology, Cider is fantastic news for Mac users. It is the first step in creating platform agnostic games, that one day, will be able to run on any hardware.

Conclusion
Apple do not release breakdowns of their machine sales, but Iíd say itís a fair to assume that much of their desktop sales are iMacs. iMacs are the solid midrange of Appleís hardware. They are the most affordable Mac and are the best value for money. The Mac Mini is underpowered for games (in fact BF2142 does not run on Intel Integrated Graphics, goodbye MacBook and Mac Mini) and while the Mac Pro is a beast of machine, it is too expensive for most.

Valve, creators of the renowned Half Life series, regularly run a computer hardware survey of their users. Interestingly, most users run Ďunderpoweredí machines to run their games.

Mac users are in a similar situation. We have a much smaller, and in some respects, an underpowered range of computers to choose from. If development is going to continue on the Mac with Cider, developers must try and focus their attention to the older machines and make sure they can perform adequately.

Itís all well and good if a Quad Core 3GHZ Mac Pro can run BF2142 well, but what about the year old iMacs that make up most of the hardware out there? Itís a real shame to see such a popular and exciting title suffer from performance issues.

However, donít let that dishearten you about Mac gaming. Performance can only improve and I have no doubt that Transgaming are hard at work solving the issues that plague some users. Not only do the new iMacs have a new graphics card with a new and potentially more powerful architecture, but Leopard could also give Mac gaming the performance boost it needs.

Transgaming have done a fine job of navigating the complex waters of Mac gaming thus far. Although this release needs improvement, Iím hopeful weíll see the technology go from strength to strength. Keep an eye out for patches that will improve performance.

Pros
• Great gameplay
• Solid range of classes and unlocks
• Thriving community

Cons
• Performance is inconsistent
• Can crash occasionally



Battlefield 2142
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Buy Battlefield 2142 now at MacGameStore.com


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