Fallout 3 on a Mac?
January 31, 2009 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Best way to play Fallout 3 on my Intel Mac running Leopard?

I know that things like Bootcamp and Wine exist but that is the extent of my knowledge. Do I need to buy anything? If I buy those things will it still not work? If I need to install Windows, what's the cheapest way to do that? Will installing Windows open up my precious computer to hordes of hacker kiddies, even if I only use it to play this game?

Alternatively, is there a chance in hell it will be released for the Mac in 2009?
posted by Pants! to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bootcamp is free, you'd need a license for Windows. For the most part your mac is safe with a windows partition, depending on if you let it mount your Mac drives or not (I don't think this is an option in Windows/Bootcamp but can be if running from a virtual pc such as VMWare or Parallels, neither of which will likely handle Fallout 3).
posted by furtive at 11:52 AM on January 31, 2009

re: Bootcamp security. By default Windows can't read the HFS+ file system, so malware, spyware and the like wouldn't infect your Leopard partition. Even if it could, the spyware wouldn't run on the Leopard side. So you're pretty safe from that angle.
posted by sharkfu at 12:02 PM on January 31, 2009

1) Having Windows on doesn't automatically grant anyone able to gain access the ability to read your Mac OS partition
2) It's actually quite easy to protect yourself against said hordes if you follow the basic principles of (a) Have a firewall and AV software, (b) avoid browsing porn and warez and (c) don't install anything when you don't know exactly what it is.
posted by fearnothing at 12:24 PM on January 31, 2009

Here's a recent AskMe on getting Windows for cheap. Steer clear of WINE and its variants (e.g., Crossover), as they only emulate the Windows API, and graphics-heavy games tend to test the boundaries of their abilities (if they work at all). You might get away with using a virtualization program like VMWare or Parallels instead of Bootcamp, but you'll need to buy a copy of Windows for any of those.

Good luck and have fun... oh, and make sure your Mac meets the minimum requirements for Fallout 3. (My 2-year-old MacBook Pro doesn't quite cut it.)
posted by aparrish at 12:29 PM on January 31, 2009

Probably no on the Mac release. I'm doing the same thing (playing Fallout 3 on my Intel mac). I use Bootcamp because running parallels-like software is hell on my system, and I actually (gasp!) purchased a copy of Vista. Don't do that unless you have to, but no, it won't open your Mac up to viruses unless you do anything dumb with it. You're basically cutting off a chunk of your hard drive for it to run Windows, a chunk that will stay completely separate from the one you use to run your Mac OS. Vista is a very unwieldy operating system though, and gaming is pretty much all I use it for.
posted by libertypie at 12:43 PM on January 31, 2009

I have to disagree with aparrish about using Crossover Games - I was playing Civ IV & Colonization, and noticed very little difference between Civ IV in Crossover vs. Civ IV for the mac. It's worth trying, at least.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:04 PM on January 31, 2009

Also disagreeing with aparrish: Wine worked wonderfully to play Portal, and I didn't pay MSFT a dime. Games are often the first programs to work in Wine, so the graphics functions are implemented (not "emulated", natch) first.

Crossover had a single day of gratis downloads a while back, for the Office-y version and for the Games version (I don't know the difference, really). I still have both installers online (OSX and Linux), so if you want any, send me a message and I'll tell you how to get them. (I'd just post a link, but I pay for bandwidth and don't want it widespread.)
posted by cmiller at 1:18 PM on January 31, 2009

@cmiller The games based on the source engine (Portal, Half-life 2, TF2, L4D) are a special case. Those all do work yes, but getting a random modern/brand new 3D intensive game to run under it will prolly not happen.
posted by OwlBoy at 1:41 PM on January 31, 2009

Given that Oblivion didn't get ported to OS X (which is the core engine for Fallout 3, AFAIK), chances are less than 0.01% that it would get a native OS X release this year. Most game ports take at least a year, and there's been no announcement to this effect yet.
posted by Remy at 1:44 PM on January 31, 2009

Boot Camp works just fine, all you have to do is buy a copy of Windows, and then run "Boot Camp Assistant" to install it (which takes a couple of hours or so, but most of that time is just progress bars, it's not technically difficult at all.) Works pretty well for me, apart from for GTA IV, but I think that's because it's buggy as all hell.
posted by so_necessary at 3:10 PM on January 31, 2009

FWIW, Fallout 3 is rated either silver or gold on Wine's app database. It looks like there's a lot of fiddling to get it to work. I've found that Wine is very hit-or-miss not just between versions, but from system to system. It is very nice when games work, though, because booting to Windows just to play a game is annoying.

Also, I've found the game very crashy in general, even in Windows (apparently you shouldn't set Anti-aliasing to 4x).
posted by dirigibleman at 8:57 PM on January 31, 2009

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