Can I play Bioshock on my Macbook Air?
August 9, 2012 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Can I play Bioshock on my Macbook Air? Will it be a pleasant experience? Will I have problems with overheating or with a less-than-ideal interface?

I know I can buy a Mac version of the game. That's not the question.

Every time I visit my brother, I play Bioshock on his Xbox 360. He lives across the country from me, so these visits amount to a few days once a year, during which we do other stuff too. I have never gotten very far into it, but I love the plot and the graphics.

I am in no way a gamer and don't really want to be, but I would love to be able to play more of Bioshock. I have a Macbook Air -- it's about a year old and runs Lion. I know it's not a gaming rig, but I'm wondering if it would be acceptable for one game played by a non-gamer. Would I have trouble with the fan? or with it overheating? Would the game hang up or be annoyingly slow? Would the interface be annoying compared to the Xbox? Would I have to buy some sort of controller?

Assume you are talking to someone with no knowledge of gaming hardware, and little experience with gaming software -- because that's me. Other than playing an occasional game (about 1-2 times a year) on systems my brother has owned over the years, I have no experience with modern games or systems, or their technical requirements.
posted by OrangeDisk to Technology (6 answers total)
I played Portal 2 on my MBA (same generation) and it worked fine. The fan did go, and the MBA did warm up, but I played the game with headphones and I had a blast. I can't imagine why you'd have any problem playing a game that came out a few years before Portal 2, unless it is a poor port. Enjoy!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:52 PM on August 9, 2012

You won't need a 'controller' per se, but you will need a mouse. I suppose you could use an Xbox 360 controller alternatively, but that is generally considered less preferable for computer first person shooters. Otherwise, you should be just fine for older games like that on an intel HD3000
posted by McSwaggers at 2:16 PM on August 9, 2012

Oh, also, you will probably want to make sure that you laptop is plugged into a wall outlet while you play, otherwise power-saving measures like CPU/graphics-throttling might conceivably cause some sort of problem. Have fun, it's a great game!
posted by McSwaggers at 2:34 PM on August 9, 2012

There's a demo available. Try before you buy.
posted by permafrost at 3:08 PM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the responses. I didn't know there was a demo -- I'll definitely try that. But I'm feeling optimistic! Thanks so much.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:45 PM on August 9, 2012

Second the mouse. Get one with a wheel for quick weapon-switching.

Shut down all other applications while running it-- this will spare up some cycles, and avoid interruptions from Growl and whatnot.

The game gets a bit slow in the middle, bogged down by some giant levels. Stick with it.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:14 PM on August 9, 2012

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