BOOM HEADSHOT on older hardware?
January 11, 2007 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I need suggestions on older games for an upcoming LAN party.

There are about 10 of us who have a monthly or bi-monthly LAN game, and this time a couple of n00bs are attending. Their systems are older (1.8GHz Pentium w/ GeForce 4400 in one case and a 1.5GHz Pentium w/ ATI 9600 in the other) and I need some suggestions of older games to run.

Traditionally we play CS: Source, F.E.A.R., Battlefield 2, Far Cry, and UT2K4. Some of these will be playable, others not.

Can anyone suggest some older FPS that would run well on the older boxes that are still available somehow and are networkable? Alternately, any non-FPS games that might be a hit with a FPS-minded crowd?
posted by WinnipegDragon to Computers & Internet (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't get any better than Soldier of Fortune II.
posted by SpecialK at 12:00 PM on January 11, 2007

Not an FPS, but Starcraft has great LAN party appeal
posted by kaseijin at 12:00 PM on January 11, 2007

Quake 1
posted by jimmy0x52 at 12:01 PM on January 11, 2007

UT2k4 is pretty scaleable, and would definitely run on the 9600, I dont know about Nvidia, but probably on that as well. Also it has a plethora of mods you can run to mix it up a bit.
posted by BobbyDigital at 12:03 PM on January 11, 2007

Total Annihilation. Schould scale to 10 players, although it gets a little wonky when you get too many units

The original UT is still pretty great, especially if you get some good dark maps and turn on the "sniper arena" mod. Turns it into a hide and seek game, rather than a frag fest.

Worms World party is good mindless fun, and easy on the hardware
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:03 PM on January 11, 2007

An amazing multiplayer classic : Descent!

We got a lot of 8 player playability out of this one on 486 33mhz PCs. The dynamics of power shift during a good battle leads to a lot of laughter and "oh how the mighty have fallen" dyanamics key to a good group game. Ancient, but a goodie. Uses IPX.

Red alert 1 and 2 are also great and would work fine on your PCs.
posted by upc_head at 12:05 PM on January 11, 2007

Doom 2, Single Barrel Shotgun Only.... epic.
posted by emptyinside at 12:09 PM on January 11, 2007

(To expand on that: A group of my former coworkers used to get together once a month in the employee cafeteria at work one friday or saturday night after hours. About half the guys had the lastest and greatest boxes that looked like UFOs and had video cards faster than my CPU. I had an old GeForce and an AMD Barton 2.8 ghz. Our 'standard' games, the ones that we could get running on everyone's platform, included Jedi Knight Academy II and SOF2. We once played SOF2 from 10pm until 4am without any breaks and without realizing we'd played that long or that late.)
posted by SpecialK at 12:09 PM on January 11, 2007

Response by poster: Hmmm, good suggestions. Have to see what I can still buy though, that's going to be the tricky part.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:16 PM on January 11, 2007

Command and Conquer
posted by Afroblanco at 12:19 PM on January 11, 2007

Halo only needs 733 Mhz CPU and 32 Mb video, so it should fit your needs. It's still available on Amazon. Pretty good team game when you cram 3 guys into a Warthog and go hunting.

Make sure everyone has the same version number, or you will spend your gametime trying to get the odd ones online.
posted by forrest at 12:24 PM on January 11, 2007

All of the games you listed will run on the system you have specified, in some form of a playable state (30FPS). You might not be able to run AA/AF to the eight degree on a nosebleed 1600x1200 res but you will be able to play. You can turn off everything on FEAR and run it at 800x600... it looks like Quake deathmatch at that point, but is highly playable.

Which is to say, you should just get ZDoom & EQuake and skip the cruft. UT2K4 is actually not that bad if you get the top level sets and skins from BU, otherwise the default stuff gets stale quick.

Freespace 2 is a classic, but it'll only work if your crew has some joysticks or gamepads hanging around... it even has cooperative play...
posted by prostyle at 12:42 PM on January 11, 2007


you can buy it here, or here
posted by Wezzlee at 12:43 PM on January 11, 2007

For old-school charm, you can't go wrong with Rise of the Triad. We played the living crap out of this one in the server room at one of my first jobs (Great West Life on Osbourne, if your name has anything to do with where you're from).
The Drunk Missles, the Split Missles, and the Flamewall are stupidly good fun in multiplayer.
posted by Kreiger at 12:45 PM on January 11, 2007

Check out Giants: Citizen Kabuto, if you can find it.

Have one player play as the Giant, and everyone else struggles to bring him down. Ridiculously silly fun.

SOF2 is a good suggestion, though it just leaves me itching for cs: source, so you may as well play that.

If you go with Starcraft, make sure to download some turret defense type mod maps for tons of LAN funs.

Alien vs Predator 2 has some great multiplayer modes and very unique gameplay when you're an alien or predator. MY favorite mode has one player spawning as an alien while everyone else is a lowly human. As the alien kills human players, they respawn as aliens until only one human is left.
posted by utsutsu at 12:51 PM on January 11, 2007

Go for the original Unreal! Deck16 rules!
posted by zackola at 12:54 PM on January 11, 2007

This was by far my favorite deathmatch map for the original Unreal.
posted by zackola at 12:59 PM on January 11, 2007

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2007

Team Fortress Classic is, well, a classic.
posted by magikker at 1:05 PM on January 11, 2007

Call of Duty (preferrably United Offensive)
posted by Rhomboid at 1:06 PM on January 11, 2007

Quake 3 is my favorite for LAN games, still. Unreal's pretty good too. Those are both pretty old. Battlefield 1942 would probably be excellent and should run fine on those systems, and that's probably going to be your best bet, considering you play Battlefield 2 all the time.
posted by pazazygeek at 1:10 PM on January 11, 2007

Oh. I forgot to mention one of my all time favorites, mostly just because of the co-op: Serious Sam!
posted by pazazygeek at 1:10 PM on January 11, 2007

Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 will run on almost any system and are a TON of fun on LAN.

(also second Starcraft, although there is a learning curve)
posted by eric-neg at 1:11 PM on January 11, 2007

Unreal Tournament, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Starcraft (with custom maps), Quake 2 and/or 3, and the original Dooms (you'll probably want to get a source port) should get you started.

Is it possible to get three TVs, three Xboxes, three copies of Halo or Halo 2, and all necessary controllers? I held a few LAN parties back in the day and we almost always kicked things off with a 12 man Halo game on Longest with no shield, all rockets, and a 50 frag limit. Insane amounts of fun and it is a great way to kick off the night.
posted by Diskeater at 1:11 PM on January 11, 2007

You could play the original Counter Strike or Battlefield 1942.
posted by internal at 2:13 PM on January 11, 2007

I would vote for TFC as well especially for LAN because the game requires communication for any team to win, but the whole thing with classes might be too overwhelming for anyone who hasn't played it before.

Quake 3 Arena with the threewave patch is always fun.
posted by nakedsushi at 2:14 PM on January 11, 2007

People are offering some old (and awesome) games, but those machines aren't that bad, they will easily run Enemy Territory with some settings turned down, and obviously that is free.

More importantly they will play the Greatest Multiplayer Game of All TimeTM: RTCW.
posted by markr at 2:22 PM on January 11, 2007

An advantage of RTCW (or ET I guess, even though it sucks) for your situation is that your n00bs can be useful running around as a medic keeping you alive rather than just being cannon fodder. This can be important in not scaring away new gamers when the skill levels are different.
posted by markr at 2:28 PM on January 11, 2007

It isn't as fast paced as some of the FPS games, but we had hours of fun playing Worms and Worms 2
posted by bryanzera at 2:51 PM on January 11, 2007

If you can find it, there's an Axis and Allies computer game. It's just like the board game but generally faster (no messing with red and white chips, no counting out movements etc.) There's also a variety of scenarios you can play. Might be fun for a FPS crowd.
posted by chndrcks at 3:43 PM on January 11, 2007

Team Fortress Classic is, well, a classic.

That was going to be my suggestion. 10-12 people is a great number to play with.
posted by jaysus chris at 3:59 PM on January 11, 2007

My lan group still breaks out Freelancer fairly often. You fly around in space, trading resources and doing missions for money to upgrade your ship. It's several years old so it'll run on anything, and the multiplayer is a lot of fun - especially as a break from FPS games.

Multiplayer - you can either fly around individually (sometimes crossing paths), or form teams and do missions together. It's fun for players to get different roles - someone flies the big hulking transport full of goods, other people fly a fighter screen defending it, someone flies a bomber to take out capital ships in the way, etc.

It's also fairly simple - very newb friendly. It's not nearly as complex as Eve Online, for example.

There's also a cool mod we used to use called the rebalance mod that (strangely enough) breaks the game balance, but adds in a ton of new ships and ways to upgrade them.
posted by Fully Completely at 4:22 PM on January 11, 2007

You could easily play all of those games except battlefield 2 and far cry. Those are the only real system chuggers. In my experience, once you turn off everything in fear it will run smoothly on practically anything, but thinking back on it it might require a newer shading technology that the 4400 or the 9600 might not have. As far as suggestions go, I highly recommend:

Dawn of War
Quake III
Jedi Academy (imo has limited multiplayer replay, though)
Diablo II (if you like that whole dungeon crawl thing, but it's a total blast when you get a full group of people. I think it's max eight players)
Medal of Honor (some of the best multiplayer I've ever experienced)
Call of Duty
Alien vs. Predator
Red Faction (if that does have multiplayer, I can't remember but it would run well)

But as several people have suggested, you really can't beat Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory; it's free, runs well on practically everything, and is one of the most fun experiences I've ever had at a lan party, simply because it has great maps, different team experiences, several roles, and individual goals as well as team.
posted by stresstwig at 1:16 AM on January 12, 2007

My fav older FPSs.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein
posted by mphuie at 2:07 AM on January 12, 2007

Aliens vs Predator is wicked fun, especially when the lights are low and the playing the Aliens is good. Lots of jumping and cursing. =)

For some reason my friends all still dig Birth of the Federation. Good luck on getting it networked and running for more than an hour at a time though.
posted by Chickenjack at 1:21 PM on January 12, 2007

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