OS X native, 1st person shooter recommendation for mother-in-law?
August 27, 2004 9:16 AM   Subscribe

My mother-in-law, is looking for a good 1st person shooter, in the vein of Doom/Quake. It must be OS X native, and be able to run decently on her 500 mhz G4. Any Suggestions?
posted by ShawnString to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total)
Is there a single player or multi player bias? You can't do much better than Quake 3 Arena, but it is distinctly multiplayer oriented. I always preferred Unreal Tournament, but I'm having trouble tracking down a Mac version of the original. I'd avoid 2003, but I'm hearing good things about 2004, but I haven't tried it myself.

I haven't played a single player FPS for PC or Mac in years - something like Soldier of Fortune 2 might be worth a look? Does this G4 have a 3D graphics card?
posted by nthdegx at 9:31 AM on August 27, 2004

Response by poster: primarly single player, but would like the abilty to play both on LAN and online, stock video card (ATI Rage 128 16MB)
posted by ShawnString at 9:35 AM on August 27, 2004

Unless she wants something plot driven, Unreal Tournament, without a doubt - even for single-player. Then again, I'm UT biased; an equal amount of people like Q3A.
posted by abcde at 9:41 AM on August 27, 2004

I enjoyed No One Lives Forever quite a bit. It's not very Quake-ish, what with the deadly hair barettes and all, but it is of the right vintage to be enjoyable on a 500mhz machine with a stock graphics card.
posted by bcwinters at 9:41 AM on August 27, 2004

I second NOLF. It will perform very well on the G4 500 and your mother in law might appreciate a woman kicking a little ass.
posted by jmgorman at 9:45 AM on August 27, 2004

And definitely make it UT, not UT2003 or 2004 - even if her computer could handle it - because it's simpler and more fundamental. The UT2k games are so fast they're boring, if that's possible. Original UT for Mac is hard to find but here's one place.
posted by abcde at 9:45 AM on August 27, 2004

You have everything against you: OS X, ATI Rage 128 and 500mhz.

Though I had a lot of fun with Q3A and I never went online, the bots were smart enough for me and the action was really quick pick 'em up.

For some reason I didn't like Unreal, but I never have played that one online.

I'm not a Star Wars fan, but Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II was really good. The multiplayer is just as fun (the newer Jedi Knights, not so much). It's not showing there being a mac version as far as I can see, but I thought Lucas usually released mac versions of their software.
posted by geoff. at 9:48 AM on August 27, 2004

Looks like Jedi Knight II is out on the Mac. I really recommend you trying a JK game, even if you're not a Star Wars fan. Like I said I'm not, and I just possess a general knowledge of Star Wars (light side is good, dark side is bad), and still found it entertaining. It has somewhat of a puzzle side, but nothing bad. It's mostly just forcing you to take the long way around something to get to a panel to open a door, so I don't know if you'd call it a puzzle game but it's not a strictly "kill everything" game like UT.

It's worth a shot.
posted by geoff. at 9:55 AM on August 27, 2004

I have a Dual G4/500 with an ATI 8500 (64MB), and Jedi Knight barely qualified as playable. Your m-i-l will have lots of problems running it with her card. You'll probably have much better success with NOLF.
posted by mkultra at 10:01 AM on August 27, 2004

There's no way UT will run on that hardware.

The tricky thing is that when her hardware was top-of-the-curve, almost no FPSs supported OS X yet. Quake 3 was the first major release to support the new OS, and those that followed targeted more advanced hardware than she's got.

Quake 3 is probably the best FPS she can get, but its emphasis is on multiplayer; you can play alone, but you're still playing the multiplayer game, just against bots. If she prefers a more traditional solo-style game (explore the map, solve some puzzles, follow a story), there are some single-player games built on the Quake 3 engine, such as Alice.

I'm not a Star Wars fan, but Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II was really good. The multiplayer is just as fun (the newer Jedi Knights, not so much). It's not showing there being a mac version as far as I can see, but I thought Lucas usually released mac versions of their software.

That game came out during the few years when Lucas had dropped Mac support -- they had been doing all the Mac development themselves, and it was just too expensive. Now any Lucas games on the Mac are ported by a Mac development house that specializes in such things and can make them profitable. JK2 is a good game, but I don't think it will run on her machine.
posted by jjg at 10:03 AM on August 27, 2004

Best answer: actually i think i solved my problem on my own. i found we did have a copy of quake (the original) I THEN found someone had ported (Thanks Fruits of Dojo) it to run on OS X. I think she will be happy with this...but thanks to all, and i may still give some of those others a try.
posted by ShawnString at 10:08 AM on August 27, 2004

Just one more..Return to Castle Wolfenstein..here's the specs though:

Mac OS X version 10.1 or Mac OS 9.2 or higher
500MHz PowerPC G3 processor or better
256MB of RAM (Mac OS 9 only: 128MB with virtual memory turned on)
3D Graphic Acceleration required (ATI Radeon, NVIDIA GeForce or better)
posted by tetsuo at 11:30 AM on August 27, 2004

There's also been a lot of work to port and upgrade the first two Descent games; there might be an OSX port.

You can try this.

It's probably just the shareware version, but if it runs it's well worth tracking down the full version of the game; you can then use the full-version data files and have an OSX happy version of Descent II!
posted by kaibutsu at 12:33 PM on August 27, 2004

Best answer: I'm shocked, shocked I say, that nobody has mentioned the OS X update to a classic - Marathon Infinity, aka Aleph One. It only includes the demo files, but the original is relatively cheap, and there should be no problems running it on the G4/500, regardless of video card.
posted by sysinfo at 1:06 PM on August 27, 2004

I had not thought Aleph One was far enough along to be mother-in-law friendly. If I was wrong, then yes, by all means get it!
posted by jjg at 2:10 PM on August 27, 2004

Aleph One has gotten to the point where you just replace the Marathon Infinity app and run it. It offers more configuration options, but they don't have to be set, and mostly affect the OpenGL additions to the game. I just downloaded/ran it from scratch, and it's pretty easy. Runs fine on an upgraded G4/800 with the same stock video card. I even have a spare disc of M8 if she tries/likes the demo.
posted by sysinfo at 4:28 PM on August 27, 2004

Gah, that M8 had an infinity symbol in the preview! Oh, how I'd like a copy of Marathon Eight...
posted by sysinfo at 4:29 PM on August 27, 2004

Just download glQuake for Mac OS X (it's free). Then get the retail or free shareware copy of Quake, copy the data files over, and you're running. Should run great on that spec. I run it all maxed out on my 1GHz iBook.
posted by wackybrit at 5:12 PM on August 27, 2004

Nothing beats the original Unreal Tournament. Really.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:47 PM on August 27, 2004

I haven't played it myself but I have friends who love the Marathon series (Alpeh One). I think it's best as a multiplayer game though rather than single.

Other than that, if Unreal I was ever released it's a great single player game and it'll fit your machine spec (unlike, say, Quake 3 or something).
posted by holloway at 7:47 PM on August 27, 2004

There's no way UT will run on that hardware.

I doubt anyone is interested, but my ex-girlfriend played Unreal Tournament without problems on her 333Mhz G3 iMac—though her success with the game may have been related to the fact that the iMac was Strawberry.

She played the game online against a fellow fiddling with a 500Mhz G3 PowerBook. (Top of the line at the time.)

So all in all: I doubt she would find flaws in an experience with the original Unreal Tournament on a G4.
posted by tenseone at 7:10 AM on August 28, 2004

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