Recently NCsoft gave us the chance to get our hands on the beta version of the City of Heroes
Mac client, letting us finally run around Paragon City and the Rogue Isles from the comfort of Mac OS X.
While the client doesn't deliver anything new to the City of Heroes
gameplay table, it is a really well done port over to OS X. The client still connects to the main City of Heroes servers, allowing Mac users to play seamlessly with their PC friends. Nothing like EverQuest for Mac
, more like the EVE Online
port for OS X.
What really surprised me about this port is just how well it runs on the Mac compared to other games. Especially when the Mac in question is a laptop that sports an Intel integrated graphics chip instead of a powerhouse nVidia or ATI video card.
The Macbook in question for this test is one of the newer models, but not exactly the top of the line. In fact, it's the cheapest Mac that you can currently buy in the store! What I'm using is a 13 inch Macbook
, outfitted with 1 GB of RAM and an Intel GMA X3100 graphics chip. On it I got CoH
up to smooth, lagless frame rates at the standard recommended settings at 1024x768 resolution. I even got it to bump up to the highest settings, and things weren't too bad. There was stuttering during running and some lag during combat, but it wasn't unbearable.
Getting the resolution cranked up to my native settings of 1280x800 was a bit of a different story but still not a bad story. Graphics ran on recommended settings (and looked quite good) after playing for a bit, but the initial conversion was pretty much full of stutters. It took a few fights before things were moving smoothly, but I was just really impressed with how well the game was handling without a dedicated video card.
The only rough spot of the whole experience was people en masse and the sound of my fan. Getting a group of people together using their powers ran the game through the mud, but then again the game seems to do that no matter what type of system you're playing on. City of Heroes
loves to throw many, many enemies at you, and that's half the fun of the game. As for my fan, it sounds like a jet is taking off inside my laptop every time I even think about booting City of Heroes
Lastly, and this point isn't Mac specific, CoH
is a good MMO to run on your laptop. As long as you can get close to enemies and push one of your attacks, the game will automatically target for you and turn your character to face them. When you get in combat, you don't have to absolutely rely on the mouse to constantly target and retarget enemies. The number keys for combat moves are easily accessible right above the WASD keys, and the experience is very enjoyable.
In comparison to another MMO, I had EVE Online
running on my laptop for a time. The performance, compared to City of Heroes
, was full of glitches and stutters. Heck, even flash based games
seem to give this laptop a hard time. So it really was a breath of fresh air to see City of Heroes
run so well on a laptop that is not equipped for gaming.
If you're a Mac owner and a gamer, this port is a good and solid port that needs to go on your shopping list. City of Heroes Macintosh Edition has just hit the NCsoft game store
, available as a digital download. If you have some holiday spending cash left over, do yourself a favor and check it out.