Hellgate: London, on a Mac!

26th March 2008 – 8.39 am

I was made aware of Codeweavers' project Crossover Mac somehow, and it looked like an excellent way to enjoy some more computer game entertainment without having to muck around with dual-booting or having different machines, or what have you. With Portal getting so much interest, and the compatibility database showing that it pretty much worked okay, I decided to buy the Orange Box and give Crossover Mac a go. In what is becoming a cliché, it was a huge success. I got Portal, Half-life 2, and Team Fortress 2 all running on my Mac with only a little fiddling required. They don't run perfectly, but they are certainly good enough. And by 'good enough' I mean that they run just fine most of the time, at full resolution and framerate, they just have the occasional quirk to be tolerated.

Satisfied with this, I bought a licence for Crossover Mac and registered my copy. Lo, the very next day an announcement comes through e-mail that Codeweavers have introduced Crossover Games, a gaming-specific version of their Crossover software, which promises to be compatible with more games at the cost of perhaps some stability. As I am only really going to be using the software to run Windows games on my Mac this is the version that I am after. The good news was that a free subscription to Cx Games was being offered to all registered Cx Mac users, otherwise I might have been a bit miffed considering the timing.

I downloaded the new software and reinstalled the Orange Box. I tried to get Portal running, wondering if I could get my save games across to the new installation, but didn't succeed. That was disappointing, considering that it worked in the old CxM software, and I'll be trying again. But the reason I installed it right away was to test it out on something different. I had checked the compatibility database and saw that Hellgate: London hadn't been tested, and as all The Kids are playing it I thought I'd find a demo and give it a go. The game downloaded and installed without a problem, putting it in to a WinXP 'bottle'. It started up and looked like it was going to work. And it kind of did.

The title screen came up and I could select options with the arrow keys, but the mouse movements and button clicks were not registering. That was unfortunate. Even so, I was able to select a new game and enter, albeit as the default character as I couldn't change any options without the mouse. The game started, and it ran smoothly and flawlessly. Well, flawlessly if you ignore the mouse problem. I ran forwards and backwards and swung my swords to chop down a few zombies. It all looked quite positive. But it was surprising just how soon the game demanded the character to look around with the mouse, even taunting me with the tutorial tips to move the mouse to turn a corner. Ah well, it was good to give it a go at least.

I filed a quick bug report, to keep the developers up to date and maybe remove the 'not tested' tag on the game in their database. I got an e-mail reply, stating that the problem with the mouse is a known issue and potentially affects many games, for technical reasons that aren't worth my trying to explain in any kind of knowledgable manner. The problem is high priority, but whether it can be fixed quickly or will take a large rewrite of code is unknown, so I shouldn't hold my breath.

Maybe I'll give EVE Online a go next, when I need a break from World of Warcraft.

  1. 3 Responses to “Hellgate: London, on a Mac!”

  2. Huzzah! It sounds like it could be a game that's easier for the developers to get going! Give us a shout if you do have any joy, it'd be great to go demon slaying with you and Zoso.

    Also, give City of Heroes a try too! I've no idea if it's even compatible; I'm fairly sure they do a one week free trial so you could see if it's to your taste.

    Huzzah for Mac gaming!

    By Melmoth on Mar 26, 2008

  3. I had a poke around and found something about a 14 day trial period for City of Heroes, but it seemed to be referring to having an e-mail with a serial code in it for the trial. It's possible that creating the account necessary to play CoH sends you that serial code in a registration e-mail but I haven't tried that yet.

    There is also the availability of a current player offering a 10-day pass to someone, which I imagine is a possibility.

    By pjharvey on Mar 27, 2008

  4. Yarr, Melmoth or I can do the ten free day referral thingy for City of Heroes, unless I'm more vastly mistaken than a man who thinks Hillaire Belloc is still alive. You can probably only use one code per account, but then if it turns out the game isn't compatible initially, you could always create another account as there wouldn't be any progress to lose.

    There's a new Issue due out soon, that would be a splendid opportunity to roll new characters. Give it a go! You can give yourself tiger ears!

    By Zoso on Mar 27, 2008

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