It’s been an incredible year for Mac gaming. Many of the games we didn’t feature on our list this year would easily have taken a place in previous years. We were also (somewhat unusually for this industry) inundated with a torrent of new releases late in the year, with games such as Legend of Grimrock simply too late to be considered for inclusion this year (maybe next year…)
With that said, let’s cut to the chase and find out which game can be crowned king of the world, at least as far as Mac gamers are concerned.
To recap, the runners-up:
And now to reveal Control Command Escape’s Game of the Year:
I had somewhat low expectations for Borderlands 2, not because I thought it would be bad but I couldn’t understand how they could possibly improve on the first game. Well, I don’t know how but Gearbox managed to do it. Pandora looks beautiful, the brown palette from the previous game has gone and has been replaced with a vibrant, colourful environment, filled with grass, snow and ice. The comedic value in the writing is as present as ever and thanks to our old friend Claptrap you’ll be laughing about wall sphincters for hours. With the amount of time spent playing the first game in the series the story is a gripping, emotional rollercoaster. You will laugh, you will get angry and you might even shed a tear but at the end of it you will have one of the best gaming experiences available.
Gearbox produced a game, that being a sequel, was somewhat derivative. It built on an existing formula, but somehow perfected it, making it far more enjoyable than the previous iteration without dumbing it down or losing any of its personality. Not only that, but here’s a massive AAA title proving that games can be played on a Mac, and giving us everything we could ask for in that regard:
- Released shortly after the Windows version
- Great performance on Mac hardware
- A fully-featured options menu
- SteamPlay-enabled, so you have the option of playing the Windows version if you so choose (the only downside to this being that you couldn’t share a profile between Mac and Windows versions)
- Co-op multiplayer with Windows gamers
- A version specifically for the Mac App Store (albeit one that’s necessarily tied to the godawful Game Center), so people at least have the option of buying it from there
- Great DLC released regularly
- Have I mentioned that the game works with Exposé? Because it does, you can play the game and press fn-F11 (or just F11) and see your desktop. THAT”S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.
Aspyr (who, let’s face it, have been behind some ports that didn’t perform well and/or had features cut out) really managed pull off the impossible and give us a game that was close to perfect on a technical level, whilst Gearbox gave us a game that was packed full of fun. Some will argue that the Windows version runs better, what with its support for PhysX, but I rather feel that’s missing the point. We know we’re lumbered with less-than-ideal graphics drivers (for the time being at least) on OS X, and in any case Apple haven’t got anything close to the DirectX library that most games developers rely on. The point is, comparisons with Windows aside, the game runs beautifully.
In a year that produced an astonishingly high number of wonderful games (and I’m more than aware that several games, such as Cargo Commander and Splice, may also have been worthy of our consideration, if only we’d gotten around to covering them in time), Borderlands 2 towers above them all, with its mad grab-bag of nutjob characters, its bombastic gameplay, and its many, many guns.
What was your game of the year? Let us know in the comments (and maybe win a prize in the process!)