OS X Gaming Journaled is a series where I document games that I’ve played (or replayed) that don’t warrant a full review, as well as my recent experiences as a Mac Gamer.
So the supposedly big news this week is some new DLC. And when I say big news, I don’t exaggerate, even Macrumors ran the story of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified getting IAP. This is what it has come to. A shoddy port of a universally loathed game, that’s not available as a SteamPlay title gets some map packs and this is what gets reported on as Mac news? Really, in the week that Humble Bundle 11 resulted in a number of actually decent games being available for Mac? Sigh. But then in fairness to MacRumors, most of the comments on the article were about whether there was going to be a sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown for the iPad. Oh, and they gave the article less precendence on their homepage than something about Samsung phones getting a fingerprint sensor.
But there’s more DLC news! Feral Interactive has brought out the Rome: Total War – Alexander DLC. This being a DLC that’s nearly 8 years old. For a game that’s ten years old (that’s about as old as World of Warcraft). Even the Mac version of Rome Total War is exactly 4 years old. It’s been available for Windows in Steam sales for $1 (18 months ago). But sure, you can go ahead and buy it in 2014 for Mac for $7 if you’re stuck for something to spend your cash on, at which point Windows users will all laugh about Rome Total War 2 being on sale for the same price. Although that’s still allegedly a buggy mess, so maybe it’s not all bad.
And more! Shadowrun Returns‘ Berlin DLC, also known as DragonFall, is now available. Some of you will get it for free, the rest have a rather hefty price tag to look forward to. I fired it only for the splash screen to flash before the whole screen went black. Changing it to windowed mode seemed to do the trick though.
Meanwhile there’s actually some good news from Blizzard. Diablo 3 is to receive its highly anticipated 2.0 patch, the one I’ve been lamenting for over a year now. This will sort out the grind, remove the auction house, and actually result in a decent, enjoyable game. Best of all you don’t even need the forthcoming Reaper expansion to get the benefits. There’s also the aforementioned Humble Bundle, which added Fez, Starseed Pilgrim and Beatbuddy to its roster, although the last two I have little knowledge of at all. And speaking of getting games on the cheap, Steam are changing their policy to allow developers to set their own sales and discounts. This might result in fewer deep discounts than we’ve become accustomed to, or it might create a “race to the bottom” of the likes we’ve seen on the App Store.
So what have I been playing this week? Unlike the majority of my Steam friends, I have not been playing DOTA 2. Instead, there’s the card collecting game that’s completely replaced HearthStone for me: Infinity Wars. I’ve only run through the tutorials and challenges so far (I haven’t even looked at the deck-building options), but what I can say is that it’s shaping up to be as interesting as Magic: The Gathering, and it’s free-to-play but done well. It’s also in Early Access, but unless they start to ramp up the paywalls, I think it’ll do well. Right now it’s the game I keep dipping into on a regular basis, so expect more on it in future posts.
I’ve also had a cursory look at 1849, a Gold Rush-themed citybuilder. Right now it’s in a buy-in beta (and also on Steam Greenlight), but essentially the state of the game is that there’s only a “story mode” available right now. What is there seems very polished (although there doesn’t seem to be any audio, and there’s no proper full-screen setting). It’s not unlike the Anno series, in that you’ll be just as preoccupied with trade routes as you will with planning and building the city proper. It has something of a mobile feel to it, what with all the single-click interface, lack of tooltips and 3-star groupings for things. It could certainly do with some more concessions to mouse and keyboard, but it’s not that offputting. On the surface it doesn’t seem to have much depth, but concerning yourself with trade routes, production chains and crime and employment soon becomes enough to deal with. It’s certainly not as hardcore as the Anno series, but really that’s fine. It’s a worthy introduction to the genre, and one with a strong, interesting theme.