More Mac games at the Expo, Part 1

I promised more coverage of the game offerings here at Macworld 08, and I’m delivering. This is going to be a three-part series of blogs detailing the plans that various companies have for games on the Mac in 2008.

I’m going to start with Aspyr. You may remember from my last post on Mac games at the Expo that they specialize in porting games from the PC to the Mac. They’ve got a huge year coming up, as their new releases are all big gaming franchises being made available for the first time on the Mac.

Aspyr booth at Macworld 08

I checked out a presentation by Aspyr about their 2008 releases, and it was pretty exciting. For one thing, one of the booth guys demoed some Guitar Hero III for us; he played Dragon Force’s “Through the Fire and Flames” on the hardest level, and damn did that guy rip. This is one of the biggest titles in gaming right now, so having it on the Mac is a pretty big deal. If the Mac version has decent sales, it could notify more developers that there is an under-served market for games on the platform. There’s a very good reason why Aspyr won a Best of Show at Macworld 2008 for this this game.

Aspyr employee rocks Guitar Hero III at Macworld 08

I saw a trailer for The Sims 2 Bon Voyage, which is also already on sale. According to the presentation, the Sims games are the best-selling game franchise for the Mac. If you’re a Sims player and you’ve always wanted to take your avatar on vacation, now’s your chance. The trailer showed people camping in the wilderness, staying in a rustic cabin, and plenty more.

Later in the year Aspyr will be releasing even more big-name titles to the Mac platform:

Allegedly only about a month away from release, Neverwinter Nights 2 looks like a killer new role-playing game (RPG) for the Mac. They showed a cinematic trailer for the game – meaning everything we saw was CGI as opposed to actual renders from Neverwinter Nights 2 itself. It consisted mainly of a very cool-looking wizard guy shooting a gnarly fireball at some kind of monster, who was equally cool looking.

Enemy Territory Quake Wars is slated for release some time in March. The trailer was all renders straight out of this first-person shooter (FPS) game. The textures and the physics all looked great as helicopters flew around, things exploded, and mayhem generally ensued. According to the guy conducting the presentation: “If you’re into FPS games, there’s nothing like playing online, blowing some dude away who’s playing on a PC, and telling him: That’s right, I’m on a Mac.”

Aspyr just announced Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare this week. They’re planning on releasing it some time around May or June, according to an employee at their booth. The trailer was also impressive-looking renders straight out of the game. The guy repeated his “That’s right, I’m on a Mac” line. It was funnier the first time but man, it’s pretty much funny every time.