updated 11:00 am EDT, Thu October 30, 2008
City of Heroes for Mac
NCsoft is opening one of its massively multiplayer online (MMO) game franchises, City of Heroes, to the Mac. The company has used TransGaming's Cider engine, which enables the subscription-based game to operate on Intel-based Macs. Public Beta testing is expected to get underway soon.
NCsoft says that City of Heroes for the Mac will include all of the previous updates available for the Windows version, as well as the latest expansion pack, Power and Responsibility. Except for a slightly different user interface, the port should be identical to the PC version, claims executive producer Brian Clayton.
Players begin by creating a character, whether a hero or a villain, and choosing from hundreds of different powers, costumes and other details. Users can play solo or form teams, battling others around the game universe. The title is set in Paragon City, "home to the world's most famous heroes," and the Rogue Islands, where villains are headquartered.
Clayton tells MacNN that rising Mac sales, creation of the Cider game engine, and the company's recent purchase of the intellectual property rights to the game made a Mac OS X version viable. Since its debut in 2004, NCsoft has expanded and updated the Windows version more than a dozen times, adding storylines and extra powers. The company says that future updates to the game will be issued simultaneously for both the PC and Mac versions.
City of Heroes will require an Intel Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher with an ATI X1600, NVidia 7300 GT, or X3100 Intel integrated graphics chip. The Intel GMA950 in the previous generation MacBook is not supported. The game will cost a base of $20, with an added $15 monthly fee; the first month will be free. Users can sign up for the public beta on the company's website. An official launch is expected before the holidays.