Mac action game fans, the wait will soon be over: Destineer subsidiary
announced Tuesday that it will ship the long-awaited Mac conversion of Halo: Combat Evolved on December 3, 2003.
The Mac conversion of Halo has long been in development at the studios of Westlake Interactive. The Mac version was developed using the code created by Gearbox Software for its only recently-released Windows version of Halo. Both games, of course, descend from Microsoft business unit Bungie Studio’s legendary Xbox game.
Halo: Combat Evolved puts players in the role of the Master Chief, humanity’s last hope against an invading alien force known as The Covenant. Players engage enemy forces on foot, in vehicles, in the air and underneath the surface of an alien ring world.
Halo has had a long, storied, and for some, bitter history on the Mac platform. Code-named “Blam,” the game was first privately shown to members of the press at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3) in Los Angeles, Calif. Later that summer, Halo took the keynote stage at Macworld Expo in New York City for its public debut.
Following Bungie’s sale to Microsoft, the decision was made to develop Halo exclusively for Microsoft’s then-in-development Xbox video game console. Halo has been a huge draw for the Xbox, selling more than 3 million units and considered by many critics to be one of the platform’s best titles.
All the while, Bungie made it clear that an earlier promise to develop the game for Mac and Windows still stood — much to the derision and outright denial of many Mac and PC gamers who said it would never happen. Even now, the game’s origins and its development as an Xbox title are likely to spawn discussion.
Gearbox re-developed Halo to be better suited to today’s high-end gaming PCs, and that effort has continued with the forthcoming Mac release. Mac gamers will be able to play at resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 pixels, and the game now sports online multiplayer features that enable Mac and PC gamers alike to participate in individual and team-based games.
“I haven’t had this much fun on a computer since I visited Madrigal with a few dwarves and a handful of Berserks,” said Destineer President Peter Tamte, in a nod to fans of Bungie’s “Myth” games.
Tamte, MacSoft’s original founder, was an executive vice president at Bungie at the time of the company’s sale to Microsoft — he then left to found Destineer, which is developing its own original games for Mac, Windows and video game consoles. Destineer, which published Mac game conversions under its “Bold” label, ultimately reacquired MacSoft this past year.
Final Mac system requirements for Halo: Combat Evolved are yet to be announced, and there’s still a dearth of information on MacSoft’s Web site. MacCentral will bring readers more details as they become available.