Steam is one of the predominant forces in digital distribution of games, and it launched on the Mac just over two years ago. In our continuing effort to dispel the myth that Macs are no good for gaming, today we’re going to take a look at our favourite games available through Valve’s store that you simply must download.
Portal 2 – $19.99
I’m going to kick off with a game that I absolutely love: Portal 2. Not only is Portal 2 my favourite game of all time, the adventures of Chell, GLaDOS and Wheatley won numerous awards and became an instant classic. If you only download one game on this list, please make it Portal 2.
Portal 2, the sequel to the game that turned the phrase “the cake is a lie” into an iconic meme, Portal, continues the adventures of the Chell in Aperture Science, a now abandoned science laboratory and research facility that sees her awaken villain and eventual comrade GLaDOS, a maniacal AI that wants nothing more than to oversee the testing of human subjects. Portal 2 also introduces Wheatley, another AI voiced by Stephen Merchant, a portrayal that is simply amazing.
We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at Portal 2 soon, as part of our tour of the OS X gaming icons. If I haven’t convinced you yet, I will do soon.
Portal – $9.99
You may also want to consider grabbing Portal too (hilarious pun, right?). Honestly, you can jump right into Portal 2 and if you can choose only one of the two, I’d go with Portal 2. However, if you want to start from the beginning and get a little background to the events of Portal 2 through gameplay, the original Portal is definitely worth buying.
Grand Theft Auto III – £5.99
The self-proclaimed “highly controversial” yet “hugely successful” franchise, Grand Theft Auto, brings the dark underworld of Liberty City to the Mac with Grand Theft Auto III.
It might not exactly be a “must have” game, not being suited to everyone’s taste in games, but it certainly is a classic and those that enjoy the series should definitely check it out for OS X. It’s also available in triology form in a package that includes Vice City and San Andreas.
Half-Life 2 – $9.99
Half-Life 2 is the sequel to 1998′s Half-Life, a game that influenced the entire first person shooter genre in a big way. While that 1998 classic is unfortunately not available on OS X, Half-Life 2 and it’s subsequent two episodes are and truly are must haves.
Half-Life 2 sees you in the role of the silent Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist from Black Mesa (which just so happens to be the rival science facility to Portal’s Aperture Science) that’s on a mission to bring down the alien control over Earth in an apocalyptic metropolitan area in Eastern Europe.
The classic game needs to be in every gamer’s Steam library, and is available, alongside it’s two sequel episodes on Steam. Be warned, you’ll be left on quite the cliffhanger once you’re through with both episodes and will have to join the rest of us waiting for gaming’s most notorious case of vapourware, Half-Life 3, to finally see the light of day.
Civilization V – $29.99
Civilization V, a best seller on Steam, allows you to become ruler of the world by leading a civilization from primitive, humble beginnings to space-bound travellers by declaring war and conducting diplomacy.
The game’s first expansion pack, Gods and Kings, was just recently released and saw a lauch on Steam. In the expansion, you’ll encounter an expanded core game with new technologies, buildings and units, new civilizations, religion, new naval combat and more.
Team Fortress 2 – Free!
Team Fortress 2 is another gaming icon and a mutliplayer title that remains popular to this day. Team Fortress 2 is a first person shooter sess you join one of two opposing teams that battle it out in combat. Players choose one of nine classes in each team, each with pros and cons, and ones that have been the subject of a pretty viral video series.
The game continues to update and provide endless hours of entertainment to a user base that’s most certainly still alive. It’s well worth checking out.
LIMBO – $9.99
LIMBO is a puzzle platformer presented in a distinctive black-and-white style utilising it’s graphical style and minimal ambient noise to create a dark, eerie atmosphere. LIMBO follows a boy who awakens in the middle of a forest, seeking his missing sister and encountering few human characters in an enviroment that soon transitions into a crumbling city.
The game got a number of 5/5 (or equivalent) reviews and holds an overall metascore of 88/100.
Left 4 Dead 2 – $19.99
Set in the zombie apocalypse, Left 4 Dead 2 takes you through cities, swams and cemetaries, playing one of four survivors fighting off the undead threat. Along with friends in the award-winning co-operative mode, Left 4 Dead 2 takes you through a number of campaigns and maps in a first person shooter game developed by the same people who set the bar for first person shooters with Half-Life.
That’s been my picks for how the funds in your Steam Wallet should be spent. Of course, there’s a considerable catalogue of games for OS X available on Steam, and if you’ve got your own recommendations not featured on this list, be sure to share them in the comments!