Gaming on a 2016 Macbook Pro out of desperation

Opinion, Video Games, Video Games?

Day 5 of the Write A Stupid Thing Every Day, or W.A.S.T.E.D, quarantine challenge that I’ve imposed on myself.

2010 feels like so long ago

By: William Chandler

I’ve been spending most of my time at my significant other’s apartment due to quarantine and, sadly, that means being away from my beloved computer. My sweet, beefy baby that ensures I can play even the newest, most taxing of releases at maximum settings. While this distance certainly improves my productivity with non-gaming related ventures, it also means that any downtime I may have must be killed in a different manner. While this is generally okay because it allows me to get back into the habit of watching movies (my Criterion Channel subscription is finally seeing some use) or writing more, sometimes I just get that… that itch, you know? Sometimes you just need to play a video game. Enter the desperation of gaming on my 2016 Macbook Pro.

I scowled as I scrolled through my Steam library, once a bountiful harvest when viewed from any Windows machine, now a desolate wasteland of old games I’ve either already played or probably couldn’t run when looking at it from Mac OS. But wait, what’s that? From a far distance down the list gallops a game neither taxing nor one I’ve ever made the time to play, and yet I’ve always heard positive things about it. It’s beautiful. It’s glorious. It is The Banner Saga.

I was excited to finally experience this gem from some developers who were formerly at Bioware, a studio near and dear to my heart. The setting and story are intriguing from the jump and it’s the perfect game to play using only a trackpad since the primary gameplay loop is turn based strategy with a bit of text adventure mixed in. Alas, upon booting it up, I’m forced to reconcile with the fact that the integrated graphics in the 2016 Macbook Pro, when used in the notoriously poorly optimized for gaming Mac OS, are insufficient for even a moderately taxing task such as this. The game chugs at seeming random intervals, although mostly in the non-combat scenes, and occasionally seems content to just halt periodically before jittering to life again.

Perhaps dual booting Windows through bootcamp would help but I really am not interested in buying another Windows license so I suppose, for now I’ll just have to deal with it. I’m interested in seeing how Disco Elysium runs on a Mac so perhaps I’ll write about that in the near future. Or I’ll just play through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for like the fifth time.