I’d been watching my son play one of his games last year – Battlefield Bad Company 2 – and decided I wanted to play with him. We’ve played a few freeplay shooters together before – Team Fortress 2, Combat Arms, etc. – but this game looked like there was more tactics involved, more actual team play… not to mention fewer hackers. So I ponied up the $10 for the game and installed it on my machine.
It ran much worse on my old Mac Pro with Boot Camp than it did on his hand-built Windows machine. So much worse that it was all but unplayable, even at the lowest possible settings – whenever I would get shot, the gameplay would slow down to half a frame a second, if I was lucky. Meanwhile, he was clicking along on his with all settings jacked up to the max without a hiccup. After a few days, I gave up trying to play it.
I took a second tour through settings, fiddled with this and that, and still wasn’t having any luck. Then I did something that hadn’t occured to me before – I took the display out of native resolution. My display is 1680×1050 native hardware resolution, but I dialed it down to 1280×800 – still widescreen format, but far fewer pixels to have to manage. That’s all it took for performance to drastically improve, so much so that we played together for almost two hours with no problems. We flew in helicopters, drove tanks across battlefields… jumped out of helicopters and had them fall on us… good times. And plenty more good times to come now 🙂