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Linux Games: Heavy Gear II Review

May 10, 2000, 12:56 (0 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Matt Matthews for this link. ]

"In the world of Windows gaming, a vast portion of the 3D titles released use Microsoft's Direct3D API. Only a handful of games, mostly games based on the Quake engines, use OpenGL as their primary renderer. Thus, it is no surprise that the leading games using OpenGL were the first 3D games to make their way onto the Linux platform. Unfortunately, to move past those limits into the world of 3D games that are not first person shooters something will have to change. One option is that Windows game programmers start coding with OpenGL in mind either by using it as an alternative renderer or at least by separating their engine enough from the renderer to allow the easy porting to the OpenGL API. Another option is to give Linux programmers, like the ones at Loki Software, experience porting Direct3D games that may not have had OpenGL in mind when originally created. "

"Heavy Gear II is a first step towards this latter solution. Originally coded with Direct3D, it is the first conversion of such a title to OpenGL under Linux. (Note that other conversions on other platforms have achieved the same goal. A prime example is the Tomb Raider series ported to MacOS by Aspyr Media.) While not completely a step away from the first person shooter, HG2 at least widens the range of titles available for Linux gamers and hopefully demonstrates more the viability of Linux as a gaming platform."

"In this regard, Heavy Gear II is a success: it recreates under Linux the original experience that Windows gamers. From a technical standpoint then, Loki has won that battle. At the end of the day, however, people still ask: "What's the game like? How does the game play? Is it worth my hard earned cash?"

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