In Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion, there’s no need to download drivers for a Playstation 3 bluetooth controller to work. Support comes built in to the operating system by default. The only reason you would have to go and download something like Gamepad Companion is if the game you’re trying to play doesn’t natively support a game pad in the first place. Feral Interactive recently released Tomb Raider: Underworld through the Mac app store, and I found out that my PS 3 controller worked right out of the box. Seriously, the hardest part for me was having to locate the USB cable so that I could pair it via Bluetooth and then unplug it. There’s nothing to download, no drivers or other software that you need, etc. It just worked. After I found that out, I decided to break out my CD of Tomb Raider: Anniversary, since they still haven’t released that one in the Mac app store yet, and give that a try. Gamepads are also supported in that game without needing anything extra.
I would really like my controller to work in something like Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, or Call of Duty. But, I really don’t want to have to go purchase Gamepad Companion and start mapping out keyboard keys and trackpad movements to my PS 3 controller. Game developers should just follow in Ferral’s footsteps and start building support for gamepads right into their games to begin with. Even for a keyboard cowboy like myself, the keyboard configuration for some games just never seems to cut it.
Why, you might ask? I’m a different sort of keyboard/trackpad kinda guy. I’m left handed, for one thing. So, controlling the trackpad with my right hand has never been my thing. Even when I had a mouse on the desktop, I was always switching it over to the left side of the desktop because it was just easier for me that way. Asking me to do it the other way around is like trying to get me to be right handed. Did you know that can have psychological damage on a kid during developmental stages if their teachers are trying to get them to use their right hand instead of their left just so they can conform them to the rest of the class? Anyway! So, the default configuration for controls for most games has you using the A,S,W, and D keys to move left, back, forward, and right? Well, that’s all well and good if you’re not also trying to shoot people while you’re moving forward. I use the trackpad to shoot and the arrow keys down at the bottom right hand side of the keyboard to move around. That’s right! Trackpad on the left side, keyboard on the right. And all the other keys on the right side of the keyboard, like the right shift, the period key, comma, backslash, and forward slash are all used for other actions in the game.
The only time this configuration gets complicated, is when I’m playing something like Tomb Raider and I’ve absolutely got to be using the “roll” maneuver in order to dodge an enemy’s attacks. It’s not easy when I’ve got my right hand in the regular home position so that I can keep hitting that “K” key in order to kick them. This kind of control is much easier for me with the PS 3 controller. I picked that baby up and turned on the game and was kickin so much ass…I just had to see if it would work with Anniversary. And it did! It’s not like I really needed it for Anniversary though, as there is no kicking in that game. But still, it was nice to be able to hold that old controller in my hands and start kicking some tail like back in the day.
I guess I’ve always been a gamer at heart. I wish Ubisoft would get with the program and release at least one update for Assassin’s Creed 2 and Brotherhood on the Mac to add native gamepad support. Not like I really need it in those games, either. But it would still be nice to be able to play those games with the controller as well. Plus, I like using the joystick to look around and view the landscape in these games. I like doing that little trick where I just move that joystick to the left or to the right just a hair and have the camera automatically pan around without me having to do anything. You can’t really get that kind of camera view with a trackpad. There is no, “Hey, hold your finger here and the camera will pan around so you can look at everything” trick on there. It doesn’t work. It does with a gamepad, though.
I just hope Ubisoft releases the latest Assassin’s Creed in the App store, or wherever they want to release it, just port it to the Mac!! And I hope the next Tomb Raider that’s slated to be out the first quarter of next year ends up coming to the Mac as well. And will Square Enix please get it together and release at least ONE Final Fantasy game for the Mac? Why haven’t they ported FF VII or VIII to the Mac, yet? Get with it, already! Please? o_o With sugar on top and everything? ……. DO it! >.<