June 26, 2011
In what’s sure to be an emotional moment for old school Mac gamers everywhere, Marathon, the beloved first-person shooter, is headed to the iPad. Marathon first appeared on the scene in 1994 as a Mac exclusive, bringing with it several big ideas that would forever redefine the shooter genre. One of these is Mouselook. Yes, as hard as it might be to imagine, before Marathon, you could only look, and shoot, straight ahead. No running-and-gunning, no grenade jumps. Most of today’s action games wouldn’t be too much fun without a mouse. Someday, I bet we’ll say the same about touchscreens ... Marathon also introduced dozens of other firsts, including motion-detecting radar, alternate firing modes, dual weapons, voice chat and local network play — all never before seen in the industry — along with one of the most complex and labyrinthine storylines in gaming history. The plot was so complex that it spans three Marathon titles and extends over into the Halo series (which take place in a “related universe”). Now that’s a lot of reading material. Marathon’s bizarre and eccentric style shone through on Bungie’s later games Myth, Oni and Halo, and its emphasis on teamwork (one of the first games to feature battles alongside computer-controlled allies ... all of whom were named Bob) would set the groundwork for the modern online shooter. The iPad version will be free. That’s right, free. Stay tuned for updates!