The anticipated 6.0 version of Cedega is now upon us, and we are taking a look at what’s new and notable. Updates include Shader Model 2.0 support, file optimizations and a larger games database with the additions of Oblivion and Need For Speed: Carbon. Is this the version Linux gamers everywhere have been waiting for?
As mentioned earlier, I am taking a fresh look at Cedega since it’s the first time I had an opportunity to use it for more than a day. If you’ve been using the program since version 4.x and especially 5.2.x, you’ll already know all of what I am about to say. Once opened, you will see a clean looking GUI with a lot of whitespace. I love the sharp looking icons.
Installing a game should be a cinch if the game is in their GDDB list. This list houses customized profiles for games that have been found to be reliable. This profile also knows where the setup file and filename is on the CD is, whether it be a setup.exe, install.exe or whathaveyou.exe. Once a disc is mounted, you can push Detect Game Disc. If it’s in the list, it should fill in all the blanks for you.
If there are any warnings or install notes, they are mentioned below. It’s important to read them through if you actually want to be able to play the game once it’s installed. If for some reason the game disc was not detected, you can scroll through the list for the profile and them locate the .EXE file yourself.
Here’s where things got a little tricky for me. I own a copy of Guild Wars, however, I could not find the original game disc. So, I downloaded the client off the official website, which is a small executable that downloads the game files. I gave that a go, by using the profile and selecting the .exe manually.
As you can see, this was no problem at all. I didn’t expect things to flow so smoothly, to be honest. It’s such stark contrast to my usual computing experiences.
Once done installing, there should be a shortcut in the submenu, after clicking the game name in the left panel. If you install a game that also creates various other shortcuts, such as uninstall links, then they will be available in Cedega as well.
There were a few interesting experiences I had while installing a few programs. Naturally, one program I wanted to get working was Steam, since I have a few games there I like to play on my Windows box. Well, because Valve recently changed their installer from an executable to Microsoft Installer format, Cedega cannot handle it. Rather, it tells the user to download the SteamInstaller.exe and use it instead.
This might be inconvenient, since the old style installer doesn’t seem to be -anywhere- on the official website. Wine has the capability to install MSI files (wine msiexec.exe /i SteamInstaller.exe) so I am not sure why Cedega doesn’t have that built-in support. Regardless, if you are interested in the SteamInstaller.exe file, I have it hosted here.
That leads me to one recommendation for the program. Since these profiles are aware of these limitations, why not have it automatically download the required file instead of forcing the user to fish the internet for a valid copy? Anyway, using that installer above, Steam installed just fine.
One last thing I wanted to try was installing the same game I installed through Wine last week, Asheron’s Call. This is a trickier game than most, which I blame due to poor design on the developers part. The game installed fine however, which wasn’t too surprising since Wine delivered the same result. However, the login screen uses IE rendering, so Cedega was unable to display it. I am not saying that it’s impossible to have it function, but after playing around with many settings, I was unable to get it to work any better.
I think this is a testament to emulation in general. It’s hit or miss. Some games might run great, others not at all. Even further, it could be that a friend runs a certain title just fine, but you cannot even get it installed. It all leads to much required tweaking at times, but things are certainly getting a LOT better.
Finally, let’s get on with some testing. I’ll also lay out what I liked and disliked about 6.0 so far.