Last month Apple’s yearly WWDC event came and went, with many announcements across its many Operating Systems.
iOS 14 now features widgets that can be set alongside app icons, while Macs have a whole new look for macOS 11, and watchOS 7 now has a sleep-tracking feature.
But one that caught my eye in iPadOS 14, was a feature that I had been hoping for, for years, ever since the ‘keyboard folio’ was available.
Apple have now opened up keyboard support for games, so now any game can support the classic ‘keyboard and mouse’ control scheme, opening up a wide variety of games for the platform. With that, let's see what games could appear on the iPad.
First Person Genre
It’s the first genre that players can easily see appearing on iPadOS 14. There’s games where a keyboard and mouse just works better for games; not a controller, not touch.
DOOM Classic is a great example of this, where it had touch controls in its first release, back in 2009. It worked well, but as phones became more powerful alongside bigger screens, it was unrealistic to keep using touch as the only input.
Now, a game like DOOM Classic can be updated to support the keyboard, as it was originally played.
Of course, as we move toward 2020, there may be some games that need an extra amount of time for them to work with Apple’s A13 chip, such as Star Wars Battlefront. EA has yet to release a FPS on the iPad, so this could be a great way of beginning this trend.
With that, here’s a few that could benefit the ecosystem first:
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Unreal Tournament
- Deus Ex
- Far Cry
- Left 4 Dead
- Half Life 2
- Portal 2
These are just a few examples, but again, there’s nothing to stop each developer responsible for these games, to see just how these would play on an iPad.
Once you look at other genres, you begin to see other games that can benefit here. Games that don’t strictly follow the first-person convention; it could be a wide variety, such as Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid.
When I first played Resident Evil 2 Remake, I first used the DualShock 4 on Steam, but eventually I found myself preferring the keyboard and mouse method; it just felt like there could be much more accuracy gained when Mr X would pop through a door to say hello.
Even other games that have shortcuts, such as Command and Conquer, can summon different windows for inventories and soldiers to spawn, without using the mouse to select these choices.
Here’s another set of examples that could work on iPadOS 14:
- Metal Gear Solid V
- Command and Conquer
- Tomb Raider Legend
- Resident Evil 2 Remake
Of course, these are just examples; it could be a significant amount of time before developers divert a budget into an iPadOS port.
But if you ever played Tomb Raider II on iOS, the controls covered the majority of the screen, especially on an iPad, making the whole experience irritating. Granted there’s controller support, but if you’re using the Magic Keyboard for the iPad, you’re essentially carrying a controller within the keyboard, without having to carry something else in your bag, especially if you’re going to be on a train commute.
But with ‘Game Center’ featuring achievements and a better UI to manage games and friends with, it seems like the perfect time for developers to seriously look into this. The idea alone of playing Resident Evil Remake on an iPad, while on a train, is a tantalizing thought, it’s purely up to developers to decide on whether it's possible now; there’s nothing else holding them back anymore.