The sad tale of a great game covered in shit

Bioshock.

It’s supposed to be gaming bliss. It’s from the same guys who brought us System Shock 1 and 2. It’s going to give Halo 3 a run for the money. I haven’t even played it yet and I’m already convinced it’s a fantastic game.

I haven’t played it, because the developers, like many others, made the foolish decision to use SecuROM copy protection, from the friendly sacks of shit at Sony. SecuROM is really good at copy protection, so good in fact, that it makes it rather difficult for legitimate owners to play the games they legally bought. It sinks its teeth into your operating system, installing weird device drivers and labeling you a pirate if you dare “break the law” by using a CD emulator like Daemon Tools, Nero ImageDrive or that crappy one that comes with MagicISO, or just happen to have a SCSI burner on your gaming PC (because we all know pirates love SCSI :P)

We’ve had computer games for nearly 30 years, and copy protection has existed since the very beginning. Whether you had to type in a serial number, or look up a secret code in the instruction manual, the game developers had ways to protect their work while keeping the game playable. Now we have a game that uses an activation system, not unlike Windows XP and Vista, which controls how often you can install the game, and where you can play it. Well excuse me, Mr Developer! Who the HELL are you to tell me what I can do on MY computer with the product I BOUGHT ? Give it a few days, a week at most, and the real pirates will have broken the protection scheme and spread it all over the internet.

Copy protection is a flawed concept. Developers pay gobs of money to the companies that produce and maintain SecuROM, Starforce, SafeDisc. They pay because they believe it will actually earn them more money if people are unable to make copies. The reality is that every single game gets cracked and pirated, usually in a matter of days. The only copy “protection” that works is to make a really horrible game, and even then, some OCD downloader is surely going to add it to his collection anyway.

If your locksmith installed a lock on your door that doesn’t let you into your own home about 10% of the time, yet any random passer-by can walk by, pick the lock with a hairpin and steal all your beer, you would probably want to get your money back, and maybe even beat the tar out of that crooked locksmith. What if you got locked out so fiercely, that you had to flag down a teenager to pick your lock and let you in ? That locksmith would be paying a visit to the wood chipper. Well that’s exactly what’s happening in the gaming world, but nobody’s revving up the wood chipper.

I want to see DRM companies ripped to shreds and used as fertilizer. Their products don’t work properly, they don’t slow down piracy at all, and actually encourage the use of “cracks” and file sharing to avoid the nightmare of software copy protection. What’s worse is that many game houses actually release patches to remove the copy protection, such as last year’s Supreme Commander, which also used SecuROM, so it seems like some developers are getting the message, but they are few.

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3 Responses to “The sad tale of a great game covered in shit”

  1. BitBurn says:

    Shut the fuck up asshole and just crack that game I WANT IT!

  2. Rodger says:

    Got the game, it’s Not by the same people as System Shock 1 and 2, it is however the only true spiritual successor the SShock games..

    Graphically it is awesome, the atmosphere is captured very well..

    I would say that the guys behind this one, must have played the originals when they were new releases..

    as for the Copy Protection, you are right, the publishers are forking over millions to these “security programmers” and what do they get for thier money? about 3 weeks of sleep before the newest title is flooding the blackmarket/filewarez sites

  3. Billco says:

    Rodger, it actually is made by the same people. System Shock 1 was produced by Looking Glass Studios, which ran into some financial issues in the late 90’s. They split off into two new companies, one is Ion Storm Austin, led by Warren Spector. The other is Irrational Games, which then released System Shock 2. Irrational was bought out by Take-Two Interactive a few years ago, which then published Bioshock under their “2K Games” label.

    Ion Storm Austin, not to be confused with John Romero’s ego-driven clusterfuck in Dallas, went on to produce such hits as Deus Ex and Thief. Ion Storm has closed, but Irrational/2K are still alive and kicking, and are working on a new project, following after the sweeping success of Bioshock.