The Perfect Game

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Aug 28, 2007

Filed under: Game Design 76 comments

I realize this DRMShock business is occupying an awful lot of my attention lately, and is thus occupying an awful lot of my blog. The whole thing is an injustice in my view, so, I’ve been “fighting the power” (by complaining ineffectually) and “sticking it to The Man” (by calling The Man lots of names) in accordance with the great traditions of impotent geek uprisings.

But why am I so worked up over this? I’ve come to realize that there are four ingredients to the “perfect” game for me:

  1. I love games which are “survival horror”. I enjoy games where you’re intended to fear the bad guys instead of mow through them.
  2. I love first-person games.
  3. I love Roleplaying games. (In the sense that I love games where you “level-up” or become more powerful as you progress.)
  4. I love non-linear games, where you can move freely and re-visit previous locations, and where changes made to the world are persistent.

If we look at this like a Venn Diagram:


My affinity for certain games is related to how many of these four elements they contain. Note the sweet spot in the center, the spot which contains all four, is the perfect game for me. It’s like my own personal genre. In the history of videogames, exactly three games have hit that spot: System Shock, System Shock 2, and BioShock. The latter I’ll never play because of the asinine and invasive DRM.

This may help explain why my ire has risen above normal levels and attained some higher state of continual, transcendental rage.

Which means I’m likely to keep writing about it.

Also, the next person to tell me to run out and buy a $400 XBox so I can play this game gets a brick to the head. People who suggest this are missing the point by several nautical miles. Economics aside, I can’t in good conscience give any money to 2kGames. Period. This is about principals. No I won’t pirate the game. No I won’t buy it and then download a crack. I’m going to go without, because right and wrong are more important than videogames, even once-every-seven-years treasures like BioShock.


From The Archives:

76 thoughts on “The Perfect Game

  1. Aaron says:

    Wow. Is it sad of my own geekdom that I’ve never played any of those games? I can understand the underlying rage though. I have a huge love of the Mechwarrior games, and from what I’ve heard they aren’t making them anymore.

    /h8 Wizkids

    BTW I love the Venn diagram! I use those things all the time when I’m trying to show students how to use the library (being a librarian and all) but they look at me like I’m speaking some kind of alien language when I do it.


  2. Winged Ignorance says:

    I think you hit it on the head in the last paragraph with “Right and wrong are more important than videogames.” I’ve skipped out on plenty of games because I don’t like giving money to companies that treat all gamers like potential criminals.

  3. Gary says:

    That seems a real shame. For the studio formally known as Irrational Games it must suck that, most likely, 2K Games installed the copy protection and now they get the fallout. It’s also a shame that you don’t get the chance to play this game as it’s fab. The DRM does seem so crap and for it to be included with the Steam version (which already has it’s own DRM system) is just crazy.

  4. M says:

    Well, there’s always the XBox 360 version…Bioshock is one of four reasons I’m planning on acquiring that console.

  5. JB says:

    I fully agree with you!

    But unfortunately there are not enough people around with principles. That unfortunately means that your effort will change anything. Still I support you, and I will stay away from 2k Games as well, at least any game using similar DRM methods.

  6. JB says:

    Sorry… that should read «That unfortunately means that your effort will not change anything.»

  7. Arthur says:

    Frankly, this is why I’m migrating to console gaming. Once we hit the point where console games are no different from PC games – and let’s face it, with the XBox 360 and PS3 having hard drives we’re going to reach that point damn soon – there’ll be no point in me playing PC games any more. Why install a game which might not even work and might install unwanted rootkits on my PC, which is also important for work and communication, when I can be sure that when I put a disc in my PS2 it will work just fine?

  8. Mob says:

    I think it’s sad that you would willingly deprive yourself of your perfect game because of DRM designed to prevent you from doing something you most likely won’t be doing anyway. I’m especially confused since you most likely retain an installation of it from Neverwinter Nights 2. If it’s been there for this long unnoticed, how bad could it be?

    I guess I just don’t see what the big deal is. Microsoft uses an almost identical DRM system for WGA.

  9. Carnifex says:

    If it’s any consolation to you, Fallout 3 might fall right into your ‘sweet spot’ as well. It looks at least to be in the same spot as Oblivion.

  10. Corsair says:

    System Shock wasn’t particularly nonlinear as far as I could remember. You could go back to areas you’d been to before, sure, but there was very little you could do there.

  11. Hawkehunt says:

    Last year for uni I had to write a program that made up Venn diagrams with up to 3 sets in any combination of intersection… in C, outputting to an xml file. The only assignment more annoying was when I had to make a tic-tac-toe AI.

    Getting those circles to line up properly by specifying co-ordinate adjustments based on the number wanted and overlaps chosen takes a lot of test runs. :(

  12. brian says:

    Mr. Shamus Young:

    It is my tremendous honor to, at this time, present you with your Lance of Principle and induct you into the Sacred Order of Tilters. “I'm going to go without, because right and wrong are more important” is our credo, “Why do you have to be so difficult” is how lesser men greet us.

    Congratulations, sir.

  13. Melfina the Blue says:

    I applaud you for sticking to your principles, and hope that Fallout 3 falls in the same sweet spot. It looks and sounds really shiny at least.

    I wish I’d known about all this crap before the game released, so that 2k would not have gotten my money. All I can do is make sure they don’t get it again.

  14. Jadawin says:

    This makes me very happy that I will be renting it from an online game service for my 360- having played the demo there is no way I am missing this one.

  15. Dave says:

    It’s only because I know from long-time reading how much you love video games and just what kind of games you really really love, that, although I fully realize this is going to go over like a lead balloon, I will say nonetheless:

    Go right NOW and buy BioShock. It’s **truly** incredible. Forget about all this DRM business for a little while and enjoy the game.

  16. hotsauce says:

    “M Says: Well, there's always the XBox 360 version”
    After Shamus said:
    “the next person to tell me to run out and buy a $400 XBox so I can play this game gets a brick to the head.”

    Does “M” stand for “Masochist”? I mean seriously, why post a comment if you aren’t going to read the blog entry?

    Mob Says:
    “I think it's sad that you would willingly deprive yourself of your perfect game because of DRM designed to prevent you from doing something you most likely won't be doing anyway.”

    If this were Germany in the 30s, you’d be saying “hey, it’s not like *you’re* a Jew, so what does it matter?”
    /accidentally presses the Godwin button

  17. JT says:

    I’m on the same frequency with “don’t give 2K any money, even for the 360 version”, but I am planning on buying a 360 at some point in the future, if for no other reason than console-exclusives like Mass Effect & The Force Unleashed. At that point, I’ll very likely buy a copy of Bioshock used (hopefully eBay or something similar so there’s no chance of anything sneaking back through the markups of a place like GameSpot/EB).

  18. ngthagg says:

    You know you’re a geek when . . .
    your first thought on seeing the Venn diagram is “That’s not a Venn diagram because two possibilities (Survival Horror/RPG, First Person/Non-linear) are not represented.” has more information, including some non-symmetric 4 element diagrams.

    On topic, what can be done about our collective impotence as gamers? We make lots of noise (or at least use LOTS OF CAPS), but we seem to lack the will to follow through on our threats. Bioshock will likely go on to be a successful game on both PC and XBox, and the anti-pirating paranoia of the big video game companies will continue to grow unchecked.

    I’m glad that you disapprove of people purchasing the XBox version of the game. I fully expect to see onerous DRM on consoles within the next generation, if not on the current one. The PS3, with its standard hard drive, seems like a prime candidate for pirates to target. I have seen personally pirated games for the PSX and the Dreamcast. It is foolish to think that pirating is not a concern in the console world. And wherever pirating is, DRM is sure to follow. If we reward publishers for their mistakes, the mistakes will propogate.


  19. Mob says:

    If this were Germany in the 30s, you'd be saying “hey, it's not like *you're* a Jew, so what does it matter?”

    Yes. Exactly so. DRM is just like genocide. Jackass.

  20. Nilus says:

    The only reason some of us suggest just getting a 360 is because I have read th blog for about a year and you have complained about DRMs, Games with outrageous system requirements, games that don’t look anything like they are advertised when ran at the minimum requirements, and overpriced Video cards that game companies are making us buy to get the best out of the new games.

    I use to be a die hard PC gamer. Sure consoles were okay but I always thought PC games were the best. But over the last 5 years I realized that 1) I don’t want to drop a grand on a PC ever year to stay up to date, 2) I don’t want to spend several hours installing and reinstalling a game to get it to work right 3) Don’t want to get potential stuck with a game that just doesn’t work on the system I have setup.

    So I gave up on them and bought an X-Box and just recently upgraded to an X-Box 360. Bioshock runs without any problems on the biggest Monitor I have in my home(my TV). I played Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 as well as Jade Empire long before PC gamers did. And I am eagerly awaiting Mass Effect which honestly sounds like a game that might fit almost directly into the middle of you Venn Diagram.

    I understand your point that you don’t want to give 2K any money(although I think pirating the game and playing it without paying for it sticks it to them even more), But those of us suggesting going with a console system are just trying to help you see there are more ways to play the games you enjoy without being tied to the pains that is PC gaming these days.

    P.S. If Bioshock was out without any DRM and the only thing stopping you from playing was buying a new fancy 400 dollar video card. Would you still be holding out to get it?

  21. Epizootic says:

    me? I’m a sell out. I’ll complain, write letters and delay buying it – but its just a matter of time before i secretly buy it. In my mind, the attitude of 2k ‘its just while pirates are likely to copy it en-mass’ should mean they’ll be less aggressive in the future – maybe leave authentication to steam. I dislike steam, but I tolerate it. Their ‘offline mode ‘ became tolerable a couple of months ago.

  22. Zerotime says:

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is the game that sits right in the middle of that diagram.

  23. M says:


    Ow…so *that’s* what the lump on the back of my head is from. That’s what I get for missing the last paragraph in the post…


    Sorry; I honestly didn’t see that bit about XBoxes and bricks to the head. I’ll try to read a bit more thoroughly from now on…

    *rubs his aching skull*

  24. Deoxy says:


    Your argument is exactly why there will be DRM on consoles shortly, as consoles and PCs are converging. In fact, as I understand it, the Xbox360 version of Bioshock WAS CRACKED FIRST, actually, and was available for download before the PC game even went on sale.

    Oh, and more power to you, Shamus. Video games, no matter how much we love them, are just entertainment.

    (I won’t be getting Bioshock, but that was decided long before any of this mess, as it’s just not my kind of game, really. Oh, and I generally upgrade my computer to “about average” every few years, so I’ll have a system capable of playing the darn thing in… oh, 5-10 years or so.)

  25. Curaidh says:

    I can totally understand that attitude.
    People who say SecuROM is not that bad are either computer-illiterate or very ignorant. Sorry.
    SecuROM is one of the worst and invasive DRM systems ever. I bought the Collector’s Edition of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and guess what? It uses SecuROM and I am unable to play it without “breaking the law”, meaning applying a crack.
    I only have 1 PC that I play and work on. That means I have Visual Studio 2005 installed. Said VS 2005 is registered as Kernel Debugger in Windows. Guess what? Right, a SecuROM Game cannot be run when you have a Kernel Debugger installed, cause it could be used to bypass SecuROM. So I need to deinstall VS to play a game? Sorry, NOT happening.
    If you use Sysinternals Process Ecplorer -> Kernel Debugger -> no Game for you, you bad pirate. Why would you ever want to use a Tool that is recommended by Microsoft for Computer Administration? Must be highly illegal…

    The most annoying thing is that SecuROM only hurts people who actually BUY the Games. SecuROM got an update that made a lot of NO-CD Patches ineffective and it took the crackers out there a whoppin 4 hours to get out a new No-CD Patch for Stalker. I also complained to the publishers of Stalker (THQ) and told them the whole tale. All they did was tell me that I’m doing something illegal by “cracking” the game to make it run, but they are not willing to take back the game either.

    I really like my copy of TitanQuest. Ironlore realized that problem and there is no DRM at all, althoug TQ and Stalker are from the same publisher.

    DRM hurts people who buy games, Pirates don’t give a s*** about it, cause there will NEVER be an unbreakable DRM System. Get rid of DRM NOW and stop supporting companies who use any.

  26. kadnod says:

    Not playing this great game because the DRM perturbs you is like refusing to watch the LoTR movies because the DVDs are copy protected.

    There’s plenty of important copyright issues that one could get all activisty about. And I respect that you’re not going to pirate the game. But this is something that’s going to be a non-issue for the vast majority of people who purchase the game, despite the sturm and drang on various message boards. It’s not a battle of good vs. evil, it’s a skirmish over product distribution methods.

    And at the risk of further brick tossing, the 360 is a fun console, Bioshock or no.

  27. hotsauce says:

    Sorry if that came off as a little harsh. Thanks for having a sense of humor about it.

    I was trying to be a little funny by skipping straight to the Godwin moment while still pointing out that I thought you were missing the point. Sorry if it didn’t come across that way.

  28. Mob says:



    Now, back to the matter at hand. What point is it that I’m missing? Keep in mind, telling me I’m missing the point isn’t all that helpful if you don’t highlight the point I’m missing. I’m missing it after all.

  29. Gropos49 says:

    Hang in there… but I gota tell you, it’s one hell of a game. If something like this DRM is going to keep you from playing this game you can kiss PC gaming goodbye entirely.

    Look, PC gaming is a sinking ship. This “open platform” concept LENDS itself to junk like this DRM problem. Couple that with all the OTHER problems you, and most of us, have with PC gaming industry and we’ll all need a Wii360 or PC3 very soon.

    Also I wanted to say that I have to hand it to you for cooling your jets a little and explaining why you’re SOOOO upset about this. This cool headed post was the first one of your on this topic that hasn’t made me want to jump through my monitor to knock some sense into you.

    I don’t think this issue should keep people from playing BioShock…but if it’s a big deal to you, so be it.

  30. Yahzi says:

    “This may help explain why my ire has risen above normal levels and attained some higher state of continual, transcendental rage.”

    Now you sound like Tycho Brae from Penny Arcade. Not that that’s a bad thing. :D

    It occurs to me that buying BioShock for the X-Box might actually make the point clearer. If they sell a gazillion for the X-Box, and 17 units for the PC, somebody in Marketing will eventually notice and ask why.

    But buying it for the PC just sends the message, “We don’t actually care how bad you **** us, we’ll still love you in the morning.” Not healthy for anybody.

  31. Nilus says:


    I am almost 100% that downloading and using a crack on software that you legally bought is not against the law.

    As for the people mentioning DRMs on consoles. They are already there but honestly very few people care because it doesn’t prevent us from playing our games. The reason DRM are such an issue on PCs is because they make certain hardware and software combinations incombatible with certain games solely because they detect them as possible illegal attempts to play them. That and they install behind you back on a machine that for most of us handles a lot of our lives. People are not comfortable with hidden software that verifies if a game is legit on there PCs, because they don’t want any secret software on the machine they do there taxes, banking, and other personal things on. People can care less about such things on an X-Box because people use them to game and really only game.

  32. gedece says:

    I’m extremelly happy to know that there are more people that think like me when it comes to DRM. Do you know what else does DRM mean? It also means that you can’t posibly run that game in Linux using wine or cedega, which is a legal way of running games.

  33. Based on what I have heard, Shamus, “nonlinearity” isn’t a strong suit in Bioshock. There are alternative endings based on certain choices you make, but it’s very much a linear shooter.

  34. Morgue says:

    Gropos49: If something like this DRM is going to keep you from playing this game you can kiss PC gaming goodbye entirely.

    Not necessarily. Stardock made a big deal about the fact that Galactic Civilizations II didn’t have an onerous copy protection scheme. The only protection they had was that you had to register the game to download the updates. Their rationale was exactly the same as Shamus’s: Pirates are unlikely to buy the game in any case, so why screw paying customers?

    Gal Civ II did very well, and the company earned a lot of gamer goodwill (and good press) for their attitude.

  35. gomi no sensei says:

    More people need to stand up for their principles like you are.

  36. Nilus says:

    Yep Stardock is one of the few companies I have seen that openly acknowledges that people own more then one PC and should be able to install software they bought on all of them. Of course they also intentional wrote GalCiv II so it could run on a large range of Hardware types. So that it could run on a 5 year old PC and be fine and run on a brand new PC and still take advantage of all the brand new hardware.

  37. Gropos49 says:

    To #16 hotsauce:

    There is theorem that if an argument lasts long enough, someone will inevitably invoke the Holocaust as evidence for their point…and will defunct their stance entirely. They are out of resonable arguements and the opposing debator can take a bow.

    #34 Morgue: I hope you’re right…but what “could be” and watching industry trends are two completely different things.

  38. Jeff says:

    I second the mention of STALKER. It’s at least as ‘nonlinear’ as Jade Empires, which was actually my favorite level of ‘nonlinearness’ (hey look, a non-word!).

    Too much freedom tends to get my floundering, as with Oblivion where there was too much to do with too little indication of what to do first. Although it didn’t really matter since the difficulty of areas scaled *eyeroll*.

  39. Gropos49 says:

    To #16 hotsause:

    And now that I know what the “Godwin button” is it is clear that you heard of the theorm too. I learn something new every day ;)

  40. josh says:

    You categorized thief as an RPG. I take it you define RPG as a game where you take part in a story, rather than a game where your character develops new skills and grows in strength?

  41. Dev Null says:

    DRM hurts people who buy games, Pirates don't give a s*** about it, cause there will NEVER be an unbreakable DRM System.

    Totally not true. Half the real pirates out there – the ones cracking the games – are only there for the challenge of beating the DRM, and the renown of being first. If there was no DRM they wouldn’t bother to put copies up at all, because anyone could do it. So the pirates DO care, in a way…

  42. Dev Null says:

    I’m with Shamus about the XBox and the brick, by the way, but for different reasons. I like RPGs, and every console version of an RPG I’ve ever played was dumbed down to a button-mashing-fest platform fight game, and made you use one of those ridiculous controllers to drive. Are they getting better about that? (Serious question: I’ll freely admit I havent been following the market after some initial bad experiences. Baldur’s Gate for the whatever-that-console-was; what a travesty!)

    Also, for the people who claim that consoles are the answer to buying a new graphics card every 3 years… whats the average lifespan of a console these days? Because the names keep changing pretty quick…

  43. RibbitRibbit says:

    “I am almost 100% that downloading and using a crack on software that you legally bought is not against the law.”

    DRM means that you didn’t “buy” the software. The software belongs for all intents and purposes to the publisher, and THEY will say where how and when you can or cannot use it. Yes this is wrong. Also, under the DMCA cracking it means that you’re cracking SOMEONE ELSE’S “digital property”. Amazing, US cyber laws.

  44. StaticElectricityMan says:

    I like how people still say to just get a console, its so much easier than PC’s. “You never have any problems with games on consoles because they’re always released as a finished product; there’s no patching to do or broken software”. Got news for you, there have been games released on consoles that were not ready to play. Namely, one of those idiotic wrestling games a few years ago released and the only way you could play it was if you had Xbox Live to … surprise … download the patch to make it playable. The fact that consoles are becoming more like PC’s only makes the problems that PC games have more readily available to console games. I’m not liking Xbox360’s attempts to do micro-transactions in the game world either.
    nuff said

  45. Mob wrote: “I think it's sad that you would willingly deprive yourself of your perfect game because of DRM designed to prevent you from doing something you most likely won't be doing anyway.”

    Actually, it almost certainly DOES prevent him from doing something he will likely be doing.

    I don’t think I’ll be far wrong to assume that Shamus occasionally goes back and replays the System Shock games. If I’m not wrong in that and if BioShock hits the same sweet spot for him, I would lay fairly good money that he would occasionally be revisiting it many years from now.

    … except he can’t. Because the DRM is designed to prevent him from doing that.

    kadnod: “Not playing this great game because the DRM perturbs you is like refusing to watch the LoTR movies because the DVDs are copy protected.”

    Right. Because no one would ever want to use their Fair Use rights and the copies of the LOTR DVDs they legally bought to do sommething crazy like, say, make a wacky comic strip parodying LOTR and D&D.

    … wait a minute.

    Or use their copy of Halo to create machinima dramas. Or an infinite number of other perfectly legitimate uses of IP that has been properly purchased.

    DRM is about limiting the rights of legitimate consumers. It doesn’t stop piracy. It barely slows it down. It should not be tolerated by anyone for any reason.

    Nilus wrote: “I am almost 100% that downloading and using a crack on software that you legally bought is not against the law.”

    Depends on the nature of the crack. If the DRM scheme employs encryption, then the DMCA makes breaking that encryption a federal offense. (See, also, the cracking of the DVD and HD-DVD encryption schemes.)

    Justin Alexander

  46. 10Kan says:

    Instead of getting Bioshock, I went out yesterday and bought an old copy of Condemned: Criminal Origins. It’s not as good as Bioshock by any means, but it does allow me to get my fix of bludgeoning lunatics while having psychic visions in a landscape of spooky urban decay.

  47. Neal White says:

    Lord of the rings DVD’s being Copy Protected does nothing to effect the ability to play OTHER DVD’s on your dvd player. inSecurom CAN and DOES effect the ability to run software on your computer.
    The fact that it is installed without your consent or knowledge and cannot be uninstalled makes it highly undesirable. I know it’s just my 4 cents (two more than most) but ANY software that does not go away when asked is BAD software (i’m looking at YOU symantec) Any software that doesn’t go where YOU tell it to go is BAD software (I’m looking at YOU MS Office) and any software that can’t do what it is supposed to do is BAD software (I’m looking at YOU securom. You are supposed to prevent piracy and you could only do that for about 42 hours) Bad software BAD, BAD software. No treat. go to your room!

  48. Dave says:

    Akk!! someone posted an assinine statement with my name!! No no Shamus.. I sould never recommend you go get the game.. I would recommend going out and getting about 5 copies of NWN1.. make your own world.. and run your group through it… non-linear if ya make it so.. fearful if you make it so.. level up.. it is an RPG.. ..but stay away from NWN2.. I haven’t gotten it yet because I’d have to buy a new computer.. no way.. for what.. the original game minus 5 years of community content and complete with all the bugs of a new release.. oh baby!

    Nope.. this is the real Dave here… Solidarity, Brother!

  49. Dave2 says:

    I’m so confused.

  50. Bloomville Anarchist says:

    Well… Maybe Shamus, you could just get the haxxored version of Bioshock, play it, and to sooth your consciousness and to give dough where the credit is due, just send 2x $20 bill with snail mail to your favorite developer chosen randomly… from the game’s credits!

    See, if everyone would do that, developers would get paid (a random amount, but in neat and tight gaussian fashion), publisher would get nada, and you would be doing more than just impotently ranting.. you’d be playing Bioshock!

  51. ohnoabear says:

    I think you’re overreacting a little, Shamus, which makes sense because you haven’t actually tried to install the game. I was all up in arms about what was going on, but then I saw it for pretty cheap in Fry’s so I decided to buy it on a whim. Unless you are vehemently ideologically opposed to DRM (and if you are, why are you playing FEAR? That had securom, too), Bioshock’s activation really isn’t that bad.

    First, the activation is a bit of a pain, but you can do manual activation, which basically entails you sending securom your cd key via email and them sending you a text string which will activate the game for you. I presume it will work regardless of the machine, so you can install it on any machine, but I haven’t tried it yet.

    Secondly, there are ways of removing securom when you don’t want it installed. I haven’t had any problems with it, but I did some searching on the Internet and found out how to get rid of it. Basically you have to remove the registry key it hides (and which causes the flag in Rootkit Revealer). Then you have to get rid of the key itself, which is hidden pretty deeply.

    Thirdly, I believe 2k has said they will remove the 5 install limit once the game has been out a while and is less of a target for pirates. In the meantime, you’re unlikely to reach that limit.

    I’m not exactly happy with the way 2k has handled this, but I definitely don’t think it’s worth all the furor this has caused on the Internet. In any case, Bioshock really is awesome enough to be worth it.

  52. Davesnot says:

    I was wondering how long I could just be Dave.. sigh.. I guess I could be .. hell.. I can’t even make a joke about how the kids today make up names.. I’m so old I can’t do it.. like.. could I be D8v .. or .. sheesh.. maybe DavEsnoThEredAVe .. or just Davesnot .. hmm.. that has a ring to it.. Davesnot… yeah.. grab your hankies.. here comes Davesnot.

  53. Dave says:

    Out of curiousity, Shamus, ever try Vampire: Bloodlines?

    First Person, RPG, at least _somewhat_ non-linear (it has sidequests, at least, even if the main plotline is completely linear), and at least elements of survival horror (frankly, the “Ocean House Hotel” quest gives me shivers even after playing it a dozen times).

  54. ngthagg says:

    kadnod: My LoTR DVD’s are copy protected? Gee, I never noticed . . . which is the point. I can watch them on dozens of different DVD players without a hiccup. I could even sell my collection to a friend and she or he could then watch them without a problem. Never do my LoTR DVD’s require me to connect to the internet to watch them. Never do they make permanent alterations to my DVD player.

    If Bioshock’s DRM was the same as LoTR’s DRM, I doubt anyone would have a problem.


  55. nehumanuscrede says:

    ” Frankly, this is why I'm migrating to console gaming. Once we hit the point where console games are no different from PC games – and let's face it, with the XBox 360 and PS3 having hard drives we're going to reach that point damn soon – there'll be no point in me playing PC games any more. ”

    Here’s a tip oh makers of the consoles !

    If you want PC folks to switch to console games you need to
    merely do the following:

    Give us a keyboard and mouse / trackball interface.

    That’s it. That’s all it would take for me to completely
    switch to a console based system for gaming. I don’t own
    a console because the controllers just outright suck beyond
    all known measurements of suckage.

    That’s just the way it is.

    Remember ! Keyboard and mouse. . . . it’s not that hard . .

  56. Jimbo says:

    “Remember ! Keyboard and mouse. . . . it's not that hard . .”

    Well, here it is…

  57. the Jack says:

    I wouldn’t feel too bad, Shamus. If I’m reading your Venn Diagram correctly, Bioshock would have probably only just tickled the area that F.E.A.R. sits in.

    You choke a lot less when you don’t guzzle the Kool-Aid.

  58. Ian says:

    @ohnoabear: The point is that there never should have been an install limit or online activation system in the first place.

    As people have said previously, the game was cracked in less than 48 hours after release. What did the copy protection do besides alienate customers?

    Even moving past the online activation (as if that weren’t enough) why does SecuROM feel the need to create invalid, registry keys that cannot be deleted? Why is it apparently a crime to have a debugger installed? I have VS2005 installed on my computer. Even if my system were able to run BioShock well (which it won’t) I wouldn’t be able to play it without downloading a crack.

    I have a better question: why should people give their hard-earned money to support this behavior? What gives software vendors the right to install this kind of stuff on their customer’s PCs in the first place? Why the hell should you need access to the Internet to activate a damn game so you can play it? What are they thinking?

  59. Brad says:

    I can understand your rage. A while back I decided to stop buying anything from Sony because Sony BMG had installed rootkits on their music CDs (like Montgomery Gentry, Celine Dion, etc). At least their music CDs mentioned that some copy protection was on the CD.

    I’ve also started posting 2KGames use of SecuROM on some gaming sites to spread the word, since 2K forgot.

    Also, check out, you’ll find that Sony has it’s fingers in this DRM scheme as well.

  60. Brad says:

    Sorry for the double post, but you didn’t seem to mention Metroid, which the only category it does not fall into is Survival Horror on your chart.

  61. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    You think of deus ex as linear?Blimey,I must have played a completelly different game with the same title then.(Im talking about deus ex 1 here)

    And thief is not really an RPG,and its not really linear either(third part being an exception,or better yet,a mistake).

    As for you principle,amen to that!If only more gamers did the same we would be rid of malicious anti-piracy softare in the blink of an eye.I still rember the outrage of fans when ubisoft wanted to ship HoMMV with starforce,a really malicious anti-piracy software.Luckilly for the fans of the game,they had to drop it.Also,there was a fiasco with sony and some software it used for its music disks that lost them lots of money.If only such a law suit would hit the game developers…

  62. Shamus says:

    Daemian_Lucifer: When I say “non linear” I don’t just mean individual levels are open, I’m talking about the ability to move around the gameworld at will and have it persist as you do. While in HK, you can’t catch a ride back to libery island to talk to that one guy at the docks and stock up on ammo. You’re stuck in HK. This is not a bad thing at all, and the plot more or less requires that it work this way, its just that I love games that DO allow this sort of freedom.

    And yes: The arrow for Thief should be pointing to the same region as FEAR, not the RPG region.

  63. Miako says:

    Shamus: Tried Magic Candle?

    great game very nonlinear

  64. Deacon Blues says:

    “…there are ways of removing securom when you don't want it installed. I haven't had any problems with it, but I did some searching on the Internet and found out how to get rid of it. Basically you have to remove the registry key it hides (and which causes the flag in Rootkit Revealer). Then you have to get rid of the key itself, which is hidden pretty deeply.”

    Oh, of course! How simple!

    You know, some of us have been using these things for decades, and have never mucked around with Windows Registry. Why should it be necessary for me to be able to identify what each of those strings in the Registry means, in order to simply uninstall a fracking *game*??

    That’s like making me learn how to remove and replace my car’s fuel tank before letting me purchase some gas and drive…

  65. Vegedus says:

    Principles and high, moral horses are things I do not understand…

  66. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Shamus Says:

    “Daemian_Lucifer: When I say “non linear” I don't just mean individual levels are open, I'm talking about the ability to move around the gameworld at will and have it persist as you do. While in HK, you can't catch a ride back to libery island to talk to that one guy at the docks and stock up on ammo. You're stuck in HK. This is not a bad thing at all, and the plot more or less requires that it work this way, its just that I love games that DO allow this sort of freedom.”

    True,but that doesnt mean its non linear.In NWN you cant go back to neverwinter until you finish chapters 2 and 3,in its expansions,you cant go back from one chapter to the other as well,but the game is non linear.In planescape you cant go back to sigil when you exit it,but you cant say planescape is linear.

    There arent really that many games that give you such a complete freedom(morrowind,oblivion and fallout are the only ones I played).In fact,now that I think about it,fallout 3 seems to be your perfect game:A survival horror(nuclear wasteland is a horror,no question about it,where you need to fight to survive),it is a full RPG,it is first person,and it will be completelly opened(bethesda is working on it,so this is a sure thing).Hopefully,bethesda wont put something like securom on its discs,so you will be able to play it.

  67. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Damn!Shouldve checked before posting.My first sentence shouldve been”True,but that doesnt mean its linear”.

  68. Meems says:

    Is it weird that I’m convinced the Xbox people are paying them to do this? I mean, nobody’s going to want it for the PC… so everyone’s going to have to buy Xboxes.

    This falls down a little when I realise that the Xbox is made by Microsoft, but given that corporations have been conspiring to screw over PC gamers for years now, I still think it works as a theory.

  69. David V.S. says:

    Thief and Thief 2, with their plethora of user-made “fan missions”, can be non-linear also.

    (I never played Thief 3. I assume it also has fan missions, some of which are as good as or better than those of the game itself, probably designed by the same fans. But that’s only an assumption.)

  70. bignose says:

    Please don’t refer to it as “copy protection”. That is a disingenuous term, since “copy protection” is actually a restriction on the recipient of the work. A copy causes no harm, so there’s nothing to be “protected”.

    If we’re going to talk about it accurately, it should be using the term “copy restriction”.

  71. Brickman says:

    Takng a bit of an opposing standpoint for a second, are you sure your courageous stand with your gaming dollar is going to be read correctly? Yes, your money multiplied by enough like-minded individuals should theoretically influence what a publisher does, but this is hardly the first time that anyone (or even those specific companies) have ever used SecureROM and most of those times nothing happened. Even with some forum outrage about it, I have no doubt that rather than connect any less purchases than expected to the DRM thing they will simply assume it is because people don’t like the product, and won’t make another. Not to mention that they are secure in the knowledge that, even if people are undignified now, 9 times of ten at least noone will even notice the DRM. Certainly 9 times of 10 enough won’t notice that they’ll realize people weren’t buying because of it.

  72. Shamus says:

    Well, they don’t even care what PAYING customers think, so I can’t imagine why they would care what I think.

    I’m not buying because I don’t want to give them my money, not because I believe they will change their ways.

    1. xXDarkWolfXx says:

      Thats why i generally buy games from companies i dislike used and at such a low price that they wont get any profit from it even IF gamestop where to do that type of thing (which i doubt)

  73. Sarah Miller says:

    I’d like to make a recommendation: The s.t.a.l.k.e.r series.

    All three games are first person shooters with a main storyline you don’t have to follow (only in the first game, you won’t be able to return from the two last maps, but there are mods who allow you to) and an atmosphere that will send shivers down your spine.

    Did I mention the atmosphere? When you’re walking through the desolate landscape, wind blowing softly, maybe a distant howl… and you know EXACTLY that there is no enemy around, but still feel at unease, you know they just did a great job. Unfortunably, the series is a bit light on the RPG aspect: in all three games, talking with and taking quests from npcs and ‘leveling up’ to better gear by scaveging from your enemies are the only RPG-ish actions.

    I’m all against hard DRM (which messes with your abillity to use stuff you legally own for it’s intended purpose), but soft DRM (which only puts a ‘fingerprint’ on the stuff, so if it shows up on a p2p site, the person who put it there can be identified) is ok.

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