June 2021
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Broken Promises And Exceeded Expectations

I received my copy of SimCity from Amazon on Monday.  If this had been a console game, I would have been happy that I got to play it a day early.  But as it was, I knew that it wouldn’t let me actually play it until Tuesday.  Or so I thought.  In actuality, today is Thursday and I still haven’t played the game.

SimCity Error

Experience the thrill of not playing the game you just paid $60 for!

SimCity is the latest in a disturbing trend in PC games – that is, games that require a constant internet connection to play.  For some games – mainly MMO’s – this makes perfect sense, since the whole point of the game is playing online.  There is no single-player mode in these games.  But with a game like SimCity that’s not the case.  Now before you start angrily typing at me, yes, I know their focus with this sequel was building a social aspect into the game, and that they strongly encourage you to play with others.  But I also know you can create a private game and play by your lonesome, and there’s no reason why this mode shouldn’t have been made available for play offline.  It was the same last year with Diablo III – yes, playing co-op is a big part of that game, but sometimes I just wanna dungeon crawl by myself.  And I can.  Just not offline.

What this truly is is thinly veiled copy protection.  But make no mistake, this is copy protection that hurts the consumer.  It is absolutely ridiculous that I’m not able to play the game two days after release.  Make no mistake, no portion of EA’s systems that are in place to take your money for this game have been affected, they are still willing and able to do that.  I told my wife last night, the next time I see that a game I’m anticipating forces you to be online to play, I’m going to take that to mean “buy this game in two months when it actually works and will probably be cheaper.”  Thanks for the bought lesson, EA.

Tomb Raider PC

Next Gen, today!

So what have I been doing with all of this time in the evenings that I haven’t been using to play SimCity?  Have I taken up knitting, or started learning to play the guitar perhaps?  Why of course not, I’ve been playing Tomb Raider!  And doing so has further proven something I’ve been noticing for a while now – the PC has become the interim next-gen console.  Sure, games have been looking and running better on it for a few years now, but the difference has grown more pronounced recently.  Games like FarCry 3, Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider all look significantly better than their console counterparts.  For those that don’t know, I have my PC connected to my TV, and that combined with a wireless 360 controller allows my computer to basically act as a very powerful console.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not looking forward to next gen consoles.  For one, all things being relatively equal I prefer to just pop in a game and play rather than have to fiddle with graphic settings.  Also, I’m very much anticipating console exclusives and the features these systems will bring to the table – the game streaming features Sony announced for the PS4 are particularly attractive to me.  But in the meantime, I’ll be playing my multi-platform games on my PC.  The future is today!  Viva la revolution!


One Response to Broken Promises And Exceeded Expectations

  • Derrick Bass says:

    Very nice writing, sir! So far, I think that Steam has the only functional DRM. Rockstar DRM is bad, EA is bad, Ubisoft is terrible, and there are others that I am missing. But, nowadays, DRM is so stinking bad that, like you said, there is a very good chance that you will not be able to play your game for a long time. When I got FarCry3, I couldn’t play it online for over a month. I looked nearly everyday to see if there was a fix yet, and never saw any progress offered from Ubi. I finally figured out that an app called NetLimiter had gone rogue on my PC and was conflicting with uPlay. Once I finally got rid of that app, all was well. But, there are thousands of other people who can’t play FC3 online, and what are the chances that they have that app on their machines? Very slim, so DRM should work like it does with Steam, it is much less likely to break because of the other software on your PC. Simply sign in to prove who you are, and that you own the game, then play your games.

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