On a related topic, Blues News has wrapped up a few stories today regarding DRM-related installation issues with the PC versions of Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3. It seems that alternate installers are required in some cases. While we remain grateful to Ubisoft for helping us out, it's plain that current DRM methodologies continue to place an undue burden on legitimate consumers.
For providing us with the means to use Far Cry 2 as a PC gaming benchmark for the next year or so, we'd like to give game publisher Ubisoft and its Ubisoft Montreal development division a quick shout-out today.
The game's DRM limits you to installing the game on only three systems out of the box, but we run our gaming tests on roughly 120 desktops and laptops each year. Ubisoft graciously worked with us to find a way to accommodate so many installs. You can expect to see the first reviews using Far Cry 2 as a benchmark next week (Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3...it's been a good run, sort of).
We'd also like to point out that unlike pretty much every other graphically advanced PC game of the last year, Far Cry 2 does indeed include an extremely robust, easy-to-use benchmarking tool. Dig into the bin directory in your Far Cry 2 folder and you'll find the .EXE file. The game comes with three fly-throughs of various lengths, and it also lets your record your own runs. The settings options also provide all of the necessary toggles for adjusting the image quality, the physics, and the enemy AI. It's also well-designed enough so that any curious PC gamer can play with it
So again, thanks Ubisoft, both for enabling us to adopt Far Cry 2 as a test, and also for making the tool so easy to work with. DRM may remain an annoying reality for consumers, but for review purposes you've set an example for other PC game makers (and yes, Electronic Arts, that means you).