The Customer is Always Wrong: How DRM Ruins PC Gaming
During the Steam summer sale, my girlfriend knowing that I’d enjoyed the first game, gifted me a copy of Bioshock 2. For $15 it seemed like a steal! Little did she know the hoops that I’d have to jump through just to get this legally purchased game running.
What follows is a painful overview of the steps I had to follow just to play the single player campaign with running commentary on each step.
1. Download the game through Steam.
So far, so good.
I don’t see why Steam needs to install DirectX for the umpteenth time, but okay whatever…
3. Securom activation.
Hmm, now this is new. I suppose this is the CD-key check. Key entered, validated, it looks like we’re good to go!
4. Alright, game time!
Bioshock 2 requires a Games For Windows Live ® account.
But, I only want to play the single player now and I’m already using Steam; another form of DRM!
Tough luck buddy…
5. Create Games For Windows Live ® account.
Well this isn’t so bad. I can use my hotmail account.
6. Bind product key to your Games For Windows Live account ®
Are you kidding me? I need to enter the CD-key again? Fine, whatever. Can I play now?
7. Update Games For Windows Live ®
Yeah… I saw that one coming.
8. Woohoo! Let’s play!
Games For Windows Live ® requires you exit the game so it can finish the update process.
9. Restart Bioshock2, Sign into Games For Windows Live ®
Alright Rapture, here I come!
10. Games For Windows Live ® found an update for Bioshock 2, you need to exit the game to finish installing the patch.
11. Restart Bioshock2, Sign into Games For Windows Live ®
12. We’re sorry, but this Games For Windows Live ® account doesn’t have an associated GamerTag™
That’s cool, I only want to play the single player for now.
You still need a GamerTag™
What is this XBOX Live? I’m gaming on the PC! Whatever! FINE! I’ll MAKE YOUR STUPID TAG!
13. Create Games For Windows Live/Xbox Live GamerTag™
I’ll just use the name I use on PSN and Steam
14. Name taken.
Bah! *adds a space*
15. Name taken.
*adds spaces between each word*
16. Name taken.
*removes spaces, changes ’s’ to a horribly lame ‘z’*
17. Name *still* taken.
GRR!! *changes name to atrocious spelling, looking like the username of someone with a 3rd grade education level.*
18. Name available!
*Bangs head off desk*
19. Meanwhile, in Bioshock 2…
Bioshock 2 has encountered a fatal error and needs to be closed.
*struggles to make the Windows Task Manager terminate the process and not just repeat the error dialog*
20. Restart Bioshock2, Sign into Games For Windows Live ®
Oh my god, I can FINALLY play!
Or so I thought …
I spent the next couple hours trying to resolve a graphics issue that seems to be common to games using Unreal Engine 3. As primarily a PC gamer, I hate to say this but, if you want to avoid this arduous process then go for the console version.
With that having been said, after I finally got the game playable, it’s been really fun. I’m enjoying it even more then the first game.