DRM spoils very good game

User Rating: 6.5 | The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena PC
This is a good ... very good game. It's easy to immerse yourself into it and not come out for hours. If you like stealth and FPS/RPG combo, this game is for you. If you played the first Riddick (Escape from Butcher Bay), lower your expectations somewhat and you'll like this one too. Dark Athena is maybe not as good as the first Riddick, but still is very enjoyable. A few more months of development and finalizing this game for PC would make it possibly one of the best games of the year, but in a rush to deliver it seems the game is more of a mix of above average components, while really not shining in any specific area ... except the stealth component. In general, the game is stable once the potential NVIDIA issues are resolved (otherwise you may get crashes implicating the vid OpenGL component). The game really doesn't like the 182.08, but runs nicely with 182.50 drivers. It seems the game is asking for more resources than what looks of it would suggest -- possibly indicating a need for a better optimization. The proprietary Starbreeze engine seems OK, but no real revolution since the first Riddick in 2004. Graphics are good, but not exceptional by any stretch of imagination. Yet, they are sufficient for an effective gameplay. There are some sound issues on some systems, but I haven't notice them.

Negatives:
- huge DRM issue, supposedly allowing only 3 installs -- this is just pathetic considering that many people try to resolve game issues with the uninstall-reinstall strategy. For $50, this shouldn't be there at all. 2 points taken away (and should be more)
- some sound issues
- only the newest NVIDIA drivers seem to resolve crashing and freezing issues
- fake aim taking (slight zooming) instead of ironsights on weapons
- nothing really new since 2004 in terms of game mechanics (to me appeared somewhat stiff and the movement is like walking semi-drunk especially in the beginning of the game)
- story is still very good but somewhat less captivating than the first Riddick

Overall, the best feature of this game is the gameplay itself (9/10) which offers an immersive experience. It's just too bad that the developer/publisher decided on the really bad DRM strategy that offers a very short-term protection from piracy and long-term bad taste for a huge majority of non-pirating PC users who deserve better than 3 installs limit. The game itself (without the DRM issue) and depending on personal preferences deserves to be rated anywhere between 7.5 and 9/10. The bad DRM decision for the PC version would suggest either waiting for some time till the DRM is removed (which happens many times via a patch after the initial launch time is over), skipping the game altogether, or looking to maybe a different platform with a less restrictive DRM for this game. Overall score: 6.7/10 (2 points taken for the unreasonable DRM).
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