Doom Eternal's New Denuvo Anti-Cheat Protection Raises Eyebrows

The anti-cheat technology being used by Bethesda has been criticized as too invasive.

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Id Software has issued its first big update for Doom Eternal, with a host of changes and tweaks. Most of the changes were welcome, but among them was an anti-cheat tech on PC that has some players concerned about security vulnerabilities.

The official patch notes mention that the game now uses Denuvo Anti-Cheat, which uses a kernel-mode driver. The bullets regarding the device look to assuage concerns, stating that the driver starts when the game launches and stops when the game ends, and that it does not take screenshots, scan your file system, or stream shellcode. What it is doing is collecting information on how the OS interacts with the game, and then sends that data to the Amazon-hosted game servers.

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The patch notes also point out it can be uninstalled through the "Add or remove programs" dialogue. Denuvo will also be uninstalled if you uninstall the game itself.

However, the fact that it uses a kernel-mode driver raises eyebrows. That gives it access to your operating system, so even if the application itself is benign, an exploit that uses the driver would be a major security risk. Plus, as Denuvo notes in its own blog on the subject, it doesn't come with any splash screen or tray icon, and "this invisibility could raise some eyebrows."

The reaction from the community has been harsh, including an influx of negative reviews on Steam. GameSpot has reached out to Id Software for comment.

"Though it can take a bit to get the hang of it, the intricacies of Doom Eternal's combat, combined with its enhanced mobility and option-heavy level design, create a ton of white-knuckle moments that elevate everything that made Doom 2016 work so well," Phil Hornshaw wrote in GameSpot's Doom Eternal review. "Its combat is just as quick and chaotic, but requires you to constantly analyze everything that's happening in order to come out victorious. Once you get the hang of the rhythm of Doom Eternal, it'll make you feel like a demon-slaying savant."

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