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Gaming has hit an all time low thanks to UBI Soft. If you didn't like draconian DRM schemes, you're going to hate UBI Soft's new policy: you must be connected to their servers 100% of the time to play Assasin's Creed 2. If you don't have internet, or if your internet is out, or if you are on vacation, stationed in Iraq, or want to play at the airport, you are out of luck. No game for you. That in itself is very troubling and reason enough to NOT BUY THIS GAME. However, there are additional reasons that are even more frightening:

1) Setting the precedent for future games

If gamers buy Assasin's Creed despite this huge limitation on game play, it will open the door to many more games like this in the future. That would be awful for the consumer.

2) Turning 'owning' into leasing"

Tying games to some sort of server for activation is bad enough, but making them DEPENDENT on a server is horrible for the consumer. It takes away our rights (to play the game we paid for on our terms) and creates a system whereby you are simply LEASING a game. If at some point UBI Soft decides to take down their servers, you lose your game. They can take away your rights to play the game at any point in the future if they decided to. They have you by the cajones! If you give into this model, expect to never own any digital medium again; the makers of games, producers of music, and distributors of movies would love to see our current model of OWNING a physical copy of your game \ album \ movie replaced with a system where you only own the 'right' to access \ play that medium. It's their wet-dream to turn the current system of ownership on its head so they can re-sell you things endlessly as well as take them away from you at their discretion. As a consumer, it's important that we speak out against this by supporting DRM free games (Mass Effect II, Dragon Age, Fallout III, etc...) and DRM free music (buy it from Amazon!) and REFUSE to buy this junk with built in limitations and restrictions that SERVE NO PURPOSE.

3) Making games dependent on 'phoning home' means you're at the total mercy of UBI Soft (or whomever runs their servers)

If their servers are down, you lose access to your game. If their servers are overtaxed, you may experience problems connecting to your game. Think that isn't likely? Think again. Currently (03/09/2010) the servers have been down for the last 12 hours or so, creating chaos for all those who expected to be able to fire up Assassin's Creed. It doesn't even matter if UBI Soft is malevolent or not; if your service provider has a bad week you may be out of luck. If there is a storm in your area, you could end up out of luck for weeks (this happened to me when a tree knocked out my cable internet for 9 says straight--I thought I was going to die). You're screwed if your internet, their servers, or anything along the line between the two goes down.

4) DRM is pointless (and this online restriction is one of it's worst forms!)

Want to pirate games? It's tragically easy these days. Even more tragic is that DRM, supposedly designed to prevent piracy, is a total failure at actually accomplishing that. Want proof? Google "Spore + DRM + Piracy" and see what you come up with. I'll give you a hint: Spore was pirated BEFORE it was officially released. Many games are unto torrent sites well before their release date. The worst part of this is that the pirated versions are in almost all cases SUPERIOR to the DRM infested versions: they don't contain the invasive, crippling, and destructive DRM that past games have been ruined by (Bioshock, Mass Effect I, Spore, etc...). I am NOT ADVOCATING PIRACY. I think you should buy the games you want to play. I am advocating NOT BUYING games that violate your basic consumer rights (right to resell your game, right to play your game WHENEVER you want to without restrictions). If a game limits those rights, I say skip it entirely. Because UBI SOFT are morons doesn't give anyone the right to steal. As your Mom (or at least mine) used to say: two wrongs don't make a right!

I am not opposed to simple DRM schemes (disk check, or even Steam which has established very good rapport gamers by being both consistent, fair, and show a long track record of stability). I am totally opposed to anything that PREVENTS ME FROM PLAYING THE GAME that I paid money for. I don't want to see this standardized (and I don't think it will be) and so it's time to take action NOW and refuse to buy this garbage.

The bottom line is DRM is not and has never been about preventing piracy. It's about CONTROL. Control over you and how you are able to play the very game you paid your money for. It's about wrenching ownership away from the consumer and replacing it with something much lesser: rental \ leasing. Don't let them do that to you.

Final Thoughts:

UBI SOFT and those like them have got to be taught a lesson. The only way to get heard by these huge companies is by hitting them where it hurts: their pocketbook. Refuse to buy this game or games like it that infringe on your rights. Tell your friends not to buy it. Write reviews that inform people about the risks of doing so. That's how you get things to change. To the inevitable trolls who will tell me that DRM should just be 'given in to,' I'd like to point out that currently game makers are MOVING AWAY from DRM schemes. The reason is because of the backlash against pointless restrictions by those like myself who are unwilling to sit around and watch PC gaming be ruined by greedy scumbags. It's because of grassroots action (Spore for example) that the tide has turned and that DRM is now much less common than it was a year ago. Top shelf games are being released DRM free. You know what? I've bought all of them and recommend you do the same. Let's all give our money to the makers of games that RESPECT us--after all, WE ARE THE CUSTOMERS. Enough said.
8383 comments|758 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2010
Though it doesn't say anywhere in the description, you *NEED* an internet connection to play the game. Yes, you need to be connected to an Ubisoft server *at all times* in order to be able to play. No playing out in the backyard, or on the beach, or while waiting for your bus... Without internet, no game!
And so far the Ubisoft servers have done nothing but crash, be unavailable, break off your game-play, lose your saves and so on. Officially, it's all because of attacks on the servers... yeah, right. And irate customers who are trying to vent their frustration on the Ubisoft forums are having their posts deleted.
I'm paying for an *offline* game, not for an online one (I have enough of those). I sent mine back.
77 comments|373 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2010
This game is abusive to consumer rights. You need a continuous connection to Ubisoft's servers while playing. If the connection breaks, the game stops. And Ubisoft is already having trouble keeping their server online.

The pirates cracked this game within 24 hours, so the DRM isn't effective at stopping the pirates. And it's also not effective at allowing paying customers to play, so the DRM fails in every respect. It just ruins the game. If you value your rights as a consumer, don't buy this game.
0Comment|322 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 13, 2011
Bought this game recently so didn't really have the chance to play the entire game; but I wanted to confirm that the DRM has an option to "FORCE OFFLINE" play; thus removing the "MUST BE ONLINE" DRM. Also, "ONLINE SAVED GAMES" is now optional as you can save games on your computer. You still have to "activate" the game online [only once], but other than that the DRMs are gone [as long as you click the "Offline Mode" and "Uncheck Online saves"; I disconnected my internet from my laptop to verify and AC:II still ran.

There was a recent update to "UPlay" [November/11, bundled software with AC:II] that removes the online requirement portion of the DRM.

If you were heldback by the DRM, no need to worry anymore!! AC:II is an awesome game :D
66 comments|42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2010
While the game itself is great, I have no quarrels with it, the developers should be ashamed of themselves. Why would anyone purchase a single player PC game that forces them to be connected to the internet? That's correct. In order to even start the game, you must be connected to the internet, and if the internet fails, even for a second, the game kicks you out and you either have the option to wait for it to reconnect, or you will loose all of your game until your last auto save. Quite annoying. I understand this is to prevent hacking, however this only penalizes the legit player, not the pirated version, which has no DRM anyway. I will no longer ever purchase a Ubisoft title, that's for sure. Stick to the PS3 or Xbox360 version if you really want to play this title, otherwise it's not worth the hassle.
22 comments|108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2010
As just about every other review has stated so far, beware when purchasing this game. It's single player only but you can be locked out from playing it if you don't have an internet connection that's 100% up while playing, and as long as UbiSoft's servers are online (which they aren't always).

If you absolutely must play this game, play it on a console. Avoid the PC version. You will be at the mercy of a draconian DRM system that is completely out of your control to play a game that has no online component apart from Ubisoft keeping an eye on you like a criminal.

This is no way to run a business and my pocket will speak for me. AC2 & the new Splinter Cell were two games I was going to purchase from Ubisoft... not going to happen anymore. I rather support developers/publishers that don't treat their user base like thieves.
33 comments|96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2010
Please, don't get this game. Firstly, I am reviewing the PC VERSION and technical issues. The game itself is absolutely amazing and beautiful, so don't worry about that. The problem (for PC users) is the DRM. If you haven't heard of it, you will soon if you're wondering why this game has such low stars.

I don't mind connecting to the internet once to activate my game, albeit annoying. But this is horrid. You have to connect to the internet at ALL TIMES. Logical for multilayer, but for a single player? What was Ubisoft thinking?

I understand the issues of piracy, and I don't blame the company for seeking ways to stop it. However, this is not to way to go. If anything, this makes people want to go pirate even more--for a version that isn't tied up with all of these restrictions, not to mention the odd $10 hike.

Overpriced, infected with fine print, and fun is destroyed by the DRM--Please do not waste your money. I am very sad, because this game is truly a masterpiece, but Ubisoft has fallen to the low like many other companies, and are just wanting to make money--that, and I really think they do this for fun, just to annoy us. It hurts my feelings how Ubisoft just walks all over the toes of loyal PC gamers and treat us like trash.

Just boycott this game, or go buy the 360 or PS3 version.

Next time, Ubisoft, please work with your fans to solve the problem. Thank you.
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on March 9, 2010
After months of delay from the console release, Ubisoft released the PC version of AC2.

$60 is $10 more than the standard pc game price point - so you'd expect some special treatment, right?


This game runs on DX9. AC1 on PC even ran on DX10. This game requires both you to have a constant internet connection to play single player, and it requires Ubisoft's servers to be functioning. Unfortunately there have been problems on ubisoft's end has not been upheld, and their consumers are paying the price.

If you buy this you are essentially paying $60 for a gimped version of a game that can be had on xbox360 or ps3 for $35.
22 comments|75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2010
I was very interested in purchasing this game due to the appeal of exploring a 15th Century Venice. But after reading about the ridiculous DRM scheme, however, I will boycott this game until Ubisoft adopts a DRM no more restrictive than a "disk check" requirement. When it does, I will buy it and happily immerse myself in its world for entertainment.

Aside from the potential technical pitfalls (e.g., limited internet connection or Ubisoft server failure), what about the privacy issues? Why would I care to share my game playing statistics with Ubisoft?

In this recession, our dollars now are more valuable than ever. So vote with your dollars and boycott this ill-advised DRM scheme. Ubisoft (and its competitors ) will get the message! Amazon should get wise as well and advocate for its customers by red-flagging draconian DRM and encouraging game companies to treat paying customers with greater respect.

I just purchased Mass Effect 2 because it was $30 and EA only requires a disk check (according to our fellow Amazon posters).

Thanks for the Heads-Up about Ubisoft's highly invasive DRM!

Bible & Sword
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on March 9, 2010
I want to buy this, and I want it to be amazing. I really do. And I have no doubts that it would be, if the DRM system wasn't so awful!

Not too long ago I was skimming over the system requirements on Wikipedia, quickly making sure my computer would run it. When I came to the end, I read "Constant High-Speed Internet Connection required to save games." It actually didn't register until I had closed the webpage. "Wait..." I said aloud, "did that just say I needed a constant internet connection?!" I reloaded the page, and sure enough, there it was. Not only did it say that you needed a constant high-speed internet connection, but it also said that your saved games would be stored on their servers!

I stared at it in disbelief. Surely there had been a mistake, or maybe it was a joke. But other sources confirmed that this bizarre requirement was indeed true. I was shocked.

Why on earth would Ubisoft believe that their customers would put up with such a demand for a single-player game? What about those of us who don't have the best of internet connections? I really don't want to have my game paused every 5 minutes! Also, what about those of us who travel? If I'm in an area with no internet I guess I just have to settle playing solitaire.
What about those who don't have a high-speed internet connection at all? The game is useless to them!

The list of concerns doesn't end there. What if Ubi's servers malfunction? They apparently already did in Europe! What if they permanently shut down the servers? Will I be stuck with a useless game I spent $60 on?

Despite Ubi's heartfelt reassurances, I remain highly doubtful about the entire thing.

I feel like I did when they still sold DRM-infested music online, only a lot worse. If I dish out $60 for this, I sure as heck better be able to play it when I want, without worry that it will randomly die on me.

Yup, I just love these anti-piracy DRM schemes. Punish the buyers! That'll teach those pirates! Never mind that our legit customers are suffering more and more! Never mind that pirates don't have to deal with the restrictions we set for our customers; and thus, significantly increasing the temptation to pirate our stuff! Yeah, this is great!

(Didn't they show that the most pirated games in the past were the ones that had DRM anyway? This will probably be the most pirated game ever in the near future.)

My hope is that Ubi will take down the DRM system, if that happens I will happily buy this game. Until then, so long.
22 comments|76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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