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Customer Review

679 of 799 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless installation limit + Windows Live + Online Activation = FAIL, February 11, 2010
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bioshock 2 - PC (Video Game)
This review is intended to help educate potential buyers of Bioshock 2 about a few of the major downsides of the way 2K has decided to sell the game. If you've already made up your mind to buy it, or already own it, this review isn't for you. If on the other hand you're on the fence, I'd love to point out a few things that are very troubling about Bioshock 2:

1) The game REQUIRES online activation. If you are a serviceman/servicewoman stationed in Baghdad (or anywhere in the field without internet) you're totally screwed. Requiring an internet connection to activate is offensive in itself, but coupled with the other major issues with this game's DRM scheme, it just keeps getting worse.

2) The game limits the number of times you can install it. I don't care if they give me 1,000 installs, any limit on how long I can use a game I paid for simply isn't acceptable. I'm not paying for the 'privilege' of installing how ever many times 2K or anyone else thinks is appropriate. If I buy a game, I want to actually BUY it, meaning I OWN IT and CAN DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT. If I buy the game and don't like it, how can I resell it? How can I verify to the person I'm selling it to that it has installations left? This is just a petty and insulting way to treat paying customers. I don't want to have to come crawling back to 2K or Microsoft to explain why I might need more installations for a game I already gave them forty or more dollar for. And what if they close their doors at some point in the future? How can I be guaranteed I'll still have access to my game?

3) Securom, the DRM package used by Bioware, installs with the game and there is no option to install it without Securom. That means you get a program running in the background when you play the game that can create issues for other programs on your computer. Don't believe me? I experienced all sorts of issues with the Securom that installed with Mass Effect I including it screwing up my drivers for my optical drives because it didn't like the fact that I has DeamonTools on my computer. I don't want crapware or potential security threats loading on my computer alongside the game!

4) You MUST create a WindowsLive account if you want to access certain parts of the game. I hate WindowsLive and everything to do with it and don't want to create accounts to play my game. I want to install it, run the game, and be on my merry way. Forcing creation of an account is what marketers call "forced opt-in" and it opens you up to all sorts of information mining so that Microsoft or whoever collects the data can sell it to marketing companies. Forced opt-ins just flat out suck and I hate when companies force you to jump through their hoops to play their game.


2K would say its to fight piracy. I say bull-****. DRM doesn't affect pirates as they're already downloading the widely available and free versions of this (and any other game) from torrent sites. To the inevitable idiots who will spam the comments of this review accusing me of being either a pirate or too poor to buy the game: 1) I own literally hundreds of games and paid for every single one of theme and 2) if I was a pirate I'd already be playing the game from a torrent site without any of the limitations of DRM. Bottom line: if you want to pirate the game, it's pretty amazingly easy. I don't pirate because I'm honest, but neither do I give my money to game makers who like to insult my intelligence by telling me DRM is 'necessary' or that force me to install crapware on my computer.

Thanks but no thanks. I'll take a pass on this one.

**********UPDATE 02/17/2010**********

I had the opportunity to play Bioshock II on my friend's Xbox. Frankly I wasn't impressed with the game itself. It's very much a copy of the original game with very little that is new. I thought the game would center around being an all powerful Big Daddy. You do play as a Big Daddy, but you're not any stronger than the human character starting out in Bioshock I. I expected them to let you be more powerful but also introduce more powerful / numerous opponents. Instead, the same collection of splicers come in twos and threes just like the original game. So as a Big Daddy, it takes 2-3 melee hits (with a huge-*** drill bit mind you) to kill a splicer. It takes them 4-5 melee hits to kill you. That's just simply stupid considering when you fight another Big Daddy it takes a HUGE amount of firepower to bring one down. The whole concept of being a Big Daddy is diminished because you really are not any more powerful.

It's like they took EVERYTHING from the first game, just tweaked it a bit, and called it a new game. There is nothing new that feels significant. The weapons are not exciting, and some of them feel almost useless (the shotgun for one). Only the spear gun and rivet gun have a satisfying quality to them.

You still have the same simplistic moral choice (harvest or rescue Little Sisters), the same voice over the radio guiding you, and the same antagonistic voice prodding you along as you progress through the game. You get plasmids in the same order (electricity, then fire, then ice) and use them to solve the same problems as before (opening doors with electricity, melting snow with fire, etc...). Really it feels like they just redid the first game with less compelling characters and a less compelling storyline.

I'm actually VERY glad I didn't buy this game, even if it were DRM free because it isn't that interesting. It's a rehash of the first and doesn't have anything really remarkable to distinguish it. Honestly, I've played MODS that were free that provided a better gaming experience than this. A good example would be the BT MOD for Oblivion which made Oblivion feel like an entirely new game. For the price 2k is asking (full retail for a new game!) it's just ridiculous.

There are much better options out there. Go get Mass Effect II if you don't have it yet, or even Call of Pripyat from the venerable STALKER series. Both are a lot better than this.

Final thoughts:

It doesn't bother me if you want to buy this game and install it. I just want you to have all the facts before you do. If you don't agree with my perspective that's fine--this is a free country (assuming you live in the USA). Bottom line: some people do care about protecting consumer rights and I'm one of those people. Agree or disagree, I think everyone should have the right to information about the product they're buying. Especially when the game itself isn't even that great.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 73 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 12, 2010 9:59:30 AM PST
Cthulhu says:
Thanks for the informative comments. My kid kept asking for this but I will now wait for the PS3 version to come out - don't want Windows Live on any of our computers. By the way, we just bought the original Bioshock for the PS3 for $18 new, from Amazon. Good stuff running on a giant screen TV and keeps the PC clean. I don't believe the PS3 discs have any installation restrictions - you can resell it if you don't like it.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 5:26:06 AM PST
T. Boehnlein says:
SecuROM needs to die already. We don't want it. I refuse to buy PC games that have it. I will buy the console version instead even thought it is not my first choice. Thanks for letting people know.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 11:36:58 AM PST
I agree. I bought the game legitimately and I cannot play it. Had issues stating logging in. Reset my password about 5 times but each time still said it was an incorrect password. Finally had to create a completely different account to get logged into GFWL but now as it tries to patch, it signs out of GFWL and crashes. Can't save without being online, what a JOKE! Bioshock was awesome. This game is a complete waste of money and time at least for several more weeks and if they remove the No SAVE for offline plus the stupidity of requiring GFWL.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010 11:03:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2010 11:03:52 AM PST
jerryn says:
i agree wholeheartedly. the DRM stuff does not bother me so much as the windows live stuff. it is invasive but what else is new with Microsoft? to add insult to injury, i used to have an xbox 360 and the install process somehow tracked my windows live account to the old xbox profile, meaning I had to activate that as well. sheer nonsense. two days later my hotmail account was hacked for the 1'st time in 5 years. maybe a coincidence, maybe not. I unistalled the game because of these requirements ad potential problems. will not buy any game with such requirements. the only way to train the folks that produce these games with onerous requirments is to not buy them. they are very responsive to their pocketbooks.

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 6:25:39 PM PST
I agree with the reviewer "Nathan" 100 %. I just did not have the time to post all the headaches about this game. I will never buy from this company again. I did 4 installs before it would work.
I thank this reviewer for posting what I did not have time to post, and to protect other gamers from wasting their money.
joe b

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 8:50:55 PM PST
Luk3 says:

I've stopped buying PC games about a year or two ago when the invasive Securom first started popping up with that one Sims 2 EP.

I've stopped buying console games now too for several reasons. Won't buy a game on the 360 due to their outsourced Customer Service and putting the cost on the consumer to get their defective console fixed, or rather, a used replacement in the mail. M$ itself also censors Christmas and I so much loathe Windows Vista and 7 that I really don't want to support the company whatsoever. Sony isn't any better. They censor Christmas well and their console sucks in comparison to the 360 as it does not upscale games to a 1080 output as does the 360 and I just don't care for their controller. The Wii isn't even in the same category, it's just gimmicky junk.

Moreover, I won't buy any console game period for the simple fact they now come with a third of the plastic cut out in most vulnerable areas of the case and those savings on manufacturing are not being passed to the consumer.

I used to buy a video game almost 2-3 times a month back in the day so while at first this refusal to buy games was hard to deal with it's gotten much easier due to the fact so many games are nothing but rehashed garbage anymore. I'm also tired of games not coming with instruction manuals. The 2-4 pages of black and white minimal descriptions are NOT instruction manual, not even a worthwhile information pamphlet.

Point of this comment: Don't buy these games for consoles either. If you don't buy Bioshock 2 for the PC because of securom but go ahead and buy it for the 360 or PS3 you are not helping the problem. Publishers already want to discontinue releasing games for the PC as they aren't seem as profitable as they once were. More and more people are playing games on their consoles and with these multiplatform releases we are already seeing less releases for the PC.

If a publisher decides to release a game with securom for the PC don't buy it for the console either, don't buy the game at all as otherwise we aren't sending any message other than what they want which is a reason to discontinue making games for the PC.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2010 10:15:31 PM PST
Darious says:
Look to the recent releases from Bioware - Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. Incredibly awesome games - no user-hostile DRM schemes.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 12:52:14 PM PST
Axle F. says:
And you cannot forget the fact that on top of all this they took out ALL CONTROLLER SUPPORT... So this game is actually a step backwards... And games for windows live is SUPPOSED to have controller support for all games under that banner. Though there are ways to bypass having to be a)online all the time or b)not having to log onto windows live. It works in fallout 3 and a few other games...

In all honesty... Pirates are around BECAUSE OF DRM... It gives them a challenge they want to crack.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2010 4:30:21 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Sep 20, 2010 6:19:59 PM PDT]

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 8:14:58 PM PST
Josh says:
The most distrubing thing is how many people complete gloss over the fact that DRM schemes like SecuRom have the ability to send data stored on your computer back to where ever it is programed to send it. Sony claims it's only info about your hardware but there is really no way to know what other data is being gathered and who ends up with it.

The other issue that is not widely talked about is that in the end DRM gives publishers the ability and indeed the right to steel the game back after you've bought it. If you just accept DRM like SecuRom don't be surprised when a game is released with DRM that allows the publisher to deactivate the game when ever they choose and for any reason. Of course authorization for this will be in the license agreement you have to accept to play.

In fact this is the goal for all digital media from e-books to movies. The publishers want your money to buy you no rights to own their products at all. Instead they want it to only buy the completely revocable privilege to view the content. Preferably only once. The wet dream of the digital entertainment industry is a completely pay per view/play/listen/read system. All this scare mongering about piracy is a premeditated attempt to bring this about.

DRM is demonstrably ineffective against piracy, while at the same time it costs money to implement and hurts sales. The only way it makes sense that the publishers keep using it is if the results the publishers desire from the DRM are something other than stopping piracy. Don't be naive and think the publishers are just stupid.
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