DRM debacle plagues From Dust PC release


— 9:53 AM on August 18, 2011

I've heard a lot of good things about From Dust, which has been billed as the spiritual successor to Populus. The Xbox Live Arcade title made its way to Steam yesterday, and it looks like an interesting change of pace. As usual, though, the port seems to be a little bit lacking.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun says there are numerous issues with the game, including a 30 FPS frame-rate cap, jacked-up controls, a general lack of options, and no antialiasing. I guess publisher Ubisoft missed our 10 commandments of PC games. In fact, it seems the publisher also missed one of its own forum posts discussing the game's DRM.

From Dust was supposed to require a one-time online activation that would allow users to play the game completely offline afterwards. As it turns out, that's not actually the case. The game reportedly needs to touch base with Ubisoft's servers every time it's launched, an annoying requirement that's becoming all too common in the industry. The forum post insisting the DRM was a one-time-only deal was edited today (the original post can be viewed here) to add a note that details were "being checked." Amusingly, that update comes one day after the game's official release. You'd think the poster, Ubisoft's UK forum manager, would have the necessary details on the game's DRM by now.

Valve seems to be handling things well, at least. A number of RPS commenters have managed to get refunds with little trouble after purchasing From Dust on Steam. I'd rather Ubisoft honor its original stance on the game's DRM, though.

   
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