Saturday, June 29, 2013

A True Prince Amongst Thieves

There was an extra reason for gamers to rejoice Holiday season of 2008: draconian DRM schemes appeared to be on their way out. First Bethesda striped SecuROM to the bare minimum for FALLOUT 3; then DRM-free World of Goo (an indie game!) outperforms Spore - a 45-million flop; and, finally, UbiSoft decides to walk the narrow yet honest path towards customer loyalty, by releasing a DRM-free game. Yes, Prince of Persia is DRM-Free!

This was either a very decent and brave decision (after all, only a month ago, Far Cry 2 came with a fully activated SecuROM 7.xx and Limited Installations) or it was an experiment: the executives wanted to see whether games do indeed sell good either with or without intrusive DRM.

Either way, UbiSoft deserved to be congratulated.
I was one of the first to chastise their decisions to ruin good games with heavy-handed DRM schemes. It is only fair to be one of the first to congratulate them on a customer-first decision. And because talk is cheap, I bought my copy the moment it was released. I would advise anyone who would care to listen to vote with his or her wallet and support such a gutsy decision. Because it sure takes guts to go against the current and brake ranks with the other greedy game publishers. And, this time, the Canadians at UbiSoft (Montreal) proved they have brass ones.

The game itself is simplified fun. The graphics are clear and fresh in a comic-book/retro way (known as cel-shaded) and the gameplay enjoys (or suffers, depending on your point of view) a number of assists that make it easier and flowing. Probably, too easy. You will not get the frustrations of repeated deaths but neither the satisfaction of finally making it through a hard boss.

The game does give off a platform feeling (combos on a PC game always give me an awkward feeling as they are much easier with a gamepad - but that again, this is an action game, it is to be expected). 

All in all, a good game that still deserves our support.

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