X3: Terran Conflict

The Spoony One | Apr 15 2009 | 

I really can’t stand this anymore.

I used to be a dyed-in-the-wool PC gamer. Through and through. You know those Underdogs and Abandonia sites? Those are my PC shelves. I’ve pretty much got ’em all. I wasn’t just being a collector, PC gaming used to be awesome. A lot of people rolled their eyes and snickered when I whined “it’s so hard to be a PC gamer nowadays,” but I meant it. It sucks now. Not only have the general quality and innovation tailed off sharply, leaving us with little more than generic shooters and RTSes, but software and technology have conspired to make the whole experience of playing a game as frustrating and painful as possible.

There used to be a real rivalry between PC and console gamers, back when PC technology far outpaced the consoles, whose evolution only came in staggering leaps every few years. Mouse controls and keyboard inputs allowed for much more complex games than your 2-4 button controllers. Now? It’s just pathetic. Say what you want about console fanboys and their bitter obsessions, at least when they put a disc in their console, it fucking works. Their games are (generally) tested to some sort of performance standard. They don’t have to deal with weird hardware/software incompatibilities, bloated, monolithic operating systems, and worst of all, fucking copy protection rootkits that, more often than not, end up ruining my system and turning my new game into an expensive shiny drink coaster.

Because that’s all X3 is. It comes packaged with the TAGES copy protection system. I don’t know what it does, and I don’t want to know. I have enough problems with SecuROM that I don’t want yet another piece of shit DRM virus infesting my system. At least TAGES has the courtesy to ask if I want it installed, but now what do I do? I’ve got a game that I can’t return, and I can’t install. Do I really have to research all my future game purchases to see if it’s got DRM software now? Have I really been reduced to giving games background checks to see if they have software syphilis?

Now I’m reduced to seeing if there’s anyone out there who’s found an illicit way of circumventing the copy protection, just to see if my legitimately-purchased game will ever function. Do you see what’s happening here? Do you see the lengths you’re driving honest people to? You’re actually forcing us to turn to the very people you’re trying to stop.

And that raises a very important question: am I paying the wrong people?