It’s been a while since I last posted something, sorry for that, but I haven’t felt like blogging lately… But this can’t be left unnoticed.
For the first time since a long time I’ve bought a recently released videogame. This time it’s FlatOut 2 for the PC platform (Windows XP to be exact). This is the sequel to FlatOut which was released in 2004 and it is a destruction-racing game like the good old Destruction Derby for the good old Playstation in 1995.
On several forums all over the net there has been (and probably is still going) a discussion about the StarForce protection system. I haven’t participated in it myself, but it was going on the site of StarForce itself, the Daemons home and on the forums of several games it is used in including FlatOut 2. USA customers now consider themselves in luck for having a seperate release of FlatOut 2 which uses Securom 7 instead of StarForce 4 Frontline Pro. As for myself, I don’t really care, protection is protection and StarForce hasn’t given me any trouble whatsoever anyway. Where the old versions were controversial to say the least, this version even notifies the user of the installation of the protection drivers that are required for it to work and unlike the previous versions, these drivers are only active on demand and thus they won’t affect overall system performance like StarForce 3 did which came with games like Trackmania Sunrise and Psi-Ops: the Mindgate Conspiracy.
A good thing is that the StarForce drivers are upgradable and if you happen to own one the games that uses old StarForce protection and then install a new StarForce protected game after it, the drivers will be updated to the latest version (Frontline) and the old performance issues are eliminated while the older games still remain fully functional.
All in all, I think it’s all a bit overblown with this StarForce protection issue and people not buying games solely because of that while programs like Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% use similar technologies to evade protection instead of providing it.
For your information, Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% use rootkit technology to evade protection systems and just like these 2 StarForce uses rootkit technology to evade emulation software and protect the media that way. This means that both the protection software and the emulation software use hidden/invisible Windows registry keys to avoid detection and one very important thing to consider is that there is a difference between rootkit software and software that uses rootkit technology. Rootkit software is malicious software created to stay undetected while causing well meant damage while software that uses rootkit technology can’t always be defined as harmfull.
In my humble opinion, both the StarForce protection system and programs like Daemon Tools and Alcohol 120% are NOT, I repeat, NOT harmfull software.
Anyway, I’ll be writing a review about FlatOut 2 soon and it’ll be added on the reviews page and a link will be added here too.
…End of line.