Not what they meant with”it’s about time” —
Game’s console versions do not need online connection; all deficiency online content.
2020’s Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time obtained a soft relaunch on Friday that revolved around next-gen console stains, a downgraded port for Nintendo Switch, plus also a debut on Windows PC. The latter circumstance, debuting exclusively on Activision-Blizzard’s Battle.net program, saw the publisher take an unusual step: requiring an internet connection to launch the game.
While this is not the first”offline” Battle.net game to be saddled with online-only DRM (those honors go to February’s Blizzard Arcade Collection), it’s arguably the highest-profile game to get such an official limit and one that follows the revived platforming series’ shift from Steam to Battle.net. Perhaps even more embarrassing to Activision, this DRM effort only lasted a single day.
Wanna be the empress of Crashin’?
By midday Saturday, 1 day after the match’s Battle.net launching, cracking-group Empress asserted first dibs on stripping Crash 4‘s PC version of its online check-in system. Their crack replaces a single document in an otherwise vanilla install, and the team’s release notes don’t clarify what the crack will, aside from describing the game’s defeated DRM as”Battle.net + online only.” (We thus feel this is not true of someone defeating Denuvo, even though a joke in Empress’ release notes mocks the much-maligned DRM provider.)
As of press time, Crash 4 has zero online content, in spite of a couch co-op mode (designed to let a parent and child take turns with the single-player campaign) and a simple four-player versus mode dubbed Bandicoot Battle. Thus, the Battle.net handshake appears to revolve entirely around DRM, as opposed to checking for add-on content like new levels or even score leaderboards.
Should you want to play Crash 4‘s single-player content offline legitimately, you’re limited to its console versions (and suffering with inconsistent frame rates on”base” consoles like Xbox One S or PlayStation 4). Attempts to load the legitimately installed game on an offline PC result in an error message:”Failed to signal on to Battle.net, error code: BLZ51900002.” Using the crack bypasses this restriction–without otherwise changing what content is available compared to, say, the console versions.
Playing Activision-Blizzard games while offline via Battle.net is already a tricky proposition, in part because most of the service’s games make always-online assumptions in terms of content. Battle.net’s offline mode is also a bit buried, as it requires logging out, then choosing a”play offline” toggle supporting a gear icon. After this step, but most games respond confusedly, possibly because Battle.net’s offline mode doesn’t save an encrypted token on your machine to confirm that you have recently confirmed your purchases (a feature found in offline modes for the likes of Nintendo Switch and Steam).
This may be why StarCraft 1 and WarCraft 3 need their own in-app logins before you can actually pull your Ethernet cable and play their single-player manners offline with all of your purchases and content. Sadly, the offline material in Battle.net games such as StarCraft II and Diablo III is entirely inaccessible without an internet link and credential confirmation.
The final Crash Bandicoot platforming game to land on PC, the N.Sane Trilogy remaster collection, had no such online-only restrictions as it launched on Steam at June 2018. It instead relied on Steam’s built-in DRM system, which demands infrequent online checks before letting games operate without interruption whenever offline style might be toggled. This differs from Denuvo, which may be built into almost any game’s EXE to take a validated handshake using a game’s internet server before it is going to function.
Activision agents did not immediately reply to qu