Ubisoft has released a patch to adjust the DRM in the PC release of Assassin's Creed 2, a rather surprising move in light of the fact that the game hasn't actually been released yet.
Ubisoft's DRM plan for its future PC releases is infamous by now: Gamers will have to be connected to the internet at all times in order to play and if the connection should drop, the game will quit to the main menu and won't come back until the connection is reestablished. While some games, like Settlers 7, will return gamers to the exact point they were at when boot met butt, Assassin's Creed 2 would instead deposit gamers at their last checkpoint. "There are many checkpoints so you're back to the point where you got disconnected in no time," a Ubisoft rep said.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, the PC crowd wasn't mollified by Ubi's gentle persuasion, which has apparently led the publisher to ease its grip somewhat. Even though Assassin's Creed 2 won't hit the PC until next week, a patch to version 1.01 has already been released which makes a few minor changes to the game and also tweaks the DRM. According to the patch notes, players will no longer be reverted to their last checkpoint when the DRM chokes: "The game can now be continued from the exact same point when connection is restored," it says.
It's a welcome change, such as it is, and particularly interesting given reports that the same DRM scheme in Silent Hunter 5 has already been cracked, but is it a sign that Ubisoft is stepping back from the brink and rethinking its awful plan? I wouldn't hold my breath.