For shame, Capcom. For shame. You promised us the world , and – just as we were ready to pull you close in a warm embrace – you E. Honda-palmed us in the gut with some truly atrocious DRM. And then, as we laid on the ground, clutching our mushified organs and gasping for air, you climbed into an escape helicopter with none other than Games for Windows Live. Please, Capcom, tell us this isn't what it looks like.
“If you aren’t signed in to an online GFWL profile, the offline mode has limited functionality,” Capcom's Christian Svensson said on his blog . “Obviously there’s no online play, access to replay channels or other online-centric features (and this is the part that keeps the online play secure from hackers or pirates). Additionally, you won’t be able to save any progress in challenges or settings, won’t have access to any DLC you’ve purchased and all local play will be restricted to 15 of the 39 characters.”
Wait, no! That's exactly what it looks like! As per usual, we're not entirely sure what this accomplishes, either. In our experience, legitimate copies don't magically walk the plank into pirate-dom at the drop of an Internet connection, so we don't really see how this counts as “security.”
On the upside, Capcom's responded to the inevitable outcry by engaging its fans in an open dialog on the subject of DRM. In other words, fan feedback could very well whip this DRM into shape – or at the very least, something that doesn't sound about as pleasurable and well-thought-out as sticking your hand in a waffle iron. That's inside a woodchipper.
Fingers crossed, too, because the rest of SSFIV:AE's PC-specific features sound pretty great. Here's hoping Capcom manages to put this whole fiasco behind it so we can get back to focusing on what really matters: punching feral oversized oompa loompas in the face.