ARMA 2, the highly anticipated tactical shooter from Bohemeia interactive, has finally been released to the public. Given the game’s generally positive ratings and popularity of previous games by its developer (Operation Flashpoint, ArmA : Armed Assault, to name a few), it looks like ARMA 2 will go on to become a huge hit in 2009. However if you are one of those folks looking to pirate the game, you might have to wait a little longer. ARMA 2 is protected by DRM and it’s full of triggers that makes gameplay a living hell for pirates.
ARMA 2 is protected by FADE DRM system developed by Macrovision. Unlike most other protections, FADE won’t throw and error message upon detecting a pirated copy. It will let you play the game normally and you’ll be overjoyed at first thinking that your hack or crack to bypass the protection actually worked. However FADE will disable game features one by one, eventually making it unplayable for the pirates (remember the drunk camera in GTA4?).
This is exactly what’s happening with ARMA2. For the few pirates who actually managed to get the game running (using the leaked image or using a non English copy) FADE is proving to be a tough nut to crack. According to posts on various gaming forums, pirates are experiencing problems with aiming (inaccurate aim/unable to aim left and right), camera issues such as locked or wobbly camera, useless bullets, weak AI, difficulty issues, control issues and so on (well some of these might be actual bugs with the game – there is no way to know).
Currently there is no crack that properly disables the FADE protection. Whatever fixes that are circulating on file sharing networks are either partially working solutions or fakes. Given the time consuming task of identifying and removing FADE triggers one by one, a working crack might not surface for a while anyway.