Whatever your take on using digital rights management to protect games from piracy, you probably don’t want a DRM solution to actually negatively impact the performance of the game or your computer (SecuROM, anyone?). However, now crackers are claiming that Denuvo’s DRM protection causes performance issues in Rhymesallegations that the DRM maker and game maker both deny.
In a readme file accompanying the crack for the game, one cracker going by the handle, Baldman says, the Denuvo protection “now calls about 10-30 triggers every second during the real game, slowing down the game. In previous games like [Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3], Kidney, Prey there were only about 1-2 ‘triggers’ every few minutes during gameplay, so do the math.”
Speaking to Kotaku, a Denuvo spokesperson flatly denied that the DRM was negatively impacting the game’s performance. “Prior to release, we benchmarked the protected versus unprotected versions of Rhymes. There was no performance impact on the version protected with Denuvo anti-tamper versus the unprotected version.”
The Rhymes developers at Gray Box gave some more qualified pushback to the performance impact allegations in a lengthy blog post. “The only thing Denuvo is doing for us right now is checking to see if Steam’s (or Origin’s) DRM is still attached to the game,” the team writes. “There’s a small performance hit associated with this, but at the moment we don’t think it’s causing the issues currently being reported. We could be wrong. We’re monitoring the situation.”
While we can’t independently verify Baldman’s claims, reviewers and players have complained about long loading times and framerate issues with the game. Anyway, now that the game has been cracked, Gray Box has fulfilled a previous promise and released an updated version that takes Denuvo from Rhymes. That move is the example of previous Denuvo-cleaned games like demise and Inside, which also dropped protection after cracks were found. Other games like Mass Effect Andromeda only updated Denuvo security once workarounds were found for the first version.
Anecdotal before-and-after comparisons of the old and new versions of Rhymes of message board users “didn’t notice much of an FPS difference,” but also suggested that “the game definitely loads a lot faster now, well, for me at least.” We’ll keep an eye out for more reliable and specific tests and let you know what we hear.