2020s Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time received a soft relaunch on Friday that revolved around next-generation console updates, a downgraded port for the Nintendo Switch and a debut on the Windows PC. The latter case, which debuted exclusively on the Activision-Blizzard’s Battle.net app, saw the publisher take an unusual step: requiring an Internet connection to launch the game.
Although this is not the first “offline” Battle.net game to be launched with only DRM online (those honors go to February Blizzard Arcade Collection), it is without a doubt the highest profile game to get such an official limit and one that follows the revived platform series’ shift from Steam to Battle.net. Perhaps even more embarrassing for Activision, this DRM effort lasted only a single day.
Do you want to be Empress of Crashin ‘?
At noon on Saturday, a day after the fight’s Battle.net launch, a stool group claimed Empress’ first dibs on stripping Crash 4PC version of its online check-in system. Their crack replaces a file in an otherwise vanilla installation, and the group’s release notes do not clarify what the crack does, other than to describe the game’s defeated DRM as “Battle.net + only online.” (We therefore believe that this is not the case if someone defeats Denuvo, even though a joke in Empress’ release notes mocks the much-damaged DRM provider.)
From press time, Crash 4 has zero content online, despite a co-op mode on the couch (designed to let parents and kids switch with the single-player campaign) and a simple four-player versus mode called Bandicoot Battle. Thus, the Battle.net handshake seems to be exclusively about DRM, as opposed to looking for additional content such as new levels or even score leaderboards.
Should you want to play Crash 4If the single-player content offline is legal, you are limited to console versions (and suffer from inconsistent frame rates on “base consoles” such as Xbox One S or PlayStation 4). Attempting to load the legally installed game on an offline PC results in an error message: “Failed to login to Battle.net, error code: BLZ51900002.” Using the crack bypasses this limitation – without changing what content is available compared to, for example, the console versions.
Playing Activision-Blizzard games while offline via Battle.net is already a difficult proposition, in part because most of the service’s games provide assumptions about content always online. Battle.net’s offline mode is also a bit buried, as it requires logging off and then selecting “play offline” toggle behind a gear icon. After this step, however, most games react confused, perhaps because Battle.net’s offline mode does not store an encrypted token on your computer to confirm that you have recently confirmed your purchases (a feature found in offline mode for Nintendo Switch). and Steam).
This may be the reason StarCraft 1 and WarCraft 3 require their own logins in the app before you can actual unplug the Ethernet cable and play its single-player modes offline with all your purchases and content. Unfortunately, offline content in Battle.net games like StarCraft II and Diablo III is completely unavailable without an online connection and credentials.
The last one Crash Bandicoot platform games for landing on PC, N.Sane Trilogy The remaster collection, had no such online-only restrictions when it was launched on Steam in June 2018. It stood instead on Steam’s built-in DRM system, which requires infrequent online checks before allowing games to run uninterrupted when offline mode can be switched. This is different from Denuvo, which can be built into any game’s EXE to require a validated handshake with the game’s online server before it will work.
Activision representatives did not immediately answer questions about Crash 4their online requirements for PC.