New Assassin's Creed Game Discloses Denuvo DRM On Day One And It's No Mirage

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If you're clueless at that headline, let us break it down for you. Assassin's Creed Mirage is the latest game in the long-running Assassin's Creed franchise, and it was highly-anticipated by longtime fans as it is at least an attempt to return to the series' roots: no RPG elements, no crazy mini-games or alternate game modes, just a classic Arabian setting in medieval Baghdad.

None of the PC reviews for Assassin's Creed Mirage mentioned the presence of Denuvo's divisive DRM technology. That's because it wasn't present in the EULA at the time of review. As tech journalist Timo Schmidt points out on Twitter, the game's EULA was updated on launch day to denote the presence of Denuvo's DRM.

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We mention the game's EULA because it seems that Denuvo was actually present in the game to begin with. Pirates noted that the title would have Denuvo as far back as July, and indeed the game has been present on the PC Gaming Wiki's article on the DRM tech since then. However, it wasn't part of the game's EULA until the day of release, and players who object to the DRM may not have noticed its presence as a result.

Denuvo is controversial for a lot of reasons, including a few valid complaints and a whole bunch of nonsense. People claim that Denuvo is the source of always-online requirements, that it tanks performance even on high-end PCs, and that it will cause rapid degradation of solid-state storage due to continual disk accesses.

In reality, while all of these complaints have a basis in truth, none of them are quite accurate. Denuvo does require periodic online authentication, but not constantly. It also can affect performance slightly, particularly on machines with low core counts (4 or less). And, in a couple of older games with Denuvo, there were bugs that caused radically-excessive disk accesses. Indeed, there have been other cases of problematic Denuvo behavior; these were usually found to be the result of game bugs or improper implementation by the game developer.

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Assassin's Creed Mirage returns to series roots, for better and for worse.

A more valid complaint about Denuvo is that the online authentication required could make games so-equipped unplayable once Denuvo stops supporting them. That's already happened with a few older titles. Of course, some folks, like your author, oppose the widespread adoption of Denuvo because we oppose the concept of DRM on principle. That's a whole other discussion that we don't need to have here, though.

As far as Assassin's Creed Mirage goes, it has received "generally favorable" reviews, according to Metacritic, with the PC version's Metacritic score sitting at a tidy 77. Most reviews say that it's a decidedly pared-back experience compared to Origins, Odyssey, or Valhalla, and that it's a return to the series roots with good storytelling but somewhat dated combat mechanics. If you were a fan of the first couple of Assassin's Creed games, it sounds like you'll probably enjoy it.

However, there's another reason that some PC players may want to wait on this title: it's not available on Steam or GOG. The latter is obvious, given that we've just talked about how it has Denuvo DRM, but the the former is because the game is exclusive to the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft's own Connect service, for now. We wouldn't be surprised if it comes to Steam eventually, though.