Another year, another Assassin’s Creed game performance fuss. Less than a week after it launched, Assassin’s Creed: Origins is receiving some heavy backlash from some of the PC gaming community over its use of the Denuvo DRM and VM Protect as virtual armor against piracy. Less than 48 hours ago, a reddit user named voski_rvt claimed that the Origins game client was making calls to VMProtect DRM and that this setup was causing excessive CPU usage, rendering the game unplayable for many users.
It would appear that Ubisoft elected to add VM Protect to the game in an effort to prevent an early crack or bypass of the game’s Denuvo DRM. Denuvo protection has recently had a rough couple of months, with the software being bypassed in several games, including The Evil Within 2, which was cracked ahead of its official release date. Denuvo has been swamped in controversy for years now with claims that it has adverse effects on performance or hardware longevity, though with no concrete evidence.
Ubisoft responded to yesterday’s claims in a statement to Gearnuke.
“We’re confirming that the anti-tamper solutions implemented in the Windows PC version of Assassin’s Creed Origins have no perceptible effect on game performance. In order to recreate a living, systemic and majestic open world of Ancient Egypt, where players can witness all of its stunning details, its beautiful landscapes & incredible cities, in a completely seamless way with no loading screens, Assassin’s Creed Origins uses the full extent of the minimum and recommended PC system requirements while ensuring a steady 30 FPS performance. We’re committed to ensuring the most optimum experience possible for everyone, and we advise any players who may encounter performance issues on PC to check out support.ubi.com as there might be already a workaround or to contact us further explaining their issues so that we can solve them.”
I reviewed the PC version of the game last week and did not find my experience to be hampered by excessive CPU usage, though I was not actively monitoring CPU utilization on the individual core level. The game generally ran smoothly for me outside of cutscenes, which were full of hitching and stuttering. It should be noted that I played on a machine with a 7700K CPU and GTX 1080 Ti GPU, so it is possible that the hardware was able to overcome any additional stress from the game protection, if it has any meaningful effect on performance.
For Ubisoft, the hits keep on coming as Kotaku reported this morning that MetaCritic is being flooded with fake positive reviews for Assassin’s Creed: Origins.