How Origin nearly ruined my Crysis 3 review

first_imgThe words on this page are not the words I intended to write. You should be reading my take on the third installation of Crysis, the story of how CryTek has aided in delivering a visually stimulating trip through the eyes of Prophet. Instead I’m going to talk to you about Origin, and how it made installing Crysis 3 was so difficult that I nearly gave up.Electronic Arts’ Origin digital download service has been around for a while. Well before Origin’s June 2011 launch it was clear to people at EA that Valve was going to consume PC gaming with Steam unless the company took their piece of the pie. The answer was to create their own digital store that handled transactions, authentication, and installation. Before Origin the company had EA Link and EA Download Manager, but neither had the comprehensive nature or complete control that Origin does.Origin has grown steadily since its launch, but there’s never been an overwhelming sense of enjoyment from the users. It’s something that exists because EA feels that it must, so the DRM’d content delivery wheel keeps turning.Just like Steam, Origin has a product code system that allows users to simply enter a code as proof of purchase for a title. It’s a simple gifting solution, and occasionally an easy way for game reviewers, like myself, to receive codes from the publishers in order to evaluate a title.Last week I was sent a code for Crysis 3, along with a series of instructions for installation and review. The process is fairly simple — all you need to do is paste the code into Origin and download the game once it’s available. Origin recognized my code, and my Origin library grew by one. The game was shaded out at the time, as it was not available for download yet. I was given a specific time to begin my review, as is typical in these situations (something not possible when a physical copy is sent).The time I was given came and went, and the game was still not available to download. Despite re-loading the application, double checking all of my personal settings, the game remained unavailable. As this was now 1:30AM and mere hours ahead of the launch, I sent an email to the appropriate people and waited for a response. I figured this was something simple, like a time zone mistake or maybe my email address was mistyped somewhere. We’re all human, and things happen, so I waited.The email response I got offered my a new product code, this time for the Hunter Edition of Crysis 3. Along with the code was an apology and instructions for installation. This time, the instructions included logging out of Origin, rebooting my computer, and entering the code in after the reboot.I brushed aside the feeling that I was just asked if I “had tried turning it off and back on”, and proceeded to enter the code into the Origin panel. Just like before, the code was recognized instantly, and the game was added to my inventory. I now had two copies of Crysis 3 in my library, only this new one was not shadowed out. I gave the commend to download and install, and went back to what I was doing. Once the progress bar had finally reached its destination, I threw on a pair of headphones and got ready to enjoy Crysis 3.I’ve had bad codes on Steam before, so I wasn’t all that worried yet. I hit “play” and prepared for war. Origin paused for a moment to authenticate my installation, just before the tell-tale flicker, the one that indicates the game is loading, an error message popped up. For whatever reason, Origin was under the impression I was running Windows inside a virtual machine, and would not go any further. The error message wasn’t accompanied by a code or any potential solutions. As far as Origin was concerned, my native installation of Windows 8 was virtualized so the game would not play.Support documentation for this issue was sparse at best, and the best anyone could come up with when I tried to contact Origin support was to uninstall Origin and start over. I tried that and didn’t get any further in the process, but it manage to soak up an hour of my life.As of last night I had completed four and a half hours of installation and maintenance in an attempt to play Crysis 3. When I started writing this article it was past midnight — a full day has passed since I first tried to install this game — and Crysis 3 had yet to start playing on my PC. I decided to call it a day and head to bed.When I got to my computer this morning, I didn’t even want to look at Origin. The defeat at the hands of that orange logo was enough to bring back all the rage I had felt from the night before. I’ll write what we are all thinking: it would have been less effort to simply search for a pirated copy, download it, and play the game, completely defeating one of the major reasons Origin exists.Right before I uninstalled the app (again), I figured I would give the “Play” button one more go. Nothing about my PC had changed. No settings had been adjusted, and my antivirus software hadn’t done a thing for hours. Crysis 3 started instantly and without incident.The good news is, I’ll be able to offer you the review I had intended on posting several days ago. The bad news is that I can’t imagine recommending a game that requires the use of Origin in the foreseeable future.last_img read more