Square Enix's huge mistakes allows full game to be played without Denuvo, and may finally allow measurement of Denuvo's performance hit
Image/Photo Credit: Square Enix
The release of Final Fantasy XV on the PC has suffered a major DRM bungle, but a side effect of this is that the game can now be benchmarked with and without the controversial Denuvo anti-tampering system.
Denuvo is controversial because, due to the way it works, some have theorized that it places additional burden on the CPU, and could lead to performance problems especially in CPU intensive games, or systems with less powerful processors.
But proving or disproving this claim has been hard, since many Denuvo "cracks" are simply workarounds that do not actually remove or stop Denuvo from running in the background. And other comparisons are often with older versions of the games running different versions of drivers, and the comparisons become inconclusive.
Then there's Final Fantasy XV, published by Square Enix. Square Enix has made the game available on pre-load via Origin, but the veteran game publisher had forgotten to encrypt the game files, meaning hackers were able to access unencrypted versions of the game files. This, along with the release of a demo version of the game that featured no DRM or additional protections, gave Chinese game cracking group 3DM a head start. The crack eventually ended up simply using the demo's executable file with the "leaked" Origin pre-loaded files, and the full game would run with some minor limitations (such as no support for DLCs).
And as a result, a cracked version of the game, sans Denuvo, was released days before the official game release.
Adding to the intrigue is a Windows Store version of the game, which some claim does not use Denuvo but other forms of copy protection. There is no solid proof that the Windows Store version does indeed skip on using Denuvo, but if this proves to be true, then it opens up another path for Denuvo benchmarking.
So far, the only benchmarks that exists are with the demo version of the game versus the full version, with inconclusive results, possibly due to the vast differences between the demo and the full version in terms of performance optimization.