IslandGamers-Technology And Gaming Info

January 2, 2007

PC Games – Xpand Rally Xtreme StarForced.

Filed under: PC Games — Ramajay @ 6:16 pm

Xpand Rally Extreme may be a great game, but we’ll never know.

Unfortunately, Xpand Rally has stuck with the draconian copy protection mechanism known as StarForce. StarForce has been cited on security watch sites as enabling security vulnerabilities (up to August 2006, supposedly fixed in later versions), it has been blamed for everything from system slowdowns to non- functioning DVD Drives and it has been found by some analysis to be no more secure than any other copy protection method, with several StarForce games being cracked.

It has appeared in most major gaming magazines such as PC Gamer and Computer Gaming World and always in a very non-flattering light. Because of consumer backlash major publishers such as UBISOFT have stopped using it on their games, and several others have turned to different protection systems such as Securom and Tages as alternatives to StarForce.

Why then do publishers and developers continue to support this horrid method of copyprotection? We just don’t know. After downloading the Xpand Rally demo and installing it, I clicked to launch the game. Immediately a window popped up titled “ACTIVATION”. It doesn’t say what needs to be activated, Starforce doesn’t want to announce itself just in case you’ve heard about it. Needless to say I immediately declined and did some searching only to discover that yes indeed, this is Starforce indulging in its usual subterfuge.

The program operates with the same methods that spyware and adware use to install themselves onto your machine, unannounced pop up windows asking you to accept an installation. In contrast Securom tells you quite clearly what it is, and why it needs to install.You see SecuRom, not just ‘Activation’.

The company behind Starforce also proved they have no ethics when they deliberately posted links to pirated copies of Galactic Civilisations II, a game without copy protection, but which was the best selling game on the shelves at Walmart for a considerable time. It is one of the top selling games of 2006 and the expansion pack is highly anticipated. StarForce was unable to stand that despite what they were telling developers and publishers, a game with extremely high sales was able to survive without *any* copy protection (GalCiv 2 require a serial number for the user to download updates), StarForce proceeded to post links to pirated versions of Galactic Civilisations II. Now if that isn’t unconscionable and unprofessional I don’t know what is.

Coupled with all this I’m supposed to trust this company to install a device driver on my machine that takes control of my disk drives? No way! StarForce is not going to be installed on my machine at any cost. And too bad for the games that use it, I won’t be installing or playing them on my PC.

We recommend strongly that you do the same. Stay away from Xpand Rally Extreme, at least until the developers wise up and use a different protection scheme. It is such a shame too, since initial comments on the demo shows that it seems to be a great game.

Wikipedia Article On StarForce

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6 Comments

  1. yea i installed silent hunter 3 on my comp…….it totally ruined everything because it uses starforce. It got so bad that i couldnt even try to fix it. I spent days trying to fix it, and eventually i had to wipe the system completey…..In fact I had to do this several times before that crap was eliminated. recent;ly I downloaded the same rally demo, and the activation request popped up; I was suspicious, and therefore I declined and uninstalled the demo without any hesitation. Heres a good list of games known to have starforce. http://www.glop.org/starforce/list.php

    Comment by reginald — February 11, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  2. Wh is serial no Xpand Rally Extreme ? when i install the game then put the serial no then game install ? but i have no serial no . PLZ give me serial no. or cd key ? my email id bappa_ditya007@yahoo.com

    Comment by Bappa — April 8, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

  3. I’m sure the serial number can be found on the inside cover of your manual. We don’t give out serial numbers here.

    Comment by Ramajay — April 8, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  4. serial xpand rally

    Comment by edinho — June 7, 2007 @ 7:18 am

  5. I purchased x-pand rally through the steam network. I played it once and it won’t start again. I tried deleting the content from my PC and re-installing the game but it didn’t work. What do I need to do. Please help as this is a great game. Thanks and I appreciate any help.

    Comment by Frank — July 6, 2007 @ 12:55 am

  6. i need cd key of XRX , CAn u help me plss

    Comment by Adarsh — September 19, 2008 @ 4:17 am


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