Last week the rather excellent Doom Eternal received its big “Update 1”. Included with the new features, quality of life changes and balance updates came with something rather insidious: Denuvo Anti-Cheat software, which has lead to a massive wave of review bombing hitting the game.
It’s worth mentioning at this point the difference between Denuvo Anti-Tamper (which Doom Eternal launched with) and Denuvo Anti-Cheat (which was added with Update 1). The former is designed to protect the game from being pirated and was known to be attached to this game for some time before launch. The latter is designed to prevent cheating in multiplayer and was added to Doom Eternal almost two months after launch and without prior warning.
For more information about both pieces of software we recommend this post on the Bethesda forums. That post was the source of much of the discussion around this addition and has been shared around just about everywhere since it was posted a few days ago.
Aside from more intrusive software inhabiting players’ PCs, many feel the Anti-Cheat is just a complete overkill for Doom Eternal. The multiplayer Battlemode has been widely recieved with a resounding “eh” from the community, and the asymmetrical experience really isn’t a hardcore mode that people are looking to play at a high level.
The Anti-Cheat software, despite being made to address multiplayer, is reportedly causing problems in single player too due to the fact that it is always active. Some players are voicing concerns about serious impacts on performance due to the new software where their games were working just fine before. All of this isn’t even mentioning the safety considerations when running a kernel-mode driver like this on their machines.
This has all lead to Doom Eternal being review bombed. At the time of writing the previously held “Very Positive” review status of the game has dropped to Mixed. Fifty percent of the 10 369 reviews recently have been negative, and this has grown exponentially over the past weekend.
The topic of review bombing is an extremely contentious one and we’re not going to dig into the ethics and mob mentality of it. What we will say is that it’s difficult to advocate for a game becoming retroactively worse after you’ve purchased it. We’re sure a small sliver of people may hold the opinion that Denuvo Anti-Cheat being added to the game makes it a better experience, but many more believe the opposite, and with good reason.
For now Denuvo is a fact of life for those playing the game on PC.