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I find the topic title to be misleading, it made me expect to open a list of games that can be played without DRM and I myself see a disc-check as being DRM. I find it a great hassle to switch disc each time I play the game plus disc-checks often make use of the method of adding bad sectors to the disc, the disc-drive has trouble reading, but the DRM checks for it, like the old SecuROM did, causing disc-drives to wear down much faster than it would have otherwise, reducing it's lifespan immensely. In the old days of discs, it was always the drive which was to break down first on older computers of mine.

So a list of DRM-free retail games for me would include games like:

Brothers in Arms - Hells Highway: installed from disc, but doesn't make an internet connection phoning home and the disc needs not to be inserted for playing.
Quake 4 can have its CD checks patched out with the latest official patch.
Also Hitman Collection is DRM-Free
http://www.amazon.com/Hitman-Collection-Pc/dp/B004D8QAAO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381686768&sr=8-1&keywords=Hitman+Collection
Battlefield 2 runs without DRM after the latest patch, no disc-check needed anymore.

The same for ArmA II, so I've read, but haven't checked for myself yet.
The Void and Defcon (UK)
Far Cry Collection doesn't require online activation despite the blurb on the back saying that it does (Thus new retail copies of Far Cry 2 no longer need to be patched of their DRM). World in Conflict Complete also doesn't require online activation (The Soviet Assault expansion, which was released on 2009, never had any DRM whatsoever.)

I would also like to ask about 2 specific games: Alien Breed Trilogy and Shadow Warrior. Does anybody happen to know whether those 2 games require Steamworks to play? While Mastertronic does mention that Steamworks is necessary for Deadly Premonition and Alan Wake's American Nightmare, there is absolutely no mention of it on Serious Sam 3, despite the game being Steamworks only.
Post edited January 17, 2014 by Grargar
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Grargar: Far Cry Collection doesn't require online activation despite the blurb on the back saying that it does (Thus new retail copies of Far Cry 2 no longer need to be patched of their DRM). World in Conflict Complete also doesn't require online activation (The Soviet Assault expansion, which was released on 2009, never had any DRM whatsoever.)
Both are a little old for this list.

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Grargar: I would also like to ask about 2 specific games: Alien Breed Trilogy and Shadow Warrior. Does anybody happen to know whether those 2 games require Steamworks to play? While Mastertronic does mention that Steamworks is necessary for Deadly Premonition and Alan Wake's American Nightmare, there is absolutely no mention of it on Serious Sam 3, despite the game being Steamworks only.
Alien Breed Trilogy requires Steamworks.

That's interesting about Shadow Warrior though, I had no idea a retail version was coming out (I bet they're not even going to bother trying to get a USK rating for it here in Germany, or else they may end up only speeding up the blacklisting process). DRM-free versions have been released already, so DRM-free is not unthinkable, although the same could have been claimed of Giana Sisters, the retail version of which ended up being infected by Steamworks. I'll certainly keep an eye on this.
Sorry for reviving this thread, but it felt like the most appropriate place to ask (even though it doesn't exactly fit).

While I don't buy their latest titles (I won't get into reasons why for the sake of not derailing this thread), I still purchase Paradox's DRM-free retail releases of their (slightly) older games. One game I've been interested in buying is Victoria II, but my local retailer only has the infamous Gold Edition (infamous because it includes the expansion A House Divided as a GamersGate DLC code rather than coming on the disk). Out of curiosity, I checked the UK Amazon if they had any better options, which is when I discovered that there was a Complete Edition (not so complete, but more on that later) released in Germany. Since the import copy provided on the UK Amazon was expensive, I went to check the German Amazon.

That's when I discovered that Germany seems to have been treated quite well in terms of Paradox retail products, even getting releases and editions that the rest of us haven't been getting. For example, there is a so-called World Edition of Victoria II which includes the base game and both expansion packs. There is also a Complete Edition of Hearts of Iron III, which includes the expansion Their Finest Hour (which was developed after the HoI III Collection that was released everywhere) and even a boxed release of said expansion.

In any event, this discovery has made me curious about these releases and I have two questions as a result. Since there are some German users here on the GOG forums, I figure one of you will probably be able to give me an answer.

1. Do these releases provide an option to play in English? Most German game releases tend to come only in German unless they are specifically marked to have multiple languages. However, the pages for Paradox games at online retailers contradict one another. For example, on Amazon.de, Victoria II World Edition is stated to only be German, whereas a random Swiss retailer listing I found states that it is in English. On the other hand, it's almost the exact opposite with HoI 3 Complete Edition; the listing of the Swiss retailer claims that it is in German, while the Amazon.de page says that it is both German and English. I'd like to find out what's actually true.

2. Are these releases DRM-free? While both Vic II and HoI III (and their expansions) came out while Paradox was still doing non-Steam releases, the World Edition and Complete Edition of these games came out earlier this year. Since the retail release of Europa Universalis IV requires Steam, I am not sure whether or not Paradox has extended this policy to their re-releases of their older games as well.
Sorry for the double post, but since I made the original post at a rather bad time for my fellow Europeans, I'm bumping this so that it's more likely one of the German users will see it.
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Gandos: <snip>
As far as I'm aware, Victoria 2 Complete Edition is DRM-free on disc. The box certainly doesn't say anything about any Steam activation - which it would be required to by law - but the OGDB page claims that it uses Steam activation. I'm not sure about languages, but the OGDB page says English, French and German.

Hearts of Iron 3 is DRM-free but definitely only in German. It's a censored version prepared specially for the German market with all swastikas, SS symbols and portraits of key Nazis.
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jamyskis: <snip>
Thank you for the info, jamyskis. I actually feel really silly for not remembering that the HoI games have always been censored in Germany.

I discovered the website of Koch Media, the distributor of these games in Germany. As you said, the Complete Edition of Vic II is apparently DRM-free; unfortunately, the World Edition is apparently not. I guess that means even re-releases are limited to Steam. Unsurprising, but disappointing all the same.
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jamyskis: Just to clarify - are you sure the US versions had no DRM? The European versions did... Halo 2's DRM basically killed the game as you had a three-machine limit and then your game was useless.
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StingingVelvet: Take the Microsoft games off, there is a chance they used the Windows style activation (but I REALLY don't think so).

The rest of the GFWL games I am 100% sure.
I know that I spent hours upon hours trying to get Gears of War PC to work for me. I also know that upon Googling GFWL issues I came across reports of it having a strict 15 install limit with MS having a policy of NEVER adding to that limit even for games they had nothing to do with.
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Kristian: I know that I spent hours upon hours trying to get Gears of War PC to work for me. I also know that upon Googling GFWL issues I came across reports of it having a strict 15 install limit with MS having a policy of NEVER adding to that limit even for games they had nothing to do with.
Games for Windows Live isn't the issue there I don't think, it's a separate Microsoft activation. GFWL itself wasn't DRM until very near the end of its lifespan.

Matters little now anyway.
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Grargar: Far Cry Collection doesn't require online activation despite the blurb on the back saying that it does (Thus new retail copies of Far Cry 2 no longer need to be patched of their DRM). World in Conflict Complete also doesn't require online activation (The Soviet Assault expansion, which was released on 2009, never had any DRM whatsoever.)

I would also like to ask about 2 specific games: Alien Breed Trilogy and Shadow Warrior. Does anybody happen to know whether those 2 games require Steamworks to play? While Mastertronic does mention that Steamworks is necessary for Deadly Premonition and Alan Wake's American Nightmare, there is absolutely no mention of it on Serious Sam 3, despite the game being Steamworks only.
Referring to the Wild Expedition collection for Far Cry? If so, then having a DRM-Free copy of Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon would be amazing.
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SpooferJahk: Referring to the Wild Expedition collection for Far Cry? If so, then having a DRM-Free copy of Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon would be amazing.
I mean this one.