We've negotiated frustrating Windows DRM in the past, but our PC testing efforts have never been thwarted by an individual gaming title. Our problem is that in order to use an application as a system test, we need to install it on every PC that comes through CNET Labs. As much as we'd like to stay current and adopt a Crysis: Warhead benchmark, we can't take the chance that on the sixth, twelfth, or eighteenth system some random EA customer service rep will deny our reactivation request.
After the job the original Crysis did on even high-end gaming PCs, it didn't surprise us when we heard from PC vendors requesting that we adopt the supposedly optimized, more forgiving Crysis: Warhead as a high-end gaming test. We've also heard from EA that it recognizes the problem for testers and that a solution could be forthcoming. In the meantime, we'll be scouting for other new games that aren't quite as high maintenance.