Games For Windows Live Relaunches, Again

By Alec Meer on December 16th, 2009 at 11:15 am.

Nothing brightens up a PC gamer’s day like news about Games For Windows Live. If Microsoft revealed they were going to harvest every person on Earth’s left eyeball, we’d probably still not be as pissed off as we are about the continue existence of their unreliable, unnecessary bloatware – which a frightening number of ignorant publishers and developers are still insisting on tacking onto their games to save a few quid. Yet Microsoft persists in trying to fix the unfixable. The latest release of the GFWL client adds something the console boys have had for a while – a games on demand store. Like Steam, Direct 2 Drive, Gamersgate, Getgames, the EA store… They’re absolutely right: there is room in the market for yet another games download client. We’ve all been begging for one, right?

The line-up of games isn’t awful, though Dirt 2 is the only game from the last few months on there. More appealingly, there’s a couple of games on it that aren’t available to download on any other service as far as I can see. Specifically, Shadowrun and Viva Pinata! Shadowrun took a sound beating from the mediocre stick, but Pinata’s a good time. Both are currently 50% off to celebrate the launch of this on-demand gumpf.

Too much venom? Too little? Just enough?

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172 Comments »

  1. DMJ says:

    YES! I want to use Microsoft’s proprietary service to whisk my credit card details swiftly and safely through the dangerous Internet! The rest of the service so far has been so slick, smooth and reliable that I can’t imagine anything going wrong!

  2. AndrewC says:

    Viva Pinata has the best sex in all games.

    • Christian says:

      Hmm..isn’t this rather a game for kids? Or am I just confused more than normally today?

    • AndrewC says:

      Christian: like all Rare games these days – they are kids games that are far too complex and difficult for kids.

    • Tei says:

      Christian:

      The game is based on several creatures, and wen these creatures make sex, you can see it on a video _Safe For Childrens_ where the creatures ‘dance’ (is cute, and fun). The methaphor is strong enough for AndrewC to be right. Anyway I like more the Witcher version. But.. he!.

    • AndrewC says:

      Tei: They go to a dark, red room and rub up against each other while funky wah-wah disco music plays.

      This one’s so strong its a metaphwoar!

    • Christian says:

      Ok. That really sounds like the Best Sex In Games Ever, thanks for explaining.

      Better than trying to fit in some sort of Soft-Porn-action just to have another selling-point. Sexyness in games yes, but sex not so much.

      And:
      Maybe I should really have a look at this (not because of the sex, but because it sounds like a fun little game)?

    • Tei says:

      Christian:

      Viva Piñata feels like a hibrid of Sim City (or sim ants?) and Fable or any other linear rpg. I recomend it.

    • ascagnel says:

      Viva Pinata in a nutshell: make pinatas do the nasty while making sure they don’t turn to cannibalism.

    • cyrenic says:

      @AndrewC

      I’m really disappointed you didn’t provide a youtube link.

    • AndrewC says:

      cyrenic: do you take me for some sort of digital pimp? You trawl for your own porn you bestial pervert.

    • Bhazor says:

      It also has some surprisingly sexy puppets. If you don’t love Leafos by the time you reach level 10 then you are made of stone.

  3. Ashurbanipal says:

    Does it cost real money? I mean as opposed to points, which just confuse the shit out of me? If so, I might consider getting Viva Pinata on it. That’s supposed to be good, right?

  4. Neut says:

    Will this require you to call up customer service should you not want your credit card details stored with your account since Microsoft apparently assumes that because you bought a 1 month Live subscription with your credit card you must want to buy a 1 month live subscription every month and the only way to cancel said automatic charging is for you to call up customer support?

  5. ChaK_ says:

    YAY shadowrun §§!§

    oh wait…

    • Bhazor says:

      Hands up those who’ve played it.

      I have and its alot more interesting than any other team deathmatch game out there. Somewhat unbalanced and the inaccurate rapid fire weapons put the emphasis towards running down enemies. Put I still have more fond memories of it than I do of totally generic but polished shooters like COD or Halo.

  6. Shadowmancer says:

    Tinker is free so it can’t be that bad.

    • bill says:

      Unless you were dumb enough to pay money for Vista Ultimate.

      Of the promised Ultimate Extras, of which about 3 actually arrived, the only one that wasn’t crap was Tinker. But now it’s free for everyone.

      I want a refund, or at least a free upgrade to windows 7!!!

  7. Christian says:

    I vote for “Just enough!”.

    The strange thing that really bothers me about this GFWL-thingie is that you still have to have it installed and running when you buy and register one of the games with Steam.

    Examples would be GTA4 and Fallout 3. I’m in no way interested in having and maintaining a childish GamerCard and using their XBox-Services and whatnot. I want to use Steam, that’s why I registered those games with Steam.

    Why would I need to also sign in to GFWL? That makes no sense.

    And don’t get me started about buying Fallout 3 DLC..

    • EvaUnit02 says:

      @Christian. You never had to be signed into GfWL with Fallout 3, you could ignore it completely.

    • Christian says:

      EvaUnit02: Oh, really? Hmm, then it somehow tricked me into believing it has to be on in order for me to play. That’s pure evil at work there, it seems. Ha, devil’s work. Or maybe I was just stupid for not finding out myself. Well..

      But:
      Thanks, I’ll look into it. That would be fine news indeed.

  8. Martin Coxall says:

    Why don’t you track down the people ‘responsible’ for GfWL and make them answer for their crimes?

  9. TooNu says:

    Not nearly enough, it’s a terrible needless system that only serves to add frustration and pain to frequent and casual PC users alike. Die in a fire Windows Live, and may your offspring suffer from incontinence.

  10. crumbsucker says:

    Hm, I can sense Mr. Meer had a few mildly frustrating moments with GFWL in the past.

  11. Vandelay says:

    My problem with these services isn’t the number of them (competition should end up being a good thing for the consumer), but that the majority of them are so poor. Steam is by far the best client based service, but even that has problems with their servers going down for maintenance quite often and the occasional sluggish download/unlock. Where Steam does excel is that Valve clearly consider it important. Most of the other companies seem to be doing it more as a token gesture than as the future of selling games.

    I’ve not had much experience with Games for Windows Live, but when I have it has been somewhere between pointless and a nuisance (some long log in times when trying to play Street Fighter 4 have been my only real problem.) The lack of any pricing before downloading the client (and the fact it is Microsoft) seems to suggest they won’t be offering very competitive prices, which is my only real concern when it comes to choosing where I buy stuff (with in reason, of course.)

    • Kamos says:

      One thing I don’t like about Steam is that you can’t always launch your game when you’re offline. My internet connection fails a lot, so in my case, I wish I could just launch the game without the harassment of logging into Steam.

    • Kamos says:

      One thing I don’t like about Steam is how if forces me to be online to access my games.

    • Urthman says:

      For all the bitching about various DRM schemes, the universally beloved Steam is the only one that’s ever prevented me from playing a game I had purchased when I wanted to play it.

  12. rocketman71 says:

    Not enough venom. Fuck Microsoft and their GfW* shit.

  13. Carra says:

    I’m curious if they figured out that $1 €1 £1

    • Lack_26 says:

      Have you noticed that the companies that do this are American. If they trick an entire generation into thinking that $1=£1=€1 then they, who have their money in $ will in effect make themselves 2-3 times richer, while making either the £ or € (or both) poorer. This is just another plan for world dominance by the big game companies.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Maybe they just have problems dividing and calculating in decimal numbers, so 1 has to equal 1.

      Either that or they think it’s the same currency, just those overseas people have a different symbol for it on their keyboards.

    • Clovis says:

      @Lack_26: What are you talking about? If the price in your currency is too high, don’t buy it. I wasn’t aware that gamers were forced to buy games. If the game sells at the higher price, then you have collectively sealed your fate. Game companies can charge whatever they want for games, and will normally sell at the price the market will bare.

      I agree that it is frustrating for those dealing with it, but I don’t think it is an evil corporate trick or something. It is just as much of a trick as Infinity Ward charging $60 for MW2. oh noes! You can’t charge $60 for a PC title! No fair, you’re just trying to get rich, greedy bastards! Well, of course they are trying to get rich, that’s pretty much their jobs. If you don’t like it, don’t pay.

    • Kamos says:

      @ Clovis:

      Bah, there is a perfectly good explanation. The tubes have to go underwater to deliver the games, and that isn’t very cheap.

      @ Carra:

      Download from the other source.

    • Lack_26 says:

      @Clovis, erm, what are you on about?

      It was a joke based on currency exchange rates, your reply just seems to bear little relevance to what I said.

    • Lack_26 says:

      Perhaps I should elaborate, my flat-mate (who also reads RPS, despite not playing games) got the joke, but she’s doing economics.

      If the next generation is labouring under the pre-text that the $ is not in-fact worth less than a £ or Euro but is worth the same amount, and someone looks at the actual exchange rate and goes “Holy-Moly Batman, that exchange rate isn’t right and re-values the $ to be worth 2 -3 times it’s actual worth. Everyone with $ gets rich. It also works the other way, if they value the £ and Euro down then the $ becomes comparatively worth more. See, so the Americans, perhaps the whole government, are trying to make everyone think the $ is worth more so they become filthy rich :p

      Blurr, I hate explaining jokes, even bad ones.

    • Carra says:

      Looks like gets eaten by the html formatter!

      Of course you’re right. If people will pay more in euros they will ask more in euros. I personally won’t be buying in those shops and find one with a fair conversion rate.

  14. TehOg says:

    Get Tinker ladies, get Tinker.

  15. Schaulustiger says:

    The problem with GfWL is imho not the client itself (at least I never had any problem with a GfW game). It’s just that it does not excel in any way when compared to existing services. The store is great example. It’s not all that bad but there is absolutely no reason to use it because neither is it more comfortable, unobtrusive or bigger than any existing solution. And with such a small back catalogue they’ll likely fail once again.

  16. Quercus says:

    Games for Windows? Bearing in mind the effort they put into PC games against the effort and resources they put into promoting their consoles, that must be a really depressing dead-end job for someone working at Microsoft. I wonder who you have to piss off to end up in that department?

  17. Daniel Klein says:

    I once observed a man walking his dog here in Dublin. Now next to the Jervis shopping centre, there is a little square where they have fairs every now and then. In the middle of that square is a surprisingly life-like statue of an angry bull. When dog & owner neared that statue, the dog suddenly became very angry, first pulling away on his leash, then growling at the thing, barking like mad, etc. His owner was very amused and tried to show him that there was nothing to be afraid of. He went over to the statue and touched the pull. Had the dog been wearing pants (and why wasn’t he! Inquiring minds demand to know!), he would have jumped out of them. As it was, he just dialed his crazy barking up to 11. His owner sat on the bull, hugged it, carried his dog over to the status and placed the dog on top of the statue… nothing. The dog kept barking angrily. At this point, everyone was watching and laughing.

    Microsoft is like that dog. Angry, clueless, making a spectacle of themselves, but also kind of cute.

  18. Babs says:

    I could live with Live for Fallout, mainly because there is a mod that removes the need for it.

    What really pisses me off is ‘Dirt 2′. I downloaded it with Steam and not only to I have to have Live installed to run the game, but I can’t even save my progress unless I’m logged into a Live account! What sort of fuckwit had that idea?

    In future I will be avoiding any games with Live.

    • Clovis says:

      FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU –

      I really wanted to try out some dirt racing too.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Clovis:
      ‘FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU –

      I really wanted to try out some dirt racing too.’
      I wouldn’t worry about it too much, ‘Dirt 2′ ain’t nothing special. I don’t play racing games much but the game it really reminds me of is ‘Screamer 2′ (1996).

      On the plus side it’s got a neat rewind feature and nice graphics but it’s also wrapped up in the most insufferable ‘Extreme sports is sooo cool, dude’ package that just screams of trying too hard. And the other drivers talk to you in the race, which I guess would be ok if it was trash talk but they actually encourage you. Seriously.

      And the physics can be very annoying, with a minor bump in the road sending you flying end-over end.

      The racings fun, but essentially not much different from every other arcade racer I’ve ever played and you have to fight through a load of bullshit to get to it.

      Since I think I just reviewed it:
      80% – OK, highly polished. Nothing special, glad I didn’t buy it at full price.

    • Bhazor says:

      @Clovis

      “What sort of fuckwit had that idea?”

      One of the fuckwits at Codemasters presumably.

    • AndrewC says:

      I too have cried while waiting endlessly to sign in to GFWL in Dirt 2 and it just refusing to complete. Twice, out of a couple of dozen boot ups. This is bad, but not death for a game you would want to play. Also the front end is a horrible mess – complex 3-D graphics means there’s about two loading delays before you can select the next option. This is bad-der, but the menu is still navigable, so only someone with anger issues would rage-quite for something like that. The racing is great fun and the graphics are gorgeous. It’s very similar to Dirt, only a bit better. Why would such small things stop you from playing? It seems stubborn to an almost sociopathic level.

      The buggies are knob though. Fucking buggies.

    • Baboonanza says:

      @AndrewC
      Fucking buggies indeed!

      I will be playing it (I stayed up to late last night having ‘just one more race’) but’s it’s just not something I’ll be remembering for any length of time. It’s good but I find it difficult to get excited because it doesn’t feel much different from racing games that were being made a decade ago, bar perhaps the AI being a bit more natural.

      Apparently there are some issues with the multiplayer too, since it’s easy to drive without much skill by bouncing round corners on the barriers or off other cars.

    • AndrewC says:

      The ghosts of the fastest drivers don’t bounce off the sides of the track, and smashing other cars is a good, if nasty trick, in almost every racer ever.

      I even like it when the other AI drivers say supportive things to me. Then I smash them with my car.

      Not life changing, but very jolly good.

  19. MinisterofDOOM says:

    It’s funny to me that the harder Microsoft tries to simplify PC gaming (something no one ever asked for, while we’re on that topic) they somehow manage to add yet more convolution. Half of me takes a sadistic glee at watching them fail, while the other half scowls angrily at them for mucking up what wasn’t broken and didn’t need fixing.

    I’d say just enough venom. It’s nice to know you have GFWL as much as we do without having to see the point slopped all over the floor.

    I also find it amazing that MS can manage to COMPLETELY BUNGLE such a simple feature as the windows Games Explorer. It was such a great idea…help reduce icon clutter and consolidate games shortcuts in an easy to access location. And the execution couldn’t have been worse. Just…amazing.

    • TehOg says:

      Isnt that more the publishers thing ? Alot of games do it spot-on, while others do it piss poor.

    • MinisterofDOOM says:

      @TehOg

      Part of it is publisher support. But that wouldn’t be an issue if it were possible to add games manually without having to resort to a smegging registry hack. No drag and drop support of shortcuts? No “add shortcut” button? I can only assume it’s some sort of a joke. Even Steam and Impulse allow you to add shortcuts to “foreign” games to their launch menus.

      @cliffski

      Yes, msconfig is my friend. Everything unnecessary gets pulled from my startup queue.

      And I understand the point of GFWL from a business perspective. But if you look at all the digital distro platforms out there, GFWL is the only one trying to change how PC gaming works. My PC is not an Xbox 360 and I don’t want it to be one. I swear the next PC game to ask me which “save device” I’d like to use is going to get fed through a wood chipper.

    • Bhazor says:

      @MinisterofDOOM

      Well not everyone is as computer literate as us ubermen. But that doesn’t they don’t want to play the games we do. My dad for example loves the Anno DS games but just can’t get started with the pc versions because of all the settings you need to alter and patches you need to keep adding. He even struggles finding the launcher for the games. As such I’ve had to install the games for him and covered his desktop with shortcuts.
      So yeah, some people do want PC gaming made simpler. I’m not saying it’s there yet but Steam with it’s auto install auto patching and keeping everything together would probably make it a lot easier for him.

  20. cliffski says:

    I don’t understand why as a GAMER I would want ANYTHING running on my machine just to let me launch games, and buy games. We have a thing called a ‘desktop shortcut’ in windows that already lets us run games. We have something called ‘The Internet’ which allows us to buy games.
    Adding anything onto that experience is just re-inventing the wheel and adding bloat.

    As a BUSINESSMAN, I can see why everyone wants their own download service+store. it’s to lock-in customers and get them to buy more games and spend more money. It’s a smart business move, but it’s not being done to make gaming better, it always has been done to make more money.

    I’d actually buy a lot more music from itunes if it didn’t always try and run on my machine all the time. As a developer, I HATE anything sat there using up RAM, CPU, disk access etc, when I should be compiling or rendering. I have steam, impulse and itunes installed, and none of them run on startup. I can wait the extra 2 seconds to start them if I actually feel the need…

    • Christian says:

      cliffski: You make some valid points there. No auto-run of any kind for me, and I can really get angry when another program just assumes I want to run it every time I start Windows and just turns on autostart as a default. Also I’m paranoid and don’t want anybody logging my computer on/off-cycles.

      But:
      As a Gamer I find Steam quite useful and although I know the risks and minus-points you mentioned, I quite like it for keeping my games up-to-date. Also, the Cloud-feature (save your settings, re-apply them on reinstall) is a great feature when it works.

      And as far as I see GFWL doesn’t do that for me (or in such an annoying way that it’s not worth living with the minuses). So really no need to have it running.

    • Kamos says:

      @ cliffski

      I am a PC gamer. I don’t like consoles because when I choose a console, I choose what games I’m going to play for the next few years. In a way, these clients (Steam, Impulse, GFWL) do the same thing, only it is easier to have every client installed than it is to buy every console. These clients are specially bad when they start getting in your way when you just want to play.

      I agree that launching games from the client is just bloating the whole thing. I prefer buying directly from the developer when I can, because I don’t care for yet another internet messaging tool, yet another online “community”, yet another ranking, yet another achievement list… On the other hand, I didn’t find out about your games by landing directly in your homepage. I guess the best option the devs have right now is giving the consumer options…

      I’ve seen many indie devs complaining they don’t even get replies when they e-mail Steam / Impulse, so you should consider yourself “lucky”. ;-)

    • Persus-9 says:

      As a gamer and someone who doesn’t do anything else intensive with their PC (just browsing and office work) I’d actually prefer (or perhaps I should say “loath the client based solution marginally less”) to have a client like this for GfWL to the old system. My PC is overspeced for what I do with it (Q6600 with 8GB RAM etc) so I’m probably not going to notice the footprint of the client where as old style GfWL has frequently left me near screaming with rage while it refused to let me play a single player game because it was having trouble connecting to the server or decided it needed to exit the game again to patch itself. I wish both systems a speedy death but I’d take a client that gets its problems sorted out at boot while I’m typically off making a cup of tea to an intergrated system that just doesn’t work half the time.

  21. Knark says:

    Ugh… from what I gathered this doesn’t even work that well on the XBox. It’s not the technology that faults, or the interface. But the prices are too high and the content too little. Still the five first games in that picture are all quite good, but they will have to be noticeably cheaper than Steam for me to consider it.

    GFWL still doesn’t work that well on my horrible connection, and the fact that I must login every time to have achievements et al update is annoying

  22. Tei says:

    I found the use of GFWL too intrusive. Even the color scheme is a poor decision. Most intro videos are ruined by the lame “Looks to me, LOOOK TO ME!!!” nagware of his UI. If I have a game with GFWL, I have already “buy” GFWL, I don’t want more advertisement, branwding and nagware to ruin my gamming session.

    Hope on design of the region looking is easy exploitable or wrong, so we can get games there that normally are “not allowed on your region”. If the quality of the portal is as good as everything else microsoft, Is sure that will have exploitable bugs.

  23. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I’d prefer a metaboli/GameTap-type of service…One that doesn’t use that bloody crappy mal-functioning Yummy player…

  24. TheApologist says:

    It’s difficult to see how there could be enough venom…

  25. The Sombrero Kid says:

    laughably this is the only digital distro client that has a hope in hell of competing with steam.

  26. Ravenger says:

    I can’t even transfer my Batman AA GFWL saves onto my new Windows 7 install as they’re encrypted and locked to the old XP OS, so you can well understand my reluctance to buy any games off this service.

    Contrast that with how easy it was to transfer my Steam games and save files onto a new OS. Just install steam, copy the files over and it just works.

    • mcw says:

      Encountered the same problem yesterday, I even tried hex-editing the Live profile following this method: http://www.gtaforums.com/index.php?showtopic=386144. But it still wouldn’t work.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Guess I’ll be encountering the same issue on the weekend then. (insert here)

    • RogB says:

      Saves are locked to OS?!!!?! AAGGGGHHHHHH

    • Clovis says:

      Did you try contacting GFWL? I’m just interested in what their explanation for this would be. It might be a hassle, but maybe they’ll allow you to play the saved game you paid for if you beg.
      BTW, your various friendly neighborhood pirates offer the same game for free with no weird save game rules. I bought Torchlight from D2D a few weeks ago and now I can’t update it to the current version b/c the D2D DRM special version isn’t ready yet. I just keep thinking how much better the price and service of the pirates is. I’m not actually advocating piracy here, it is just annoying how bad the customer service is in some of these digital retailers. When your competition is free and efficient, you think you would step up.

  27. Crush says:

    Tried it and seems to work well enough, nice interface very clean. Microsoft never really gets things right you always have to wait for version 2 or 3 of their software before they get a handle on it.

    That said I think the wailing an gnashing seems undeserved GFWL as it stands now looks pretty decent to me, would have been much better than Gamespy if Borderlands had used it.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      the thing is it works brilliantly until it doesn’t i was firmly in the ‘i don’t understand what the problem is’ camp, until one day batman wouldn’t let me play cause i couldn’t connect to the server and dow was stopping me from logging in, therefor i couldn’t play online, i was pretty miffed.

  28. Gothnak says:

    I’ve heard (strongish) rumours they are going to do it properly this time…

  29. houseinrlyeh says:

    And of course, you can only pay via credit card or “points”. Because Pay Pal eats babies, I suppose.

  30. mcw says:

    GFWL ate my Batman save-game because apparently they encrypt them to make them unusable on another operating system. Needless to say I’m pretty furious about that. Maybe this happened to anyone else? Tinker is a cute puzzle game though and it’s free to download via the client.

    • mrmud says:

      Are you serious?
      So if I upgrade to Windows 7 I wont be able to use my savegames?

    • oceanclub says:

      Is that a GFWL feature or a B:AA feature? I was able to copy my GTA4 save games fine when I had to reinstall my OS. I had planned to reinstall B:AA on my new Windows 7 installation, so had better check that…

      P.

    • mcw says:

      You need to be sure to back up both your Batman folder in My Documents and the GFWLive and XLive folders in Users/XXX/AppData/Microsoft. Then it should work. I only learned that after the fact and only backed up the Batman folder assuming it would work.

    • Ravenger says:

      I tried transferring the xlive and and GFWLive folders too, and it still said my Batman save was ‘corrupt’. It’s like they’ve deliberately gone out of their way to make it difficult to migrate to a new OS or machine.

      Fallout 3 was very easy by comparison, so not all GFWL games use the same stupid system.

      You’d think Microsoft would have made a special effort to make GFWL save game and migration to Windows 7 easy, it is in their best interests to get gamers to upgrade after all.

    • mcw says:

      I transferred from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 Pro on the same machine and even that didn’t work.

  31. jalf says:

    Hilarious… The client is a horrible mix of three different languages (The description for games starts out listing the game’s supported languages in Danish, continues to describe the game in English, and then rounds it off with description of the DRM in German).

    The Settings button is still named Settings, which much (but not all) of the remaining interface is Danish.

    Prices are in local currency for most games, but Kane & Lynch seems to be priced in MS Points, or whatever that funny little icon means.

    RE5 is about 3 dollars more expensive than it is on Steam, and nearly twice as expensive as it is on zavvi.co.uk (with play.com lying somewhere in between).

    Apparently if I’d been in Norway, it’d have been another $10 pricier on GFWL.

    All in all, they’re on to a clear winner, I think.

  32. oceanclub says:

    To be honest, and I’m no MS fanboy, I’ve had more problems with Steam than with GFWL (then again, I have far more Steam games than Live games). So far, Live has never stopped me playing a game, while with Steam, those “Your game wot you have paid for is not available at this time” messages are infuriating.

    P.

  33. jackflash says:

    I could forgive GFWL if it were just another crappy games downloading and service system, but it’s not. It’s Microsoft realizing that, sometime during their whole console crusade, they lost control of PC gaming, and now they want it back. They want to have it in some little corner, where they can grasp their claws on it and make sure it’s not causing any trouble. Well, I won’t have it. I – WON’T – HAVE – IT.

  34. Bursar says:

    GFWL meant I had to wait a week troubleshooting it rather than play the SINGLE PLAYER campaign in Dawn of War 2. Ended up having to hack the registry in Vista just to convince the bloody thing to connect from within the game.

    It still infuriates me.

  35. dbdkmezz says:

    @Kamos: Steam works for me when I’m offline

    • Kamos says:

      @dbdkmezz: Well, I don’t really get it. You can start it offline, and it seems like sometimes you can play without an internet connection, but then other times when you start the game Steam launches and… nothing. It keeps looking for updates for the Steam client until it crashes.

      Also, reply is acting funny again. I just made a double post. *facepalm*

  36. Larington says:

    Really, don’t let the visual style discourage you from giving the game a go. The visual style is just that, a visual style, underneath theres a wonderful game that can eat away many hours on exploring the variety of available creatures and plants, etc.

    • Larington says:

      That said, I couldn’t in good conscience recommend buying it through GFWL. Better to get a boxed copy as far as I’m concerned.

  37. Snuffy (the Evil) says:

    GFWL is the only thing (besides price) that has ever stopped me from buying a game.

  38. Wooly says:

    GFWL!! *Spits acid*

    Why isn’t it dead yet~

  39. Zaphid says:

    I’m going to pirate every game that makes people use this piece of crap, because installing 2 systems (steam in my case and gfwl) just to play damn game is more retarded than darwin prize winner. GFWL originally didn’t even work in my country and I had to register as an american to make the damn thing work, maybe they’ve fixed that now.

    Anyway, either it is on steam, or I’m buying through retail, every gamer should know that they can offer some really competitive prices, especially since every company thinks that 1$=1€.

    There is never enough hate for all the laughable shit MS throws at PC platform.

  40. Psychopomp says:

    Viva Pinata’s on the PC?

    I can no longer bring myself to hate GFWL.

    • Bhazor says:

      Darn tootin’! Viva Pinata is simply the most adorable game I’ve ever played and refusing to play it just because you don’t want to fill in a form is like you being a big git.

      I got GFWL for that game and really haven’t had any complaints with it. It’s certainly less bloated and intrusive than say Steam and I honestly wouldn’t even notice it on my computer if it wasn’t for you basts kicking up a stink about it.

    • terry says:

      Apparently it was released in 2007. Why did this slip my radar so completely? Was it a terrible port or something?

    • Matt says:

      Reply to Psychopomp (just in case)

      That’s the first thing I was thinking too! I heard nothing but good stuff about it, but I let it go because I thought it was only for consoles.

      My world! It’s… changed!

    • Bhazor says:

      @ Terry

      It’s pretty much a direct port of the console version. It works great, well optimised, extra anti-aliasing, not heard of any more glitches than you’d expect etc. But the interface is clearly designed around the 360 controller and if you have a 360 controller knocking about you’d be better off with it than keyboard and mouse.

  41. l1ddl3monkey says:

    MS are now experts at selling people shit that doesn’t work properly (as any early Vista adopter will attest to), the most efficient part of any MS software is the licence agreement that says you accept that it’s shit and probably won’t work and that you know there is nothing you can do about it.

    I have 4 GFWL games and GFWL has broken all of them at some point, because it is shit.

    So now anything with GFWL on it can faaaahk off; any piece of software with a 100% failure rate is one I will stop using.

  42. Persus-9 says:

    So this would be a reason for all the other digital distributers to boycott GfWL games wouldn’t it? You know like D2D et al are boycotting steamworks (and it might actually make sense now since they probably can hurt GfWL where as Steam is basically untouchable at this point). Please, please, please. I like more competition in the marketplace as much as the next man but far more than that I really want GfWL to just die so I’d count anything to make developers think twice about using it as a good thing.

  43. mandrill says:

    Gargantuan Failure Way Late

  44. Tei says:

    I need to know why these services are called “Digital Download”.

    There are any service out here that let you download “Analogic” stuff?

    Also, If a game is content, and is downloaded, it can be called DownLoad Content (DLC).
    Maybe a better name could be “DLC Shop”.

    On the other part, we don’t buy games anymore, we buy “rights”, and we install systems on our computers so third party people remotelly manage our rights (DRM).
    So maybe the real name is “Restricted Rights Acquiring Services and Binary Copy Adquiring Service”. “RRAS&BCS shops”.

    • bookwormat says:

      Yeah, DownLoadable Content is another word for “Software”. This page is definitely DLC.

      It is one of the most stupid terms ever created. Probably at the same level as “WoW-Gayness” or the “War on Terror”

  45. Drakkheim says:

    Can I play a GFWL game while watching netflix on my xbox yet?

    That’s what killed Fallout & DOW2 for me.. every time someone turned on the xbox to watch tv or a movie I got booted. But you couldn’t quicksave without being logged in. Infernally Stupid.

  46. pilouuuu says:

    Why doesn’t Microsoft makes versions of Halo 3, Alan Wake to promote PC gaming, instead of spend their time and our patience with this crappy Games for Windows thing?

  47. Tei says:

    Re: “http://www.microsoft.com/games/en-US/Games/Pages/Shadowrun.aspx”

    Why is this website “optimized” for 640×480? do gamers use these resolutions? The quality of this shop is barelly over a bad osCommerce site.

  48. terry says:

    So I click “Buy” to view the price of a game, and it redirects me to a Ciao search. Do you need the client to view prices? Words fail me, they really do.

  49. Robin says:

    I love the fact that the first news I heard of this new ‘online store’ was games journalists complaining that it wouldn’t let them buy things, or download free things.

    GFWL’s only benign purpose is to provide some easy cash for developers clued up enough to implement it in such a way that it can be turned off completely, like wot Batman:AA does.

    If GFWL was the product of an actual business plan, rather than petty internecine corporate intrigue, it would have been put out of its misery years ago.

    • Starky says:

      Either that or it would be good, as lets face it when Microsoft actually care about doing something well, they generally do (after a couple of false starts).

      If they took it seriously, and had an actual business plan then it would be a rival for steam, as Microsoft have the money (which buys them all the talent and experience they need), and infrastructure to create a serious contender.

      As it is, it seems like a half arsed effort at best.

  50. Hmm says:

    You know, when given the choice, I would choose GfW LIVE and Impulse over Steam any day.

    Unless there’s additional DRM, LIVE-enabled games can be installed without ever connecting to the internet. Steam, on the other hand, is a freaking nightmare in comparison which forces me to rely on internet connection. LIVE never bothered me in any game – Steam bothers me all the time.

    The only problem is that the interface is crappy and many basic features are missing.

    MS are losing the opportunity to do something good, they could turn LIVE into a nice client if they actually wanted to, too bad they don’t. Xbawx is too important for them.

    • Hmm says:

      Forgot to add – this service NEEDS some “killer games” that will make people interested in using it.
      People are using Steam because of Half-life, LIVE has nothing. Absolutely nothing.

    • DMJ says:

      @Hmm: You’d think if they were serious, Microsoft would be spamming what most consider to be their “killer app” Halo* on it by now.

      *My opinions of Halo are not worth reiterating here.

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