Games Software 1

Games For Windows LIVE Client Impressions

So the folks over at Games For Windows Live are running a great 75% off sale for Batman: Arkham Asylum, which brings the price to $12.50. Of course to take advantage of the offer, you have to first install their Games for Windows Live client, which gives you access to their Games on Demand store. I already had the software installed since I used it to buy some of the DLC for Fallout 3, but this is the first game I have purchased using the software. My impressions:

What was good

  • As soon as I loaded it up, the Batman 75% off sale was right there on the man page in their banner rotation. This made finding the page to buy the game easy.
  • You are offered the choice of paying for the game with Microsoft points, or directly using your credit card. I have been wanting to lower my Microsoft Points balance for a while now, so I was glad that I could use them here.
  • Buying the game automatically adds the game to your download queue.

What was bad

  • The UI doesn’t show download speeds, only percent complete.
  • The download was extremely slow. Perhaps its because of the sale, or maybe buying games on here always takes this long. Either way it took hours to download the game. Of course I cant tell you exactly what speeds I was getting, because of my first issue.
  • The GFWL client locked up at about 40% downloaded. This was well over an hour and a half into the download. After restarting the software, the download did not resume from where it left off. Instead, the download started over again. I have never heard of a download manager not caching or downloading in chucks to avoid this. This was pretty poor, and made worse by the slow download speeds.
  • Once the download was finished, I clicked the install button. I was prompted with some of the usual stuff, such as language and the license agreement. However, I was never asked where to install it. This resulted in the game being installed on the wrong hard drive. I later found the setting hidden in the menus, and changed it to the right location.
  • After uninstalling the game so I could reinstall to the right drive, I had to download the game for a 3rd time.
  • I am still waiting for it to download for a 3rd time.

Hopefully I will actually be able to play this sometime tonight. Games on Demand does have some potential, but at this point I would never buy a game using that client over Steam unless Games on Demand had a significant price savings.