Dear Windows Live and Bioshock 2,
Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.
Fuck you and your broken-ass, DRM-filled, update-begging, time-sucking software.
I bought Bioshock 2 a few weeks ago on Steam, and was looking forward to playing it on my night off from the kids. The first time I tried it, I hadn’t installed it. Then I found out I had to download 9 gigs worth of data which takes 3 hours, so the first night I wanted to play it, that was a bust.
Fast forward to last night when I pressed the “play” button for the first time. First, it’s gotta update. Then it’s gotta update the Microsoft C++ 2005 redistributable, whatever that is. Then it’s gotta update DirectX, as always. Then it’s gotta update Microsoft Live, whatever that is redux. Then I have to enter a CD-key, so I think I just gotta re-enter the activation code below it to prove I’m not a robot. That doesn’t work, but I don’t have a CD. Fortunately, after some searching, I see the link for CD key in Steam, and that works.
Then the game finally starts, and there’s something new and unexpected — a Games for Windows Live dropdown. It tells me I’ve got to enter my CD key again to register my game. This involves a little searching for how to get this without minimizing the game, and then shift-tabbing back and forth to enter it. I think I’m done, but no, it tells me I’ve got to sign in with my Games for Windows Live account. Which I don’t have. I say no, I don’t want to do that. Why should I have to? Oh, because the game won’t save unless I do.
Fucking fine. I go through like eight screens to get to sign up screen, then it has to open a web browser to keep going, so it has to minimize the game, which always has a 50/50 chance of crashing it, and open fucking IE. No, we can’t open my default browser, we have to use your dumb-ass product because you’re Microsoft. After a whole bunch of misleading screens that make me think I’ve already got an account, I finally am able to make one.
Then I re-maximize my game and try to sign in. Now I can play? Oh, no wait, Microsoft Live has to download an update. Game re-minimizes again, while some more shit installs. It never tells me if it’s done or not, because its just a progress bar. After a minute of nothing happening, just the sounds of my computer churning, I try the game again, and try signing into Windows Live. Again, it tells me it needs to update. Probably the update didn’t take.
Fuck this, so I close Bioshock 2, and try starting Windows Live from the start menu. Maybe I can start Bioshock 2 that way. No. Something’s corrupted and after three minutes of a flash screen, it says it cannot find an Internet connection. Which is bullshit, I’ve got my browser open right now, looking at stuff while I wait for all these things to finish their little dowloading/loading/installing dance. It says I need to install a hotfix for Windows XP. I do that. Nothing. So I try downloading Games for Windows Live straight. When I run that, it causes a BSOD. Great.
When my computer restarts (one of the many I’ve done that night), I try uninstalling all the Windows for Games Live shit I downloaded, and try Bioshock 2 again. But when I click the launcher, nothing seems to happen. So since something’s fucked up, I uninstall everything. I started this at 6:00 and now it’s 7:30. I redownload Bioshock 2, but again, it’s 9 gigs, and it’s going to take hours.
This morning, when the download has finished, I try starting Bioshock 2 again, hoping I can start from the beginning. No, it still doesn’t launch. And I have no idea why. No error messages, no processes, no nothing. So now I spend the morning looking on the Steam forums for any help, verifying my 9 gig game, and seeing if I have to re-register my Windows Installer.
So thank you Bioshock 2, who thought it was a good idea to include Microsoft’s magic wand to prevent piracy into what all the reviewers say is a mediocre game. And thank you Microsoft for your broke-ass software that does nothing good. I could play the game fine, except that I couldn’t save. Now I can’t play it at all. Now I’m going to have to pirate the game in order to play it. Thanks a lot, and fuck you in the ass with a spiked dildo covered in maggots.
Update: Last night, after the kids went to bed, I worked on it some more. After re-registering my msiexec installation file in the registry, I got Bioshock 2 to start again. I signed into Windows Live successfully and after it downloaded a looooong update (seriously, I got my book and read it while it was going on) it told me to close the game down again so it could continue.
I did, and it did, with a new “Bioshock 2 Setup Wizard” that I hadn’t seen before. It wasn’t much of a wizard because it didn’t ask me any questions, but it finished. After that I was able to start Bioshock 2 again, sign in, and I could play and save my game. So the terror is over.