My review of Operation : Anchorage is not a positive one. Read it here. If you still think you want to buy it, I’ve put together a guide on how to do so – because this in itself is not simple, and a few things that may come in useful if you do.
—Buying The Darn Thing—
You need some Microsoft points first off – as in, the same points (no, not Gamerscore as I’ve seen some people asking in various forums) you use to buy stuff on the X-Box marketplace. Buying these online is restricted to users of Visa, Mastercard or AmEx, which is of course quite restricting to those of us who actually know how to look after our money. You can buy points cards from various retailers. I personally ordered mine off Amazon. They haven’t arrived yet, and won’t for a few days, so I sought out another method.
The website http://www.gamesbite.com/ looks dodgy, but they have good E-bay ratings where they also deal, and having done a bit of googling they seemed legit. Buying off Pay-Pal, you’re not giving anyone any details, so I’ve given them a try, mostly because I want to make sure I get the information about this thing out to you guys. They do cost a bit more – overall, 800 points have cost me £10.30, plus the £17 I’ve spent for 2100 on Amazon (at least I’ll have them for future purchases).
Once you’ve got a code, either from somewhere like Gamesbite, or from a retail card, you load up Games For Windows Live, and select “Redeem Code”. Whack your numbers and letters in, and you’ll add your points to your account.
Then go to Marketplace, Select the DLC, and click buy to begin the transaction. Once that is done it will begin downloading.
If any of you read Rock Paper Shotgun, you’ll notice a post by John Walker describing just how bloody difficult getting this thing running is. In summary, it’s an absolute nightmare. In my experience, if you add up the time it took me to get GFWL running, that’s at least 8 hours I would say – though I was trying to get it running for the Dawn of War II Beta as well. Add onto that the expense of buying Microsoft points, I’ve spent £10.30, as opposed to the £8.50 it actually costs – OK, so maybe that’s partly down to my poor planning of when I bought the points, but the point stands, that if Microsoft had more payment options, as available in Steam, I wouldn’t have had that inconvienience.
Once I actually got it running, I got to the VR Room where the content really gets going, only for it to crash. Turns out my save, having started from Vault 101 and gone straight to the content area, was somehow corrupt. I will add at this point, that the Bethesda staff seemed keen to get on top of it, and within a few minutes of my post going up, they did contact me asking if I could send them my corrupt save. So at least they appear to be looking into problems with a commendable degree of promptness.
You will have to copy any non-GFWL saves into the GFWL save folder if you want to play on them. Simply copy your saves in “My Documents\My Games\Fallout 3\Saves” into the corresponding GFWL profile folder in that same path. Easy, but it shouldn’t be an issue all the same.
So what’s my point? Getting this thing going is a farce. The distribution method is atrocious, and the content itself is buggy. You could potentially spend twice the amount of time getting it running as you do playing it if you suffer the same misfortunes as myself and some others.
—Playing the DLC Minus GFWL—
One useful little nugget of information for you all is the location of the actual game files. Following this procedure will allow you to play without GFWL running. Bliss:
Go to C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Xlive\DLC
From here, copy the .bsm files into C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Fallout 3\Data
And there you have it! You’ll be able to do everything normally as per the good old ways. Still, this is how it should be by default. Not this GFWL malarky.
Addtional Buying Method
As Krakn3DFX has pointed out in the comments, you can buy points off Zune at 400 points each. Buy two of these, and you have your 800 for Operation : Anchorage.