Fallout 3 Operation : Anchorage – So you still want to buy it?

Fallout 3 Operation : Anchorage – So you still want to buy it?


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.

—Other Issues—

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.

38 thoughts on “Fallout 3 Operation : Anchorage – So you still want to buy it?

  1. And this is why you pirate.

    I purchased F3, because Bethesda deserves the contribution. But Anchorage was tainted for their willingness to be MS’s little lapdog here and allow their user base to have to go through the fuss that is MS’s abysmal way of handling their DLC. I quit being a console gamer because of the BS that is xboxlive, just to find MS up to thier antics here as well.

    Yup, it may come across as shameful to some, an only resort for others, but i pirated it instead.

    Best part? all of these horror stories of getting it to work? took me by surprise it sure did. For me it was a quick 1-2 set up. No fuss, no dealing with that GARBAGE GFW. I dont even have an ID on their retarded little system, and for all intents and purposes, thats for the better. I dont even have to worry about it fucking up my game

    You and i both know it is, regardless of the stance on piracy.

    Make no mistake, i mean no harm to bethesda, but screw microsoft gaming.

  2. “no matter your stance on piracy” oh yeah right, we all know that piracy may be easier, but does that make it right?


    Piracy takes money away from the developer, now Pirating stuff you have already bought in order to make it work I don’t mind, because the developer is still getting what they rightly deserve, AKA the PROFITS, that’s what it’s all about right? I personally know some guys who work in game studios for a living, and most of them fiddle with things ON THEIR OWN FREE TIME just to get fixes out.

    I don’t agree with the Games For Windows spreading of the DLC, I don’t like the way Microsoft does much at all, really, but at least pay for what you’re getting!

    Now, that my rant is over, I’ll comment on the review itself

    Thanks for giving us nothing about the DLC itself, have you even played it?

    this review looks like you posted it one hour after getting the DLC, and haven’t even tried it. I suggest you make this a review of “How bad getting the damn dlc is” instead of the dlc itself

  3. Too bad, screw GFW.

    Besides, not once did i say it makes it right huh? Oh its wrong, but frankly it would’ve been more sound for Bethesda to put the DLC up on their website (like the patch..) and have you purchase it from there. Id have had no problem with it, at all. Shit, they couldn’t put it on steam and i would’ve purchased it.

    GFW screws things up. GFW makes you pay more. GFW is money grubbing Microsoft, practicing their money grubbing ways whilst giving you an overall horrid experience.

    That was my answer to this pointless dilemma. 10 bucks, oh well.

  4. The lack of names being used here makes it a little difficult to respond, but regardless:

    @Anonymous 2: Why yes, we did in fact review the DLC. This is a post to tell you how much trouble we had getting that far. Our review is here. Enjoy!

  5. @Anonymous 2 – I totally agree. If you don’t want something as it is, you just don’t buy it. As I said on the review thread to one reader, I just don’t have the time for pirates. I honestly think they’re as every bit responsible for the oft quoted “PC Games are dying”.

    Phil’s already linked the review, hope that helps mate.

    @Anonymous 1 – I’ve made my position perfectly clear. The DLC may have been a total and utter farce in both distribution and content, but I still cannot condone not paying for it.

  6. Pirates aren’t killing the PC gaming its the terrible decisions companies make just to make a little extra cash…..look how bad the quality of games has fallen. yes the games all look nice now because of modern advancements but they still release in same time frail as older games why? because the companies have started to make games that are buggy and well look fallout 3 for example sure they fixed my crashing bug ….but why mess up vats??? i mean u get 0% hit rates 1/10 times if they tested the patch for like 15 minutes they would have noticed it i have many friends that say they pirate only games that will make them feel like they wasted their money and they do it with their 360’s too.

  7. I’m not so sure myself. Fallout 2 for example was a horrifically buggy game, and to this day is only stable really thanks to fan made efforts. Or how about X-Com: Terror from the Deep. A classic, but with bugs that are still present now.

  8. Given the piracy rate among ANY kid with a computer when I was young (lets say 1988-1997), I’d probably say that piracy has gone DOWN since those days of floppies and sneakernet. Being able to look at the growing amount of P2P usage has encouraged publishers these days to dig deep holes underground for the heavens are in broken pieces in the streets. All that digging when they could be trying to ride the way, indie music scene style; wait, we used to have that. It was called shareware! Quite popular until shareware first became crippleware, then accursed adware…

  9. Pay for the DLC? Haha, no. I like Bethesda, don’t get me wrong. I like them enough to have Fallout 3 on PC and 360 simply to support them, but this DLC deserves to be pirated. If the piracy rate is high enough on this DLC alone, it will be a signal to Bethesda not to buy into such ridiculous schemes in the future, cut out the preposterous Microsoft faggotry and make the DLC easier to acquire.

    I’ll be pirating the rest of their DLC as it’s released as well so long as this Live debacle continues.

  10. I remember the days of morrowind when a DLC was FREE. when Oblivion came out i was pissed it suddenly cost money… but at least it was easy enough to get. NOW DAYS I try to get it, but before that I have to patch it, the patch makes my game always die… not to meantion how horrible updating with GFWL is.

  11. well i bought it, the down loader said it was installed so i played…nothing happened. So then i scour the net for answers on how to make it work and everyone says to search for the files and move them to data file then tick the box like a normal mod…the files are not there when i search. So now i am going to download the DLC (that i have already paid for and apparently downloaded and installed) illegally so i’ll know exactly where the files are then install it from there.
    I’d really f***ed off by the whole experience and want to beat someone for it. And i can’t even call the windows live people to scream at them as they know their little download thing sucks and don’t leave contact details. Bastards.

  12. “Piracy takes money away from the developer, now Pirating stuff you have already bought in order to make it work I don

  13. Okay, for all you complaining about this new bit of DLC, think of who is to really blame for this. Microsoft for the “beta” like structure of windows live, and you the consumer for spending money. Game companies and distributors look at your cash and say “Hey, how come I don’t have that guy’s money in my wallet?” and thus create this DLC to put said money in their wallet.

    Now I’m not condoning piracy, nor am I saying don’t buy it. I’m just saying just give Microsoft some slack, Windows Live is in it’s infancy after all working with computer distribution is sticky business. You have DRM issues, changing from a standard Xbox system to a Vista/XP system which most users use unique systems that might not work correctly.

    Just have patience.

  14. @Eyes wide open

    Well argued there mate, but I’m inclined to disagree. To use the usual analogy that all self-glorifying pirates use against them (i.e. “If you bought a car…”): If the car is a hulking pile of shit and your dealer is a rotten arse hole who refuses to give you support, it’s your own fault for buying both the car, and from that dealer having not read up on it. In our context, read that as “If you buy Operation : Anchorage, and it turns out to be a load of wank or doesn’t work, it’s your own fault for parting cash having not taken to heart the opinions of journalists.” Admittedly the nature of our electronic interwebs allows for pirates to prevail in where you couldn’t really have a Robin Hood of the car industry, but I still feel that the fact that many will use the Car analogy to justify themselves indicates that their conduct is less ideological, and more the fact that they just want to get games for nothing. And *this* is where Publishers and Developers need to improve on – giving people a reason to buy, as said numerous times by the likes of Gabe Newell and Stardock. Granted, releasing a decent product is part of the incentive, but really, you should be researching a product before buying it. Not bitching about it when it doesn’t work because you bought a poor product.
    I agree with your first argument – the consumer are just as much to blame as MS/Beth. I do not however, agree with giving Microsoft slack. I’m admittedly going stand on my soapbox declaring their awful business practice (even if that means going out of my own pocket to buy their stuff so I can give you, my readers to whom I feel I have taken on the responsibility to report to) until they get their act in gear, and release a product comparable to comprehensive and functional software such as Steam of Impulse. After all, simply clucking our tongues and holding still will do nothing. Driving away their sales however will. Not by piracy though, because that at its very least tells them “oh they want our product, lets churn out more of this substandard shit” – but by having people like me research, and people like you, the consumer saying “hey, I don’t want that because it’s clearly a load of toss”.

  15. I bought it, got it to work (finally) by uninstalling the game from my H: drive and installing it to my C: drive in the default installation directory.

    Just an FYI, you can also create an account on zune.net and buy points 400 at a time, which will make it easier to not have that extra 200 points laying around after your purchase.

    I’m enjoying it for what it is, they could have done more with it, sure, and honestly, while I wasn’t convinced the voice acting could have gotten any worse than it already was in the main game, O.A. has proven me wrong.

    7/10 from me.

  16. Thank’s very much for the advice regarding Zune points Krakn3Dfx, I’m going to add that to the main article.

    Glad you’re happy with it even if I wasn’t :)

  17. I have been buying retail games for over 20 years now. I generally buy 2 or 3 games a month – for over 20 years. You do the math.

    But now in the past couple years I have become deeply disgusted by some of the trends in PC games. It mostly started to be a serious issue when Steam arrived. I spent over 24 hours getting Half-Life 2 installed, I regretted buying the game (I bought 3 copies of Half-life 1, just so I could have some extra CD keys to kick around for getting friends hooked on multiplayer.

    Now, I still buy 2 or 3 retail games every month. But I strongly urge all PC gamers to pirate any games that have Games for Windows Live on them, or Steam, or any other overbearing installation/registration/validation/protection scheme. Fek ’em. There is no excuse to punish the hell out of us paying customers while pirates can avoid all such hassles. They want to treat paying customers like pirates? What do they think will happen when the real pirates don’t get any such BS. Duh.. Don’t be an idiot tool, just take it and fek ’em for being so dense.

    If you sold me a car? Ok, think about it. If you sold me a car and it had lots of problems, oh well I got ripped off. But if you sold me a CD Player, and then when I went to pay you in cash you said.. “Oh no, man, sorry I don’t take cash.. I only take Blue Rocks from the South Shore, go to Spain and find a Revision Monkey who can exchange your cash, then come back with the Blue Rocks”. So I waste time and money going to fekking Spain and getting your stupid Rocks and when I get back you say “Yeah those are good” now go to the MS Free Rock Polishing Facility in Arkansas open an account with them, register those Rocks and put in a Polishing Petition, they should be able to polish those rocks and validate them for you within 24 hours…” NOOOO!! Sorry but that is when I would simply crack.. The time I wasted getting the Blue Rocks already exceeds the value of the product anyway.. No, that is when I would smash you in the face with the unpolished Blue Rocks and take the CD Player from your cold limp hands.

    We as consumers are the only force that can stop them from making this already ridiculous situation MUCH worse. The only way we can do that is to NOT PAY for games that PUNISH paying customers. If you want to be a sucker and let them walk all over you that is really too bad because as long as you keep doing so we will ALL suffer for it.

    I regretted paying for GTA 4 when I had download, install, register, validate, link multiple accounts, for the game, social club, GFWL.. It is absurd. Don’t buy that shit. Just say NO to GFWL.

    Also, games for windows live will happily sit back and watch as things like dedicated servers, multiplayer mods, etc.. DIE! These are the very things that make PC gaming great. So not only are they providing a poor product (just don’t buy it) but they are STEALING from us. They are SMASHING all that we PC Gamers hold dear. Your analogies do not stand in the face of their vileness.

  18. just wait untill march when they get the big addon out in the shop dont download nothing also all the patches suck right now dont d/l them as well, the game has alot of bugs but so did Oblivion took me over a year to get that game running good lol give them time…….

  19. @Blink Hat – I agree on some points. The only thing we can do is to stop buying their 3rd rate crap. I don’t agree on the point of totally refusing to buy from decent services. Steam is in my opinion a fantastic platform for buying and playing games. Especially the community functions (though I wish they’d make rejecting/accepting group invitations a bit more intuitive :D) I’ve already made my stance on piracy clear. I don’t accept it as legitimate. It’s also entirely unacceptable for me personally to do it for that matter. My responsibility is to investigate and review what the developers release. The only way I can do that is if I follow their rules. Plus I’m slightly more visible than the average gamer, stood here on my soapbox. I still don’t condone it by any stretch of imagination. Like I’ve said before, the fact that people still pirate games does tell the developers that people are still quite happy to play shit games. Don’t flatter their egos like that. So what if Spore lost 1,000,000 + sales? That still shows that the 1,000,000 people would have bought it if they had no choice. And that’s not really representative of the game’s quality (even if I personally liked it.) Downloading a game just for the sake of downloading it is just not on really.
    I disagree basically, honestly I do. Software *is* exponetially more variable based on your system/internet connection. I can bitch all I want about the fact I spent 8-9 hours or more trying to get GFWL to work, but ultimately, it *was* the fact that my connection was not configured right. The same can be said for bugs. Sure. It’s the developer/publisher’s fault for not spending millions more pounds bug testing and opening it up to a wider set of hardware configurations, but they *do* have industry standards to abide by as well. As far as they’re concerned, they are covered in the eyes of the law. Just as there’s numerous products out there that are basically a load of wank – Ipod’s for example. How often do they break down? Every year or 2, guarenteed. At that point, it ceases to become the manufacturers problem. It’s your fault for buying into the hype and parting with your cash.
    If you don’t want to be eaten by sharks, don’t get in the sea.

  20. Greg, 1,000,000 copies pirated does not mean 1,000,000 sales lost. Personally, I purchased the game for PS3. Needless to say, I was irritated when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get DLC for it. So I went ahead and pirated the PC version. Is it wrong to pirate a game I already own just so I can circumvent MS buying up all this shit? Another point I want to bring up, is that I couldn’t pirate it, I was not going to pay another 60(50+10) to play it on my PC. That’s not a lost sale, since I wouldn’t have bought it anyway. In fact almost all of the games I’ve pirated I would not have bought if I couldn’t get them any other way. For example, I really liked NWN. I did not pirate NWN2, since I know the experience would be worth the money. However, I did pirate Spore. Why? Spore had gotten mixed reviews from 10/10 perfect game, to worthless frisbee. I was basically taking a gamble as whether or not I had liked it. Had I not pirated, I probably would have just stayed away from it and spent my money elsewhere. A pirated copy is not a lost sale. Yet ANOTHER example is that of imported games. Many games stay exclusive to Japan or Europe and/or never get translated. Should I pay 100$+ to import a game that was never released here, when others pay the normal price?

  21. @Charles –
    I’m not sure I agree really. On the Fallout/PS3 side of things, you knew the risks when you bought it for the PS3. Beth had made it quite clear they had made a deal with MS about it: http://www.edge-online.com/news/bethesda-mum-fallout-3-dlc-exclusivity-deal At this point, it is *your* fault for for buying the inferior version. I agree that it’s a shitty business decision, and I really think Bethesda needs to get its act together regarding its little relationship with MS, but it doesn’t absolve you of being responsible for buying the inferior version, and certainly not from buying the DLC which Bethesda within all rights deserves being given money for, since they took the time to make it.

    It probably means 900,000 sales lost though. I agree that there needs to be a better try-before-you-buy model, but the whole “I’d buy it if I wanted it after playing it” is totally smashed to bits in the face of World of Goo’s piracy statistics. There 2D Boy gave players a whole damn chapter to get to decide if they wanted to buy it in the form of a demo. There was no DRM to complain about. Payment was simple and easy. There was no excuse to pirate it. Yet the arsehole pirate community did it anyway. This is the point where the pirates lost me on an ethical level. Bethesda may have the money where 2D Boy don’t, but the principle is exactly the same

    Imports. Again, shitty situtation, I agree. I’m not really sure what to say on that one, since it’s not a problem the PC market faces by and large.

    Generally though, I believe my point still stands. While developers/publishers do give the player a hard time sometimes, and I will never stop laying into them for doing so where necessary, they do deserve financial credit where due.

  22. Another example of MS greed totally F^(*!&g an otherwise great product. I am personally SO FRIGGIN OVER Microsoft. I got a free upgrade to vista with a copy of xp a while back and I stuck with XP. All things like this (GFWL) do is alienate a fanbase, ruin a product, and really piss me off. Thank god for a decent (though nowhere near oblivion standards content wise) community website with lots of user created content to soften the blow of the horror of GFWL. Great content with a windows snafu kicker. And greg, there will always be pirates, and all I have to say is YEARRRRR!!!!

  23. Agreed. It’s been a disasterous move for both MS and Beth.
    But re: pirates, just because something is prevalent, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aspire to better, even if it won’t ever go away.

  24. Just as it was a gigantic disaster for Rockstar Games to become Microsoft’s b*tch, Bethesda just shot themselves in the foot.

    Why on Earth am I required to install GFWL, register an account and have the damn thing running (read: eating valuable resources) for a SINGLE-PLAYER game?

    Thank god for the user community, GFWL is disabled on my system (never installing THAT again!) and I sure as hell ain’t paying Microsoft to get Bethesda’s product.

    I have so much respect for Bethesda, they really stand out as a great developer AND amazing relationship with their user base (especially with such things as official game editor). Hopefully this is the last time they’ll suck MS’s bug-ridden sausage.

  25. A few comments upstream, it’s said that you should research the product before buying, instead of complaining about how the developer sold you a faulty product. Eeeeer… no. Any other industry has a set of quality standards that, if they’re not met, you just can’t sell the product, and it’s the manufacturer responsibility to meet those standards, not the consumer to find out if the product has defects

    That being said, I reached this page researching Operation Anchorage, as I’m well aware of the crap that’s offered instead of a well finished product, in exchange of my hard earned money (yes, I work for a living, not just the developers)

    My conclusion: I will NOT buy Operation Anchorage, and just because of the purchase method. I haven’t even read anything about the DLC itself, but my decision’s made. It’s not worth it…

  26. @Dasagriva – you’ve made the right decision.
    I’m not so sure whether we should be putting games through the same quality control measures as say cars. Do books or films have quality control? Nope! I would say that bugs and other tech related issues need regulation certainly. Poor game play and other such design mistakes are for the consumer to make the mistake of buying into.
    @Not_a_Pirate – LOL. I have major issues with piracy. I don’t really consider myself totally annonymous. I am after all you know, writing for a website…

  27. Ok i dont like having to pirate my game.

    But guys Im from Brazil, do you think u can just find fallout 3 or qhatever the game is in just like any store??

    No, u cant. While you can go google and fin it and in 3~4 hours be playing the game. I would love to dowload the DLC but do you think GFWL works here??

    Well it does not.
    So how the heck they want me to dont piracy their games??
    Im a gamer too, I live in Brazil but I want to play too, but the way its, it just seem to me that they dont need my money if they can do a horrible DLC and hope players download it.

    So before they go all crazy about the piracy or whatever see if the game is disponible to all the market, if its not dont conplain.

    btw im very sry for the english hope u guys can understand. =)

  28. I can actually recognise your difficulties VuASH. I honestly don’t think there’s any excuse for region specific titles in the age of Digital Distribution. It’s moronic. It’s not like you could buy it even if you wanted to.

    That’s something they have to sort.

  29. I’m not conplaining that its not in my language. I think can understand english. Im conplaining that sometimes u just cant found found the game even in PC software stores and when you find it it costs like R$130 which is a lot where I live. I wish i could buy i.e Oblivion GOTY, but it just cant be found here only the spanish version which I bought and then I DL the engllish version, dont think its piracy since i own the GOTY only its the spanish version, and I think spanish subtitles is crapy but thats personal.

  30. No worries :)
    I meant more along the lines releasing certain games in only certain regions. They should aim for world wide distribution or not at all frankly :)

  31. Yup, I cannot even get the Games for Windows Live Client (PC) to log on to my account. Keeps on giving me an error – “There is a problem with your account that you need to fix before you can sign in.” Code: 80154017 – Click the link to resolve. – I follow the link and nothing seems amiss – everying is populated – even got a nice green tick next to my account summary.

    I thing Bethesda should change to Steam for the PC edition – Games For Windows Live sux!

    So – bottom line – I won’t buy.

  32. Same issue as GameExplorer, cannot use the Games for windows client. Try and log on and get error 80154017. Really irritating as I want the DLCs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.