I paid for the game Sunday, March 2nd, and let it download overnight. Well, I tried to. The download locked up at 94%. So, this morning I restarted Steam and the download continued. Or so I thought.
At 100%, the game still wasn't ready to play. No word from Steam on why, it just said it wasn't ready. Restart Steam again, and now it lets me start the game.
The game that crashes before the first splash screen comes up.
Checking Valve's forums, I see that this is common. OK, I'm a PC gamer, I'm used to rough starts. Try a bunch of fixes, now it crashes my whole PC, and I still can't play. At this point I've already wasted two hours of my time messing with this game.
I'm now trying to check with KAOS, the developers. No support there. There's a nice message telling people to wait for a patch.
MESSAGE TO THE PC GAMING INDUSTRY: THIS IS THE FUCKING TYPE OF SHIT THAT IS KILLING PC GAMING!!!!!
Seriously, who wants to put up with having to fuck around for hours trying to get a game to work when console users simply pop it in and it runs?
So, off goes the email to Valve:
I purchased Frontlines: Fuel of War on Steam yesterday (03/02/2008), having seen it on the front page of my Steam program, and having read a couple of glowing reviews on the game.
I downloaded the game overnight, but when I tried to play it today (03/03/2008) the game just kept crashing. I couldn't even get the game to do anything but bring up a black screen and crash. Then I visited the game developers forums and the Steam forums and discovered that this game is having all sorts of issues, and a lot of people cannot play. I tried a few of the suggested fixes, but now the game not only doesn't play, it crashes my computer when I try to start it.
The forum moderators suggest waiting a week or two until the game is fixed.
This is not an acceptable solution. I purchased software for around $50 US to use now, not to wait until somebody can fix it. Nowhere was it advertised that the game would not be playable on purchase or that this was a pre-sale for a game that is not available to play now.
I understand that normally nobody offers refunds for software due to the prevalence of piracy, however since this product is not functional, I would like a refund.
And the canned response:
Thank you for contacting Steam Support.
your GCF Cache files for this game.
Please follow the link below for
Title: Verifying GCF Cache Files
are still unable to play Frontlines: Fuel of War:
Technical support for
this title is handled by a third party support department - please follow the
link below for instructions to contact the support provider for this title:
Title: Frontlines: Fuel of War
let us know if you encounter any difficulty contacting the support provider for
this title, or if you have any further questions.
Note for the curious: There are no GCF cache files for this game, and the Steam support pages says basically that they don't support this game, please bug the developer.
There is no GCF cache for this game, and THQ has no support for this title other
than a useless 5 question FAQ and a redirection to the KAOS web community, where the answer is to wait for a patch addressing these issues.
Perhaps I was not clear. I do not wish to pay for a game that I am unable to play upon payment, especially in light of the fact that no mention of these numerous
issues with the game was made in the STEAM store.
If I cannot obtain a refund through STEAM, then I have no recourse but to contact my credit card company and have them resolve the dispute.
I thought I was pretty damn clear.
Please update your game files.
Go the my games tab, right-click on Frontlines: Fuel of war
Go to properties, then click the local files tab
Click on Verify integrity of game cache.
I guess not.
So, it's off to my bank's help desk to request assistance from them in reversing the charges. Thanks for nothing, Valve. Literally, nothing. No support, no refund, no service, and no game.