This rant about Empire Total War is very similar to the Dawn Of War 2 one I posted two weeks ago except this time I was confused by terminology. Was it my fault or the fault of the menu screen? You decide!
Steps to install Empire Total War:
1. Receive Special Edition box and realise that it’s not shaped like a mighty battleship or a tri-cornered hat.
2. Stifle disappointment and insert the first disc while wondering what constitutes a Special Edition other than a box that feels a bit like parchment and some extra troop content. Remember that the Medieval Total War 2 box included a small metal knight and a soundtrack CD, which was much better.
3. Remember that you never did finish that campaign against the French or finished subjugating the Americas.
4. Remember that in fact, you’ve never completed a Total War campaign. Wonder why that is and then notice a new Tweet on Twitter…
5. After an hour of roaming the internet, realize that your attention span is a lot shorter than it used to… Hey! A squirrel.
6. Finally get around to inserting the disc.
7. A setup screen appears where it presents several options:
8. Hmmm, this is confusing. Select Play as the other option is Reinstall and you guess that would probably just reinstall Steam.
9. The Play option helpfully sends you to the game’s page in Steam where it suggests you purchase it for £34.99. Swear at Steam as you already own the game.
10. Explore the disc for a setup icon. Click on the icon and discover that it just takes you back to the original menu.
11. Sigh and click Reinstall.
12. Witness messages that indicate that it is reinstalling Steam. Use Task Manager to stop the process as you really don’t want to reinstall Steam.
13. Look at your Games List in Steam and see that Empire Total War hasn’t magically appeared.
14. Have a brief flash of inspiration as you decide to refer to your Play.com pre-order bonus email and see what that says.
15. The email points you in the direction of the Activation button on the Games List within Steam that you’d never noticed before.
16. Enter the code from your copy of Empire Total War.
17. Sigh as Steam now tries to download a copy, which at your connection speed will take approximately 3 Ice Ages.
18. Pause the download and become confused and frustrated like an elderly escapee from a residential home.
19. Insert the disc again to get to the menu and select Reinstall having resigned yourself to reinstalling Steam in the vain hope that this will work.
20. Watch as Steam isn’t reinstalled but instead marvel as Steam finally acknowledges the game files and begins to install.
21. Look at the time remaining on the installation and discover that it will take 25 minutes.
22. Think back to your days as a Spectrum owner and wonder if there were any games that took 25 minutes to load back then.
23. Feel somewhat stupid for not selecting Reinstall in the first place which would have saved you 15 minutes of frustration and a lengthy blog post about your own confused, muddled thinking.
So was it just me or was anyone else flummoxed? Why did the setup menu offer to let you play the game before it was installed? Why use the term Reinstall? Is this all an indication that I’m becoming a befuddled old man or has PC game installation become a dark art again?