Installing Halo Wars 2 Complete from the Windows Store.

So, I almost managed to make it through Microsoft’s Spring Sale without buying a single new game, and I was feeling pretty good about that.

Then, at like 1 AM (with two hours left in the sale!), my resolve broke and I bought Halo Wars 2 Complete. It was priced at $47.99 through the Windows Store and $29.99 on the Xbox Marketplace for some reason, so I bought it on the Xbox – assuming that, as a Play Anywhere title, it would show up on the Windows side of things for me to download.

It did not. Its Windows Store page cheerfully told me that this was a Play Anywhere title, yes, but that it was not available on my device. Since I didn’t want to play an RTS with a controller, this was a matter of some concern.

After some scouring of the web, I came to a couple of conclusions: First, that I wasn’t the only person to have this issue – and, second, that nobody seemed to have come up with a good answer.

Looking up just “Halo Wars 2” on the Windows Store resulted in finding a listing for both “Halo Wars 2: Standard Edition” and something just called “Halo Wars 2”. “Halo Wars 2: Standard Edition” had a Buy link, and the second one didn’t show up in My Library – but the Install button was active so I went ahead and installed it.

As an aside, the Windows Store seems to have gotten a little friendlier about where it puts things. I recall there was quite a commotion when some of the earlier Play Anywhere titles would only install to the system drive and would cheerfully suck up your entire boot SSD in so doing. When I went to install Halo Wars 2, it warned me that it was a 46GB download and prompted me to choose between any of my drives.

Anyway, after downloading Halo Wars 2, I still couldn’t install the Season Pass or any of the DLC that came bundled with the Complete Edition, and I was starting to think some rather unkind thoughts about Microsoft. I launched the game, and it even had an advertisement on the main screen for the “Awakening the Nightmare” DLC campaign, implying that I didn’t own it – and when I clicked on the ad, it told me that I DID own it. I just still wasn’t getting any option to install it.

I spent more time than I want to think about beating my head against this.

You know, to prevent dragging this out any further, the kicker is that it seems that the Windows Store simply went ahead and installed all of the DLC without telling me it was going to do it. When I actually went to the campaign mission selection screen, both DLC campaigns were available and all of the multiplayer characters show up when starting a skirmish. It could just have done a much better job about telling me that it had done that.

And maybe “It won’t run on this one” could have a link to the version that does run. That would be cool.

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