In 'Now Playing' articles PC Gamer writers talk about the game currently dominating their spare time. Today Phil plays the game of trying to play a game on Windows 10.
Note: This article was originally published in PC Gamer issue 290, before the Steam edition had been announced.
Hitman: Go is a surprisingly enjoyable turn-based puzzler. It’s styled like a board game, where your job is to move your Agent 47 piece towards the target without being seen by the patrolling guards. In essence, it’s a series of maze puzzles. Like The Witness, but with murder. I don’t really do mobile gaming, so I’d only tapped my way through a couple of levels of the Android edition. But the PC version seemed like a fine lunchtime distraction.
I can’t simply play the game, though, because for some reason Square Enix neglected to release it on Steam. Instead, Hitman: Go is only available through the Windows 10 Store. That means installing Windows 10. This isn’t a particularly big deal—I use Windows 10 on my home PC and like it well enough. It was only a matter of time before my work PC followed suit. Things do get a little hairy when the system freezes during the initial configuration, on the screen that warns me not to turn off my PC. It sounds like good advice, but I don’t really see another option. I turn off my PC.
Restarting, it loads the Windows 10 upgrade procedure. Things appear to be fine, despite my disobeying the only command I’ve been given. Twenty minutes later, the OS is installed and I’m almost ready to buy the game. Nearly. First I have to go through every option, tweaking Microsoft’s many, many privacy settings. It’s as I’m disabling Big Brother that my screen goes blank.
I restart, and a couple of minutes later my screen goes blank again. I suspect – hope—this is a display driver issue. Not a problem, I’ll just download the Windows 10 version of the latest driver. Restarting, I open Nvidia’s GeForce experience tool and click to download a driver update. The screen goes blank.
At this point, I’m not really thinking about Hitman: Go any more. I’m scheduled for a Skype interview directly after lunch and I’d rather not tell the founder of Taleworlds that I can’t make our appointment because I’d wanted to play a puzzle game. As against-the-clock drama goes, this is hardly 24. Still, if I’m going to destroy what little professional reputation I’ve built up over the years, I’d rather it was because of something less stupid.
After numerous further attempts, it feels like my PC is playing Roadrunner to my Wile E Coyote—waiting for me to get within seconds of starting the update, then cutting the display before I can. Clearly a change of approach is needed. I manually download the driver update on my Mac, and pop it onto a USB stick. With the file transferred to Windows, I can finally... oh no. The driver update won’t run in safe mode.
I restart and cross my fingers. As I navigate towards the update folder, my screen goes blank. This time, it immediately flickers back to life. Not taking any chances I run the update. With five minutes left of my lunch break, I buy Hitman: Go and play the first couple of levels. It’s good, but probably not worth the effort. A couple of hours later I’m in the process of transcribing my interview. Without warning, my screen goes blank.