There are gonna be a lot of angry people over this and SSM won't give a damn despite doing things this stupid way but the moment you enter the code the XP boost starts.
So a big warning to people but if you want to play multiplayer later then don't use the code until you are ready and until you have 48 hours to spare because it is real time, not 48 hours of you playing the MP.
Say no to EA and Ubisoft's online passes. Say no to Capcom and Activision's scummy DLC ways. Say no to NISA's terrible and unfaithful localizations.
As far as I can tell, the XP Boost is part of the Online Pass, which sucks. I went through the list of items, downloading each one at a time. When I got to the end and hadn't seen the XP Boost, I was very confused. So, I check Services in Account Management and there was a listing for GoW: Ascension. When I selected it, it revealed that it was a bundle of items that includes the pass for future DLC and the XP Boost, among others.
I assumed that the Online Pass was necessary simply to play Multiplayer and that the XP Boost would be something separate but that is apparently not the case. I'm pretty pissed about it because I don't feel that was made clear at all and, like many others, will almost entirely miss my chance to get the extra experience because I have to work the next two days.
^ I was referring to the 24 Hour XP Boost that comes with the Collector's Edition above.
Just found out that it works the same way with the Gamestop pre-order, except that there actually is NOTHING to download with the Gamestop code. It shows you what it includes and that's it. You download nothing and it simply adds those items to your Gow: Ascension Services that I mentioned above.
The only upside is that, for me, with 72 hours I'll actually get to use some of it if I stay up all night tomorrow and spend all day Thursday play nothing but Multiplayer (Yes, I was actually confused about when I'd next have time off too).
Oh, and Gamestop didn't give me my poster either. I wouldn't hang it up anyway though, I don't think it looks cool at all and I still have the poster they gave for pre-ordering Gow III, which is much nicer.
Double "Oh!", on my receipt from Gamestop it refers to that DLC as the "Champions pack" which is part of the DLC for the Collector's Edition. That confused me, as well. I almost didn't use it, thinking it was the same thing and that I'd just pass it on to someone who didn't get it. Glad I thought twice because it actually contains the Leonidas DLC and all the Mythical Heroes Armour sets. Don't know why the receipt says "Champions Pack."