I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about NO MAN’S SKY that made me wonder what all the fuzz was about. On the surface the game seems to be something I might enjoy, combining exploration on a vast scale, building, crafting and handsome looking graphics. The asking price of $60 promises a AAA title, so when it was on sale the other day, both on Steam and on GOG, I picked it up and had a look at it.
I’m coming into this game cold, not knowing what to expect. I literally had no expectations, other than the hope of having a good time. Sadly that didn’t happen. It can be like that with complex games though, you have to give it an hour or two to get into them, learn the interface, understand what you’re supposed to do. Good games (like any good software) will help you make this a welcoming experience.
NO MAN’S SKY doesn’t do that. It’s not even trying.
I came to this interesting “retro” type area in CONTROL, the one in which Jesse is dressed as an FBC office assistant. I thought this woudl be a great area to explore further with Photo Mode. However, there was really no way to save my game in that section – at least none that I could think of. CONTROL uses an auto-save feature, which means that when I reach the next section, it may not have been easy for me to go back to where I currently was.
I decided to investigate where CONTROL stores its save games and found they’re in this folder: C:\Users\you\AppData\Local\Remedy\Control\Default-Epic-User
Replace you with your actual Windows user name. Note that I have the EPIC version of the game, so this location may change when installed from other marketplaces (in which case, please let me know in the comments). The folder contains several sub folders. Copy them all somewhere save (don’t drag and drop them; right click and select copy instead). This will preserve your current game state at the last save point.
When it’s time to return to that spot, simply copy all subfolders back, overwriting any existing items in the folder above. When you relaunch the game, you’ll see a warning from the EPIC Games Launcher, telling you that your local game save is older than the last cloud save.
Choose Upload to Cloud to play with your current settings (i.e. the one you’ve just restored). Download to Machine would overwrite everything and start your game from the last save point, just in case you’ve made a mistake.
And that’s that! Now we can save multiple games in progress. You can pickup CONTROL on EPIC Games – and if you liked this article, you can use code JAY-VERSLUIS on checkout to get me a small commission if you like 😉
Remedy and 505 Games did a good job implementing Photo Mode in CONTROL across all platforms yesterday. While they did a great job telling everyone about this feature, they did a lousy job telling us where those screenshots are actually saved. It might be more obvious on games consoles where you have limited places to investigate, but I spent half an hour exploring my Windows hard disks without joy.
Until Leuncode on Discord answered my puzzled question and said, “it’s in the Documents Folder”. Thank you so much for clearing that up!
Photo Mode can be activated from the Pause Menu (Start Button on the CONTROLler, or press ESC on the keyboard). We get several adjustment options and settings, a seriously important one is to hide the UI. The implementation isn’t great, and essentially CONTROL simply takes a screenshot of whatever is on the monitor – including the UI if it’s there.
If you want to give the game a whirl, head over to the EPIC Store and grab it. If you hack in my creator code JAY-VERSLUIS I’ll get a small commission 😉
Back in the days when I had a physical copy of XIII, I never had that problem with the console versions of the game. There are only so many buttons to press on a controller, and there’s an in-game tutorial that tells you.
Surprisingly, the current GOG.com version comes with a manual, but it does not mention the keyboard layout. Neither did the original manual for the physical game if I remember correctly. When I wanted to map the PC kets to my controller using Xpadder, I quickly realised that aside from walking and basic shooting, I had no idea how to use the scope of the grappling hook.
I’ve compiled this handy list to remind me how it works for next time, might come in handy if you’re in the mood for some retro comic type FPS action:
WASD keys – walk around, rather fast
hold the left SHIFT key – in addition to WASD to walk slowly
SPACE – Jump
MOUSE – look around
Left Mouse – Fire
Right Mouse – Alternative Fire (like throw grenades, or stab with a knife)
Q – use Quick Heal, i.e. take next available med kit
E – Action (i.e. open doors, pick up items, etc)
G – Throw hand grenade
R – Reload Weapon
Right ALT – use the Sniper Scope
C – Crouch down (toggle between standing and crouching)
I got a newsletter from GOG.com today, and in it was XIII – listed as “new”. Which is weird, because some reviews on the site date back to 2012. It looks like this title was unavailable for many years. I know this because as it happens, I’ve been looking for this very PC version for several years. I’m glad we can legally own it once again! Let me explain a bit more.
I used to love XIII back in the day, both for PC and consoles. I played the Xbox version when it came out, and have consequently bought the PC version (on CD, for only 99 pence back at HMV on Oxford Street, when they had it on sale). The graphical style attracted me, as did the intriguing story line. I had always wished for a sequel, but it never materialised (not counting the ghastly iOS “hidden object” version they made in 2011).
Years went by, I moved continents, and I lost my 99p copy of XIII. But I never forgot this game. One day I picked up the GameCube version to play on my old Wii, and that version just doesn’t compare to the thrill of the PC version, which has its own kind of magic. The comic-like insets of closeups when you shoot an enemy far away, superb (yet sparse) voice acting by David Duchovny and Adam West, the dramatic and adaptive soundtrack, the variety of levels, it truly was ahead of its time.
I’ve recently picked up a new Xiberia headset from Jeecoo for $30 on Amazon. It’s a rather large pair of noise cancelling USB stereo headphones with a built-in microphone. I wanted to use these for streaming without disturbing my wife when she’s hard at work on the desk next to me, while avoiding any echoing that would be induced when using a desktop speaker. I’ve been using for the last week and wanted to share my thoughts on it with you here.
The exact model number is the V20, the exact same model that’s available from Walmart for nearly $120. That’s quite steep, and I’m not sure if it’s worth that much. For $30 however, this is quite a bargain.
Funny story: a few weeks ago I’ve signed up for an EPIC Games account, so that I can play with the Unreal Engine, and to play some of their games. Last week I went through my profile in more detail and came across the section that allowed me to connect various other accounts, like GitHub, Twitch, Xbox and PlayStation.
They all connected fine, except for the PlayStation account. I always got the error message that “this PlayStation account has already been connected to another EPIC account”. Being 200% sure that I did not have another EPIC account, I did some research and it turns out that the problem as actually Fortnite.
I know this sounds crazy, but some months ago, my wife as playing Fortnite on our PS4. To track progress, the game needs to store its data somewhere, and by default it does so in an EPIC account. We didn’t have one, never signed in or created one, but the game worked anyway. As it happens, under the hood a so called “nameless” EPIC account is created in such circumstances only with your PSN ID and nothing else. It doesn’t even have an email address associated with it.
What I had to do to unravel this thing was the following:
head over to epicgames.com and logout of your “real” account
login with your PlayStation credentials (using the PlayStation icon)
the system will find your PSN ID and prompts you to create a new EPIC account
go ahead and do this
let’s call this one the “fake” EPIC account
use a different email address than on your “real” EPIC account
verify this email address (important)
now head over to “connected accounts” and see that your PlayStation account is already linked
select “unlink account” and confirm every option in the long list
This will essentially reset whatever progress you’ve made in Fortnite on this account, but free up the PlayStation ID so that you can now connect it with your “real” EPIC account. Your email address on the “fake” EPIC account must be verified for this procedure to work.
When done, login to your “real” EPIC account and link your PlayStation account. You can now delete the “fake” EPIC account if you like.
I had signed up with EPIC a few months ago, to try out that amazing UNREAL Engine. To install it as well as the assets that came with it, I had to download the EPIC Games Launcher. It’s a central place to keep track of your own UNREAL Projects, latest updates to the engine and the latest software updates to any of its related parts.
As the name suggests, the Launcher also keeps track of your EPIC Games, so no matter if you’re an UNREAL Engine user or a gamer, we’ll all deal with the same place to install and launch our games. When I bought the Control Game from the EPIC Games Store, it too offered to install itself with the Launcher. Great I thought, let’s go and do that!
To my surprise however, my $60 purchase did not show up in the Launcher. I certainly had been billed, and the website shows I owned the game, but I was perplexed that there was seemingly no way to install it now. How rude indeed!
Turns out my configuration files for the Launcher were corrupted. Even thought I had just downloaded the latest version, and it had been applied, I had to manually clear out some cache files in the following directory:
There are two folders in there, Intermediate and Saved. Delete both of them, with the Launcher closed, then launch it again. It’s like you have to “launching the launcher”… When you do, you’ll be prompted to login again, and hack in a configuration code you’ve been sent via email (this is known as two-factor authentication).
Once I did that, the whole interface had changed, and I saw all the games I owned, alongside any UNREAL Engine assets in the same window.
I like grabbing video footage from OBDUCTION for holding loops and phenomenal backgrounds from time to time. However, by default, the big white cursor circle is in the middle of the picture. That’s handy for interactions of all kinds, but for a full screen video capture, I’d rather it would be switched off for a few seconds.
I had done this successfully a few weeks ago and have since forgotten (of course). Now that I’ve just remembered through trial and error, I thought I’d best make a note of it.
enter the game’s Settings Menu
switch Cursor Mode to Unlocked (my default was Locked)
Now when you move the camera round, the cursor will disappear when you stop moving. Switch it back to Locked if you’d like to keep playing the game.
If you’re using a game controller, you can also temporarily switch these two stats by pressing the right thumb stick in. Once done, move your character with the left thumb stick and the cursor will disappear.