Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

Horizon Zero Dawn's reviews are out, and it looks like most publications (including Shacknews) liked what they saw. Our Steve Watts said it had deep strategic combat and a wonderful open world in his reviewGuerrilla Games new IP is getting great scores, but you don't have to take our word for it. Below is a Horizon Zero Dawn review round-up with scores from publications from all over the net.

Wanting to see if Horizon Zero Dawn is for you? Check below and find out!

Horizon Zero Dawn Review Round-Up

Publications Scoring 9-10 out of 10

PlayStation LifeStyle - 10/10

Leadergamer -10/10

Giant Bomb - 5/5

Twinfinite - 5/5

Telegraph - 5/5

PlayStation Universe - 9.5/10

Polygon - 9.5/10

We Got This Covered - 4.5/5

Attack of the Fanboy - 4.5/5

GamesRadar+ - 4.5/5

IGN - 9.3/10

Forbes - 9/10

GameSpot - 9/10

Publications Scoring 7-9 out of 10

CGMagazine - 8.5/10

Destructoid - 7.5/10

Stevivor - 7/10

Digitally Downloaded - 7/10

Publications Scoring 5-7 out of 10

Paste Magazine - 6/10

USgamer - 5/10

While Horizon Zero Dawn got mostly sweeping praises, a few publications weren't as fond. Everyone will get a chance to get their hands on Horizon Zero Dawn on February 28.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

This week at DICE 2017, FaceIt is hosting their second annual QuakeWorld tournament. They have invited some legendary game developers (and Randy Pitchford) to compete in a 1v1 Quakeworld tournament. This is essentially a Shackbattle of epic proportions as we will finally get to see if Tim Willits can represent for id Software or if  lesser known Feargus Urquhart from Obsidian will be able to do it for Shacknews. No matter what happens, someone is about to get gibbed and we can't wait to see who comes out on top.

The List of Players:

Jeffrey Kaplan - Blizzard Randy Pitchford - GearboxTim Willits - id SoftwareTed Price - Insomniac GamesSean Dunn - SparkypantsFeargus Urquhart - ObsidianMin Kim - Bonfire StudiosShekhar Dhupelia - WargamingLeo Olebe - FacebookMatt Firor - ZeniMaxDavid Wood - Bandai NamcoNiccolo Maisto - FaceItSheloman Byrd - TencentKate Edwards - IGDAPatrick Hudson - Robot EntertainmentSteve Ellmore - Disbelief

Players will play a series of 1v1 tournament matches in QuakeWorld, the definitive update to Shacknews' favorite game Quake. 

The 1v1 tournament will begin on the main stage at DICE 2017. Opening rounds will take place on Wednesday, February 22. The winner will be decided the following day. The semifinals and final are scheduled to take place from 6 PM ET on Thursday, February 23.

Shackers will be able to watch this on the Official FaceIT TV Twitch Channel.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Subset Games cofounders Justin Ma and Matthew Davis created FTL: Faster Than Light out of a desire to think small. Over three years, the game's scope expanded far beyond what they had envisioned, spreading across multiple operating systems, iPad, and an Advanced Edition that put a bow on the game's content. For their next project, Into the Breach, Ma and Davis started out aiming for a comfortable middle ground. To the surprise of neither co-creator, the design has grown.

"As these things happen, it just kept getting bigger and bigger until we basically decided, 'We're going to see where this leads us,'" Ma said. "That was about two years ago that we first started working on the first Into the Breach iteration. It's been a much slower process this time."

"We did what we did with FTL, where we sit down and immediately start prototyping gameplay content, seeing what works and what doesn't, and iterating from there," Davis added. "I think you're always going to run the risk, with that type of design, of running down a lot of blind alleys. I think this game just had more blind alleys for us than FTL did."

Into the Breach derived from one of Davis' multitude of experimental prototypes: a turn-based strategy title with procedurally generated elements, like FTL's encounters. "I was dabbling with a grid-based tactics game, but it wasn't necessarily intended as our next project. I think that's where it spawned from. It was less of a, 'Let's do this type of game,' and more 'Check this out; do you want to keep poking at this?'"

Davis (left) and Ma accept an award at GDC 2013.

Turn-based strategy gaming was ripe with possibilities. The genre had enjoyed a resurgence dating back to 2012's XCOM, a reboot of the 1994 game designed by Julian Gollop. Still, Ma and Davis needed a hook for Into the Breach, like FTL's foundation of captaining a ship and being responsible for everything and everyone aboard it. When inspiration struck, it hit fast—faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to level tall buildings in a single punch.

"Into the Breach was a response to movies and media where there would be a superhero fight—like Superman [Man of Steel] or Pacific Rim—where the whole city gets demolished, but no one cares because the good guys won," Ma explained. "No one notices the seven million people who died in that process, or even acknowledges that that happened. Our idea was more [a response] to general frustration with that trope."

"If anything, collateral damage was our sticking point from day one," Davis put in. "The very, very earliest prototype had buildings, and the whole point of the game was to defend them."

Cause and Effect

At a glance, Into the Breach appears not unlike most other turn-based strategy games. Maps consist of plains, mountains, rivers, fields, cities, and snow. Each colorful square is one in a grid of tiles. Terrain offers advantages and disadvantages. Mountains block shots, and water drowns units.

"That stuff is pretty standard strategy-game fare, I think," said Matt Davis. Where Into the Breach differs lies in how its terrain changes. "One of the important aspects for us in terms of atmosphere is you have these giant mechs and giant monsters fighting," he continued, "so we wanted the aftermath of battles to look like you just had giant mechs and giant monsters fighting. That meant the mountains had to be able to be destroyed, and forests had to catch fire, and buildings had to fall. You have this post-apocalyptic feeling to fields after you're there."

In every scenario, players control a squad of three mechs. Those mechs will see players through to the end of the game, much like the ship they choose at the outset of an FTL outing. Also like FTL, Into the Breach's story about giant robots fighting giant aliens—known as the Vek—provides a jumping-off point from which Ma and Davis can launch gameplay scenarios.

"The entire game is structured around trying to avoid and being threatened by collateral damage," Ma said.

Mechs require power to operate, and every building functions as a node on a power grid. If players were to, say, throw a punch that sends a Vek flying into a skyscraper, that building would take damage. Too much wear and tear, and the node goes dead.

One of Into the Breach's many tactical scenarios.

"A lot of the skills, the player skills and the enemy skills, are built on trying to give you tough decisions between, should I be trying to just protect buildings and stave off [their destruction] for one turn? Or should I risk and damage civilians to have a temporary gain in this battle?" Ma explained. "There are a lot of those tough decisions."

"There are times when you might accept some level of damage," Davis cautioned, "because obviously stopping an enemy that's going to blow up six buildings by taking out one in the process is still a win. But mostly it's a fact that buildings are what you need to defend to win, and if you don't want to lose, that's all there is to it."

Casting buildings as power nodes exemplifies Subset Games' layered approach to design. The topmost contains undiluted gameplay: Losing buildings lowers the player's chances of victory. So long as players grasp the importance of buildings, they understand Into the Breach's core rule.

"We're really big fans of simplifying absolutely everything to its most basic construct," said Ma. "Taking a complicated idea and saying, 'What is this to the player?' What is FTL's fleet to the player? It's just simply a hunger clock. All it is, is a limit on how much you can explore. We try to then see what [an element] is at its most basic, and then embrace that and only that."

"Basic" should not be conflated with "boring." Mechs and aliens can be viewed as chess pieces, each with its own characteristics and abilities. "There's no 'this mech does X damage' and that's it," Davis explained. "Nothing is ever that simple. Everything has more than one use, more than one effect, like a weapon that hits multiple times or something that makes you take into account how or when to use an attack. It's not as simple as 'point the gun at the bad guy and shoot.'

Peel back the board-game layer of collateral damage, and a narrative is revealed. Players invested in the game's characters and setting—written by veteran RPG scribe Chris Avellone—will look at structures and imagine soot-stained, emaciated survivors cringing inside. They will strive to protect buildings not only because they must, but because they are invested in the world and their role in it: heroes who protect the world from, rather than add to, devastation.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter why players care about buildings, only that they do care. "I want you to care about the buildings even if you're the type of person who wouldn't care if it said how many people died," Ma declared. "We're trying to turn that paradigm of 'all that matters is the fight' on its head."

When rockets and energy blasts fail to do the trick, terrain can be used as a weapon. Enemies can be pushed into water and otherwise defeated without players going toe-to-toe with them.

Traditionally, players form attachments to their troops in strategy games, not terrain. The original X-COM created by famed designer Julian Gollop let players name their soldiers. Losing a soldier named after one's wife, husband, best friend, parent, or pet mouse stings a lot more than losing Trooper #772.

"We went through a lot of iterations for how to make the player care about collateral damage, how to make the player not destroy random buildings, and moving a mech in front of an enemy attack in order to save a building," Davis recalled. "What we came down to in the end is that we did have to tie [buildings] to the victory and game-over mechanics. Without it being that absolute, the carrot and the stick, it was too easy for them to put it lower on their list of priorities."

When the stick falls, it falls hard. Mechs battered into submission by Vek hordes can always be repaired in between levels. Should all three of the player's mechs go dark during a mission, the pilots operating them can die, and the game ends. "I think that's part of the reason those types of games are interesting," Ma said. "If they can't die, the relationship you have with your units becomes very different."

"That's really where the importance lies," agreed Davis. "You need to make sure they care about every choice they make, because it can lead to their downfall if they don't."

Controlled Chaos

Into the Breach shares more in common with FTL than permanent death. Every map fits on the screen, letting players get the lay of the land all at once.

"I guess you're describing something about us, design wise," Ma admitted. "We appreciate when you can have everything so clean as to fit on a single screen. With Into the Breach, it will be somewhat similar in that there's a variety of battles that will take place in a single playthrough across different maps, but it will all be very contained, and they'll all be relatively short battles."

Each mission in Into the Breach gives players a limited amount of turns in which to quell the threat posed by the Vek. Ma and Davis designed the game that way as a response to the traditionally slower pace of turn-based strategy games like X-COM, where players can nose around for several minutes before spotting an enemy, much less engaging one.

"Mopping up in a turn-based game isn't fun," Davis said. "You can end up where the last quarter of the game is you saying, 'I need to finish this,' and you have to hit 'next turn' six times to be able to find the [last] alien and finish it off. We wanted to put a hard limit on battles to keep the game moving. At the same time, we wanted to offer a lot of scenarios and interesting missions with interesting objectives. In order to do that, you have to shrink down the experience to where it's something not exactly like XCOM with its hour-long battles."

A counter showing how many turns remain facilitates Subset's intention for battles to resolve sooner rather than later. "It kind of cuts to the chase in many ways," said Davis of Into the Breach. "We've created something that is leaner than other games in the genre. I think that allows for every battle to feel tense from minute one."

Many turn-based games play out like chess matches. Players may glean insight into their opponent's strategy by studying the board, but they do not know what the next move will be for a certainty. In sharp contrast, Into the Breach won't keep players guessing.

Chris Avellone is working with Subset Games to help establish Into the Breach's world and missions.

"The big point of how the gameplay works is the fact that all enemy attacks are telegraphed," Ma said. "At the beginning of every turn, you know exactly what the enemy's going to do. They all set up to choose where they're going to attack. There's no lack of knowledge about enemies. Your turn, then, is used to react to the enemy's plan. After all your units act, the enemies will execute their queued attacks."

"Early versions of the game had some enemies that did that, but it wasn't the core basis of the game," Davis added. "It was just one of the things that was consistent, and we decided through iteration that that was a bit we liked, so that was a bit we kept."

Lest players get too cocky at staring down enemies that telegraph their intentions, Into the Breach borrows FTL's randomized encounters to set goals that may end up shifting as battles wear on.

"There are a lot of mission scenarios," Ma said, offering up one that he and Davis are still working out. "For example, there's a terraformer that's trying to convert part of this land, and you can to use [the terraformer] as a weapon, but you also have to use it to terraform part of this planet while also protecting buildings and fighting the Vek. You may end up in a situation where you have to abandon a specific mission goal where you have to protect the buildings themselves."

When lumped together, Into the Breach's seemingly disparate elements transform the game into a sort of puzzle. Once players get a few matches under their belts and learn how the game works, they'll have all the tools they need to win. Mission aren't puzzles with only one solution. With the tools at their disposal, players will be in charge of figuring out how best to implement them.

"One of the things I enjoy most about [playing] this game is when you have those little ah-ha moments," Ma told me. "You're given a situation that looks doomed, and you come up with some mini strategy you've never done before. You use this weapon on your own guy to move him this way, and that opens up these other options. Those small, ah-ha moments are the most fun about this game."

Eureka

Everything around those moments is still up in the air. Into the Breach has been in various permutations of development for over a year and a half, and despite the level of polish evident in the announce trailer, the game isn't finished yet. Ma and Davis have refined Into the Breach's mechanics to a point where they've been able to piece together maps for the purposes of game-design rubber meeting road, but there's still lots more to do—and a number of experienced contractors have signed on to help cross items off Subset's to-do list.

In addition to veteran gaming scribe Chris Avellone, Subset has rounded out their team of contractors with individuals as passionate about their fields as Ma and Davis are about design. Isla Schanuel, a researcher and Web designer, joined the team in 2015 to manage Subset's enthusiastic community and apply her specialty in user testing to run play tests that will garner invaluable feedback. Musician Ben Prunty, who composed FTL's score, is lending his talents to Into the Breach. The team at Power Up Audio is hard at work putting together the myriad sounds that will puncture the game's vibrant artwork, painted chiefly by Justin Ma with assistance from freelance artist Polina Hristova, who's pitching in on environmental details like terrain and all-important buildings, as well as concept artwork.

Mix it up on a variety of terrain, each with its own advantages and hazards.

Neither Davis nor Ma felt confident in suggesting a ballpark estimate of when Into the Breach might be finished. "We spent a very long time iterating on the game design ideas, but I feel like we've come to a happy place where the actual user experience is pretty solid right now," Ma said. "The problem is we just do not have content. The next step is to just build out the rest of the game: all the different weapons, enemies, mechs, scenarios, and corporations."

The end of FTL's development had been hectic and stressful due to running and fulfilling their Kickstarter campaign, but had paid off in financial security. They have time, and they're content to take as much of it as they need in order to ensure the game feels just right.

"Like in FTL, we're conveying a lot of elements that aren't necessarily standard in games," Davis added. "A huge portion of development time over the past couple of years has been trying to make the game as usable as possible and convey all those ideas. We'll continue to iterate on that because it's a never-ending task."

Shacknews - Shack Staff

The world of Horizon Zero Dawn is full of machines, which can be hunted for scrap and spare parts. But you don't always have to kill them. Early in the game, you gain the ability to Override certain machines if Aloy approaches while they're unaware. Only a few are available from the start, but more can be controlled after accessing additional Override codes from Cauldrons scattered around the map. Those include SIGMA, RHO, XI, and ZETA Cauldrons.

Cauldrons are stand-alone dungeons, mostly focused on combat with some light puzzle-solving. We'll tell you where to find each Cauldron, and which machines can be controlled once you complete them for the Override code. After an override, some machines can be ridden, while most will simply fight for you. They will stay loyal for a limited time, unless you obtain the Combat Override + ability, after which they will become indefinite.

Keep in mind that while all of these will be available to approach once the open world is available in Horizon Zero Dawn, some can be very tough. Pay attention to the suggested level, and come equipped for a fight. Each Cauldron has a host of mechanized enemies, including one final encounter with a large enemy like a Bellowback.

Also remember that some machines–Deathbringer, Corruptor, and all Corrupted machines–cannot be overridden.

PSI Overrides

Cauldron PSI is the default override unlocked during the course of the story. It includes the Watcher, Strider, Sigma, Broadhead, Charger, Tallneck.

SIGMA Overrides

Cauldron SIGMA is likely the first Cauldron you'll discover, and has an attached quest to guide you to it. It's directly north from the starting area of Mother's Cradle. It includes the Grazer, Scrapper, Lancehorn, and Sawtooth.

RHO Overrides

Cauldron RHO is against the eastern wall of the larger land mass on the left side of the map. It includes Longleg, Trampler, Shellwalker, Ravager, and Snapmaw.

XI Overrides

Cauldron XI is the southern most waypoint on the map, and can be found in on the larger land mass to the west side. It includes Fire Bellowback, Freeze Bellowback, Stalker, Behemoth, and Glinthawk.

ZETA Overrides

Cauldron ZETA is on the northern side of the larger land mass on the west end of the map. It is a direct line northward from Cauldron XI. It includes Rockbreaker, Thunderjaw, and Stormbird.

With each Cauldron conquered, your options in combat will open up considerably. You can quietly override a few machines and let them do some of the messy work for you, taking out enemy targets or at least softening them up. Check out our full listing of Horizon Zero Dawn guides for more on the open-world action game from Guerrilla.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

At the Game Creators Conference in Osaka, Japan, Nintendo announced that Nintendo Switch development kits would be available for 50,000 yen, or around $450. One of the huge barriers to entry for independent developers has been obtaining the development tools necessary to publish software on consoles. However, Nintendo looks poised to court indie studios by making their hardware very affordable for even one-man development teams.

The Nintendo Switch dev kit will be one of the cheapest to date, much cheaper than the $20,000 a PlayStation 3 development kit cost, and even less pricey than the much more reasonable $2,500 PlayStation 4 dev kit. With so many very successful titles coming from smaller independant studios, Nintendo is smart to make the move to secure indie interest in the Switch. Third-party software support was terrible for the Wii U, and Nintendo has had issues with steady third-party support for its consoles since the Nintendo 64, except the Wii which was where every game studio in the world dumped its shovelware.

A steady stream of indie titles can go a long way to keeping players who are waiting for Nintendo's first-party titles engaged. With a stellar showing of support from third-party partners, the Nintendo Switch might be the most open and experimental of Nintendo's consoles yet. We'll get to see for ourselves just what the Nintendo Switch can do when it releases on March 3.

Shacknews - Donovan Erskine

Life-sized, functional Splatoon Splattershot blasters will be coming soon from Jakks Pacific, as announced at ToyFair 2017.

The blasters shoot an actual ink-like substance made from water-based materials. These inks come in a variety of colors such as blue, green, orange, and red. It was stated that the ink is kid-friendly and is easy to clean out of clothes, walls, or others belongings that you don’t want splattered with ink. The idea is that fans of the game will be able to have their own laser tag like Splatoon battles with friends and family.

The Splattershot blaster will cost you $29.99. There is also a quickshot blaster, very similar in function and concept to the Splattershot, though much smaller, that costs $14.99. The blasters are a part of the World of Nintendo toy line and are expected to be available for purchase this fall.

Nintendo is preparing to release Splatoon 2 as part of its Nintendo Switch launch window line-up. Check out some footage below.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood will bring two new character classes to the MMORPG, one of which is the Samurai. Final Fantasy 14's Samurai class will use the katana as their primary weapon and was announced at the Final Fantasy XIV FanFest keynote in Frankfurt, Germany.

Coming with the samurai class, Final Fantasy 14 will get a new continent to the east that will have a new player city named Kugane. Kugane will feature architecture that is reminiscent of Feudal Japan and is more than likely intended to be the homeland of the Samurai.

If you create a new character and choose to be a Samurai, you'll start at level 50. Samurai will share armor with the Monk class, so if you already have some of that hold onto it.

You can play as the Samurai class when Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood releases on June 20, 2017. Also, keep in mind that when Stormblood releases that the PlayStation 3 version of FF14 will be discontinued, so if you haven't done so yet, you'll need to transition to the PC or PlayStation 4 version of the game before that date.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Horizon Zero Dawn offers a wealth of options for approaching combat and exploring the world. We will detail how and where to obtain rare materials, and how they can be used. Loot and equipment in Horizon Zero Dawn comes with color-coded rarity: gray (common), green (uncommon), blue (rare), and purple (very rare). 

Shards

Shards double as a crafting material and vendor currency, and are the most common material in Horizon Zero Dawn. You will most often find shards on downed enemies or machines, or in loot boxes scattered throughout the world. You can obtain more shards by selling excess Resources. Machine Cores, which sometimes randomly drop from robots, are only used for selling at a high value.

If you have enough shards to take a gamble, merchants also sell Shard Gambler's Boxes for 10 shards apiece. The prizes inside vary from only one shard or even a rock, to 250 shards. Purchasing all ten at a vendor will cost a hefty 100 shards, but the chances that one of them will hold 75 or 250 shards is high enough that it usually works out in your favor. Just be ready for possible disappointment, and don't take the risk if you can't afford it.

Carry Capacity

In the crafting menu, make sure to visit the Crafting Capacity sub-menu. Upgrading here will let you carry more equipment (Weapons, Outfits, Resources, Modifications, Potions, and Traps) and every type of weapon ammo. New weapon Carry Capacity options will open up as you purchase new types of weapons.

Generally these are crafted with animal parts, along with common materials like Shards and Blaze. The lower-level carry capacity upgrades use more common animal drops, while the higher tiers require less common drops like Skins and Bones. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell where animals will frequent. They aren't marked on the map like robots. You'll just have to explore nature to find animals. Be sure to Focus scan with R3 and look around for small blue highlights. 

Fish can be among the trickiest to find, since they're only in water. Meridian Village is on the water, and provides an easy way to find fish. Simply scan and mark them with your Focus and mark them, and use that to guide your aim. Then you can jump into the water to collect the bounty.

One of the most handy items is a Golden Fast Travel Kit. For this, you need a Fox Skin and 20 pieces of Fatty Meat. Fatty Meat is the rarest kind of meat drop, so you'll probably need to go hunting for a long while to find it. It will be worth it, though, once you can fast travel around the world without keeping tabs on your number of disposable fast travel kits. Just make sure you don't accidentally sell it at a shop, because it will always appear in the Sell menu.

Ammo Parts

Ammo for your weapons is vital, and often you'll find yourself needing to craft more in the heat of battle. For this reason, it's important to keep a solid stockpile of materials that you can use to craft ammo at a moment's notice. Here is a listing of ammo crafting materials, and where they can be found. Keep in mind that most materials can also be found at vendors, but that's hardly needed since they're found in the world.

If you need a particular type of machine to appear consistently, try venturing to the correct Hunting Ground. These challenges spawn the correct machines every time, and you get to keep the drops from the machines even if you've already completed the Hunting challenge itself.

Ridgewood - Ridgewood is the most common material, found on every tree. You'll find it often while exploring. Pick it up whenever possible, but once your Resources pouch starts to fill, check and make sure you haven't picked up too much of a surplus. It comes in blocks of 250 so it's easy for it to take up several blocks, when you only need one or two to have a safe amount.

Wire - Wire can be found on all machines. It's another of the most common crafting materials, and also the most used. Be sure to have plenty, especially if you're making heavy use of the Ropecaster to take down bigger machines.

Sparker - Another comon crafting material found on all machines, Sparker is used mostly for Shock weapons, like the Shock Bomb and Shock Wire.

Metalburn - Metalburn is a less common material, only found on corrupted machines or rare encounters with Deathbringers. As such, it's used for ammo crafting less often. As long as you venture into some optional corrupted zones and play through the campaign, you should have plenty.

Blaze - Blaze is used for Fire both Blast and Fire ammo types, so it's found on many machines. Specifically, you can find it by hunting the following machines: Strider, Grazer, Broadhead, Sawtooth, Fire Bellowback, Snapmaw, Rockbreaker, Stormbird, and Thunderjaw.

Chillwater - The inverse of Blaze, Chillwater is used for freezing ammo and traps. You can find it on the following machines: Lancehorn, Glinthawk, Sawtooth, Ravager, Freeze Bellowback, Snapmaw, Behemoth, Stormbird, and Thunderjaw.

Machine Parts and Hearts

The strongest outfits and weapons usually require machine parts to trade, in addition to a hefty price of Shards. If you have enough shards to afford it, a vendor in Meridian sells these Hearts for a price, but that tends to nearly double the price of the outfit itself. You can use Machine Lenses (green) to trade for some lower-level outfits, and Machine Hearts (blue) to trade for the strongest, very rare (purple) outfits and weapons.

To reliably obtain Hearts, purchase the Shadow Sharpshot Bow. That will give you the Harvest Arrow ammo type, which is weaker than most other arrows, but increases the chance of rarer drops. If you scan an enemy, you can also aim at specific parts with the Tearblast arrow from the Carja or Shadow Sharpshot Bow, which will often rip components off the machine entirely.

Modifications

You can modify both Weapons and Outfits from the Crafting menu. Your equipment has more slots based on its rarity. Green weapons have one Mod slot, Blue has two, and Purple has three. Outfits differ slightly, in that Green outfits have 0-1 slots, Blue has 1 slot, and Purple has two slots. A few outfits, the Silks and Stalwart types, are marked "highly customizable" and have one additional slot per rarity.

Keep in mind that until you purchase the high-level Tinker ability, you cannot remove mods! That means whatever mod you slot into a weapon or outfit will stay there until later in the game, and you'll have to prioritize your skill points toward it.

Generally, you should try to buy a wide variety of weapons and outfits to be prepared for a wide range of situations. In that case, try to use Modifications to further enhance the abilities it already has. Putting additional Stealth mods on a Stealth outfit, for example, will make you that much harder to spot when you're in stealth situations. Earlier on the game, when you can't afford as many outfits and before you have the Tinker ability to swap at will, you may want to make your outfits more general purpose with mods that go against-type.

Check out our full listing of Horizon Zero Dawn guides for more on the open-world action game from Guerrilla.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

Nintendo of Japan has revealed the digital download sizes of several Nintendo Switch games on their website. While we already knew how much space The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild would take up, these other titles space requirements were a mystery until now. One of the major criticisms of the Nintendo Switch's design is the relatively low 32 GB internal storage capacity. Unfortunately, some of these digital game sizes may lend credence to these complaints.

Nintendo Switch Digital Download Sizes

The listed Nintendo Switch games and their download sizes are:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 13.4 GB
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 7 GB
  • Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together!: 1.60 GB
  • Disgaea 5: 5.92 GB
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris: 1.09 GB
  • I Am Setsuna: 1.40 GB
  • Dragon Quest Heroes I+II: 32 GB
  • Nobunaga's Ambition: 5 GB

While most of these titles are small compared to what we're used to seeing on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, one of them would take up the entirety of the Nintendo Switch's internal storage. In fact, given that part of the Switch's internal storage must be dedicated to the Switch OS, you more than likely can't purchase and download Dragon Quest Heroes I+II digitally without at least a 64 GB microSD card.

With storage so precious on the Nintendo Switch, there's a good chance that physical game cards will be the most popular form for Switch games. Unfortunately, with Nintendo's history of physical product shortages, if you want a hard copy of a game, you may be in for a fight.

We'll know more about the Nintendo Switch and its storage requirements as its March 3 release date approaches.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Link from The Legend of Zelda series has not aged much over the years. However, when Twilight Princess was in the works, the artist tried to make him in his mid-to-late 20s, but it was never approved, according to a new art book released by Nintendo. 

The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts (via Nintendo Everything) includes a chat with artists Yusuke Nakano and Satoru Takizawa talked about creating concept art for a new Link in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess bfore the story had been set. "For the face, I talked at length with Takizawa-san as I started to sketch,: Nakano said. "I wanted him to be a little bit older. The Link up till now had been in his teens, but for this one we were talking about making him around 25… maybe even 30. ... He would be well built… A skinny man with a pretty face wouldn’t stand a chance against a large enemy, so we thought about making him quite sturdy. So the first illustrations were, in a way, pretty amazing."

Takizawa added that they even toyed with "a square-jawed, burly-looking Link too."

Unfortunately, the art was shot down. "When I showed the sketches to the overseas staff, the response I got back was, 'What the fans want is the Link they saw in Ocarina of Time,'" Nakano said. "So in the end, his face and body type were made similar to that of the adult Link from that game."

One of the big points in the game is where Link turns into a wolf, but that idea came after the initial concept art was done, Takizawa said. "So the sketches of Link later on had him looking much more wolf-like and wilder. At one point, there was talking about giving him a Japanese haircut style called a wolf cut, which would have given him a more wolfish look."

Nakano said he made Link's eyes match his wolf form, "but the sketches I made for the front, back, and side views didn’t make him look very wild."

The images of an older Link are no surprise, as they were included in a Dark Horse book called Hyrule Historia back in December 2011. But at the time, there was no indication of what the artists were shooting for with the designs.

The new 400-page hardcover book, which comes out tomorrow, spans the 30-year history of the series, including the upcoming The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild scheduled for release on March 3. 

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