Starlink: Battle for Atlas – Review
Follow Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Starlink: Battle for Atlas – Review

Site Score
8.1
Good: Style, Story, Concept
Bad: Everything is pretty similar in terms of gameplay
User Score
9.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)

With the disappearance of Skylanders, Disney Infinity and the somewhat less popular LEGO Dimensions, we thought the hype of using modular toys for gaming purposes was nearly over, at least until Ubisoft threw themselves on the market. This time we won’t be using characters alone to dive into a wondrous universe, but we’ll be doing so with space ships, pilots and a range of weaponry that you can switch on the fly to suit the needs of your space ship(s). Also the portal made way for a rig that is attached to your controller, making sure the toys are really close when you need to switch something to spice things up. We weren’t fully convinced by the rig on your controller, but we did love the toys, the weapon action and the overall premise of the game.

Story

Starlink: Battle for Atlas tells us the story of the human race making immense progress in terms of space exploration. Our race has created a spaceship that is driven by Nova, and thanks to it, it also powers lesser space ships which are controlled by a variety of figures, all part of the Starlink group. Little did these explorers know that Nova was such a rare commodity around the galaxy, and because of this, the Equinox, the main spaceship of the alliance, has made its way on the radar of the Forgotten Legion under the control of Grax. The Legion will abduct the captain, and also your Nova drive in the progress, leaving your main base of operations down in the dumps. Not only will you have to rescue your captain and mentor, you’ll also have to explore a lot of different planets to earn your keep.

The story is brought by the use of cutscenes which all look fairly good. You’ll hear enough updates about the situation as it is, if you’re not out exploring for the most part of the game.

Graphics

Graphically Starlink does have a lot of details, but the game has a certain comical style to it, allowing for more leeway in terms of a realistic appearance. The different character models look quite spiffy in the cinematics, but in-game you’ll have to make do with the ship models, which also look nice. These models can be adapted with different sets of wings and weapons, creating a certain variety and allowing you to customize the space ship to your needs. The different worlds you’ll find yourself on are nice and do posses the same comical style as the rest of the game, but once again there’s more than enough variety to make things interesting, even if some of the worlds feel a bit empty, even though they’re supposed to be inhabited.

Sound

In-game most conversations are properly voice acted, even though many voices seem to reappear for a fair amount of different characters. Nonetheless, the characters are nicely done and diverse enough to create a proper cast of characters. The music seems to be less noteworthy when you’re actually playing the game. The soundtrack is more atmospheric in nature but with the noises coming from your craft and you inevitably blasting the forces of the legion, there’s not much music to be heard in the process.

Gameplay

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is categorized as an action adventure game; but it also plays a lot like a third person shooter, as the space battles seem to be a minimal portion of the gameplay. You’ll be roaming around different planets trying to fix your main space ship the Equinox. You’ll have to scavenge supplies on planets, while doing missions for some of the planets’ natives and by doing so, you can upgrade and fix the Equinox. Overall things are simple, but the game allows for some fun things to do.

For starters, we’ll talk about the rig that you’ll need to actually play the game. You’ll have to attach a plastic rig to your controller, which overlaps the middle part of your controller. On said rig, you’ll find a slot to slide in the pilot character, and you can attach the space ship of your choice over it, while the wings will serve as slots for the weapons. The toys are not too heavy, and thus they will not interfere with comfort too much when gaming. That being said, a portal along the lines of Skylanders or Disney Infinity does have its advantages, as you can more easily create co-op games, seeing you need a second rig to play Starlink: Battle for Atlas with a second player locally. While the portal has its merits, having your toys this close makes it easier to switch weapons, pilots and even space ships on the fly.

The actual gameplay is quite simple, or at least, the mechanics are. You’ll be roaming around the surface of different planets, completing quests for possible allies. These quests often consist out of you destroying enemies or hostile extractors that fuck up the planet. Depending on if you want to spend some extra money on the toys, you’ll have everything you bought at your disposal. While it may not be necessary to purchase extra vessels and pilots if you’re content with the starter pack, it can be useful to consider adding some weapons to your collection. The weapons often have a certain elemental effect against your enemies, and it has to be said that the starting weapons are good, but often lack a certain punch that some extra weaponry couldn’t fix. You’ll come across a fair share of enemies when exploring planets, and you’ll also participate in a few space battles. Outside of that, the game allows for a lot of exploring, allowing you to gather credits to fix the Equinox into a workable state. It has to be said that purchasing additional toys will unlock the content digitally, allowing you to play without the rig for a set amount of time. Of course, you can also opt for the digital deluxe edition, which unlocks all the content, without needing the actual toys, but in some ways it also removes the charm of the concept.

You can opt to keep your eye on the prize and continue with the main quests or you can explore the different planets, collect credits by capturing bases, helping refineries and simply scavenging all you can find. The game holds a lot of content for those wanting to fully explore the different planets you’ll find yourself on.

Conclusion

Starlink: Battle for Atlas proves that games with modular toys aren’t dead, yet. The game as a whole is a pleasant action adventure/TPS experience, which handles well, offers enough content and looks like the part. The toys themselves might not come at a cheap price, but the game is playable with the original base set, with perhaps a weapon or two you pick up when you want some variation in your ship’s prowess. The overall concept is executed well, but we miss the option to play the game with a second player, without forcing families to buy a second rig, as things might get costly with each and every expansion in terms of ships, weapons, pilots and an extra rig on top of that. All of those sentiments about the price aside, this game is certainly worth the try if you’re looking for a proper space adventure.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (4 votes cast)
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Starlink: Battle for Atlas - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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