AKA The Best Starfox Game Ever Made!
Having just recovered from the cancellation of Lego Dimensions, I reluctantly picked up Starlink : Battle For Atlas and deliverately chose the Switch edition so I could use the Starfox characters and packs. While you may be surprised that another toys to life game is happening and may be a few years to late, the good news is it is entirely optional. If you purchase it digitally you can use the characters, weapons and ships online without needing the phyiscal toys. This is also works with the physical version, you can access all your assets without needing to physically clip them on. The story is pretty much a play by numbers defeat the enemies to save the world, it is the dialogue and cut scenes that really make this game stand out amongst the array of others.
Gameplay wise this is space exploration at its best. It does manage to combine with some great dogfighting with character selection (who am I kidding, it was Starfox the whole way!) I did meddle with some of the other characters to just get an idea of how they worked and their challenges. It proved to be interesting and I am keen on exploring more as I keep playing this game. It is great for replayability with so much to do and explore. You explore planets and claim abandoned bases now while you can get these physically and clip them to your toys, you can also acquire them digitally to instantly upgrade your gear.
The campaign took me about 15-20 hours to complete and while this may seem small compared to games like AC : Odyssey etc. it is the perfect filler game and there are plenty of side missions and exploration that will keep this game living on past its campaign content.
Graphically this game is gorgeous on the Switch, performance wise it help up in both handheld and docked mode which is an imoressive feat for a game of this calibre. Ubisoft have done an outstanding job of creating a brand new IP and while they have used other characters like Star Fox etc that you should definitely use if possible, the calibre of the story and quality of gameplay cannot be overstated.
Star Fox and friends are perfectly at home here, the gameplay and character traits blend in perfectly and as mentioned before the other characters pale in comparison. It’s no secret that the previous Wii U outing for Fox McLeod was not received well, it was a buggy and graphical mess that was an insult to the series and system it came out on. Fortunately though Ubisoft seem to understand what fans love about these characters and series and deliver a flawless experience worthy of the series.
Starlink : Battle For Atlas is a welcome addition to the Ubisoft lineup and while it did try the toys to life thing a few years too late, having it be available freely on digital so you don’t have to rush out and buy toys is a godsend. It is truly smart and innovative game design that shows just how much the game designers loved working on this game. What results is a more condensed version of No Man’s Sky (without the game breaking bugs!) that is great for both young and old. While the toys to life genre may be dead, Starlink : Battle For Atlas is a great way to revive it and breathe some new life into the genre.
Starlink : Battle For Atlas is available now on PS4, Xbox One. This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version and is the only way to get the Starfox character and ship content.
Review by Alaisdair “Leithal” Leith.