Hey fam, Colt45 here! Get ready to explore the galaxy and save Atlas in Starlink: Battle for Atlas! This is the newest “Toys to Life” game that takes place in space going planet to planet exploring while fending off outlaws! This is going to be a long one between my buddy Lukas and I so without further ado, let’s get down to, it shall we!
Allow me to start off with what I don’t like because it’s kind of a big deal to me. First off: I would have loved to of had some sort of online multiplayer, whether it’s a battle, dog fighting or just co op it would have made this game that much better. I mean Assassin’s Creed had an online battle mode so I’m sure this could have been figured out with toys.
But that is a small annoyance compared to my main negative mark of this game: This game is a Toys to Life game which is fine. Ubisoft marketed this as you can buy the toys physically, OR you can buy everything digitally for half the price as physical. Cool. Awesome lets do it. I wanted the Arwing so I decided to buy the physical set ($81 after tax) JUST for the Arwing to display, then my plan was to buy the rest digitally. Now for those of you who don’t know, the Switch edition has a slight advantage over other platforms: you get two ships, the Arwing physically, and the Zenith (the ship that comes physical in the other two platforms) digitally. Having ships is a big deal because they act as your lives; once on ship goes down you can pop another one on and keep going until you run out of ships in which then you have to restart the mission.
So, like me, you’re probably thinking “Oh sweet! Let me try out this other ship and see how it is!” Then for two weeks you continue to try and access the other ship and you can’t. You even have your pilot mounted up ready to save the galaxy yet you still can’t go. So I took it to the Starlink forums and started a post on it, which a ton of people jumped on top of because they could not figure it out either. Then some Ubisoft Support guy gets on and tells all of you “you can’t have your joycons in the mount to access digital content. This also prevents using a physical ship and digital weapons.”… Then I remembered you get a digital “rent” of your physical stuff BUT its only for 7 days then you have to plug everything back into the mount and sync them up again……. UBISOFT WTF!!!! You go around carting that you are doing this super cool new thing with toys to life then essentially wreck anyone who wanted to go half and half and cause more work on them! So now I’m stuck at GameStop buying new weapons and ships because I cant interchange physical and digital.
This was going to be THE PERFECT Toys to Life game then you went ahead and found a way to mess it up. Yes I know I could just plug my stuff in every 7 days but I love playing with the Arwing mounted, I love the feel of it. I can’t do it if I get digital weapons so it’s pointless. On top of that if you don’t care about having a physical Arwing, the digital Deluxe version of the game that includes EVERYTHING from all guns, ships, and pilots, its only $84 (before tax, we don’t pay a tax in Nevada).
So if I really didn’t care about the Arwing, I could have spent $3 more and gotten everything available to me. Which I’m not mad about I made the decision for a physical Arwing, I’m frustrated that they screw up the blend of digital and physical so now I’m forced to go all physical and they didn’t even mention it until 2 weeks AFTER it came out and people posted about it on their forum.
Now that I got that out of my system, I LOVE this game. I can’t even pinpoint one good part of the game because everything about this game (minus the rant I just had) is absolutely amazing! I can spend hours just flying around worlds and get lost in requested missions to get money and discover new plants and animals. If you like Fox and like adventure games where you go out and explore I highly recommend this.
On top of that that dog fighting in space is extremely solid and well done so good on their part. The fighting on the actual planet is extremely smooth and you can’t help but feel you’re in the ship fighting off enemies. This game belongs on the Switch and I will be extremely disappointed if they don’t come out with a sequel. If you are deciding to get this, I strongly suggest just getting the digital deluxe and waste hours away flying around and enjoying the beautiful artwork and terrain, it truly is a meditating experience.
And now I will pass it off to my buddy Lukas!
Lukas: Thanks buddy! Apologies for the late release date of this review – that one’s my bad!
Starlink is one of those games that does a lot right, but has a couple of glaring faults that can’t be ignored. Fortunately, in this case, all of the game’s faults lie with the corporate handling of the game, rather than being design flaws. This means Starlink can still be an exceptional experience, if you’re willing to go into it without too much content.
At its core, Starlink is a really enjoyable open-space game, complete with dogfights and planet exploration. As you travel around the galaxy and meet new people, you’ll gain access to plenty of areas to explore, enemies to fight, and missions to complete.
Space exploration is a blast – even though it’s as empty as you’d expect, there are bandits waiting around every corner, and plenty of things to see. The game controls fluidly, and plays very similarly to how you would expect if you’ve played Starfox.
Planet exploration is interesting, and the planets are diverse enough. However, there isn’t much to do on the planets beside liberate them from alien oppression and scan the lifeforms. There are some treasures to collect, but nothing so exciting that you’ll be clambering for more.
Those faults I mentioned early come into play should you want to play as additional characters or in additional ships. Unfortunately, because of the nature of toys-to-life games, there isn’t much to unlock in this game. You’ll constantly meet characters that you would love to play as, but the only way to actually use them is to purchase them as DLC content.
Fortunately, you’re able to purchase the content digitally, which makes it more accessible to players who don’t want to own a collection of plastic toys. It’s nice to have the option available either way.
Those issues aside, Starlink is an exceptional game that makes up for its lack of unlockable content with stacking challenges, adding more and more gameplay opportunities as you progress through the main campaign. It’s by no means a perfect game, but as far as open-space titles go, it’s one of the best out there at the moment.
If you’re a fan of Starfox or space shooters, this one’s a winner. The Starfox content is top notch, and honestly, it feel as much like a full-fledged Starfox title as it does an independent series just starting out. Just don’t expect to be flying around as a bunch of cool aliens without dropping some dosh.