Review: Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Starlink: Battle for Atlas is the latest game that uses toys-to-life. Is Ubisoft a little late or are they breathing new life into this concept?
As a collecting addict I am very enthusiastic. Where Skylanders and Disney Infinity could not arouse my interest because of a much too childish game behind it, I had hoped for a new collection with the announcement of Starlink. Here it is finally and I can also review it.
Are you looking for a game with a deep story? Then you will have to look further. As we are used to with Toys-to-Life games, this game is also aimed at a younger audience and looks like an animation series. Victor St. Grand is a scientist and adventurer. He discovers a crashed alien space vehicle and rescues the alien in it. He gives this alien the name Judge. Together they create Nova. With this energy source they can make space vehicles with hyperdrives. With this they form the peaceful organization Starlink Initiative.
The search for Judge's origin leads them to the Atlas star system. Once there, St. Grand's ship, the Equinox, is attacked and boarded. They kidnap St. Grand and take the Nova reactor. The Equinox crashes on a nearby planet and this is where the game begins. A little further into the game you learn that Grax and his cult are the ones who kidnapped St. Grand and that he wants to take over the entire galaxy. In addition to liberating St. Grand, you'll also need to save all of Atlas.
To date, Atlas is the largest open world Ubisoft has created. Atlas consists of 7 fully researchable planets and the space in between that also contains everything to find and explore. Each planet has its own flora and fauna to research and collect.
The depth in this game does not come from the story, the many mainly the same enemies, or the often the same missions. This game brings depth to what you can do with your ship and weapons. With mods you can adjust a lot to your playing style. Each weapon has 4 mod slots and each ship has 5. You can also upgrade the Equinox and there are several buildings on the planets that you can build and/or upgrade. And of course you can level and upgrade each pilot.
The toy line released with this game looks good. Some details could have been a little better. There are parts that could have been better finished. A surprise for me were the lights in the back of the plane in the place of the engines that light up and get brighter when you use the boost. Coming back to the details, the plane has 4 engines and 2 of them only have lights.
What Ubisoft has done well is not necessarily making the toys. If you don't feel like looting your bank account, you can also purchase a digital version where you can play without toys. I have almost been allowed to play manners and I must honestly say that I find it a lot more fun with toys. It also immediately makes the game a lot harder if you don't have everything at your disposal.
The complete Starlink toy line currently consists of:
- 5 spaceships
- 15 weapons
- 9 pilots
The starter pack (pictured above) consists of 1 starship, 1 pilot and 3 weapons. The expansions are packs with either 2 weapons, or 1 pilot, or a spaceship with 1 weapon and 1 pilot. View all packages here on the Ubisoft site .
Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch, there is also Fox McCloud and his Arwing. Content has also been added for Starfox. A brilliant move by Ubisoft in my opinion. By adding Starfox you immediately get a complete fan base that this game must have.
Starlink is an entertaining space shooter. There is a lot to explore and collect outside of the storyline. A completionist is just as sweet with this game. All the action and the worlds look beautiful and diverse. The game and the toys work perfectly. On the one hand somewhat repetitive, on the other hand quite extensive. The toys are not necessary but certainly a great addition to the fun of the game. They also look very nice in the closet when you are not playing. Starlink is a drain on your wallet, but luckily the holidays are just around the corner and there are enough packages to fill the space under the tree.
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