E3 2018: Do a Barrel Roll in Starlink: Battle for Atlas


Another toys-to-life experience isn't quite what many of us hand in mind when we came to E3, but when Ubisoft dropped the news that Star Fox was joining the cast of Starlink: Battle for Atlas on the Nintendo Switch version, I'm sure many heads turned to see exactly what this adventure was about. I was one of those people, curious about this upcoming space adventure where one of the most famous Nintendo characters will again be doing his signature barrel roll. Basically, it is an open-world space game where you traverse multiple planets and take on various adversaries throughout to take control. Also, you build your spaceship and select your pilot in the real world and mount it on your controller with the ability to swap out your weapons at will and see the changes take effect in the game.

The game itself reminded me a bit of No Man's Sky, since the demo started off above the world and you had to find your way to the target and then enter the atmosphere. It's a nice mechanic for a spacefaring game because it maintains the immersion and doesn't kick you out to some repetitive cut scene. The actual combat, on the other hand, plays like an updated version of the classic Star Fox game, and it seems only fitting that Fox and his Arwing are making an appearance here. Unfortunately, we couldn't get our hands on the Star Fox figures, but they did look sweet.

For basic maneuvering, you will likely be doing a good deal of strafing and dodging while targeting obvious weak spots or taking on the miscellaneous enemies that will spawn around bigger targets. It's very straightforward, with combat being adjusted by swapping out your weapons to create different combos and, therefore, changing the play style to deal better with certain enemies. Swapping out the physical toys required a pause in the action, which makes sense, though it will result in a slight pause in the action.

In the demo, I could take on a monolithic boss who was constantly summoning creatures, some of which had resistances to one of my weapons. This is where I could see the quick-swap weapon technique becoming a real asset, in terms of gameplay. I did find the game to be a bit easy, because during this fight I could mostly ignore the summons and just focus on taking down the weak points that revealed the towers' hidden weak spot, for a short time. Overall, I was happy with the game and just hope that when it is released later this year for Switch, Xbox One, and PS4, it has all the variety and challenge I would expect it to have.

Are you intrigued by this latest toys-to-life release? Let us know what you think in the Comments section, below!