starlink: batt le for atlas
Starlink: Battle For Atlas
PublisheR Ubisoft Developer Ubisoft Toronto Format Xbox One ETA Autumn 2018 If your typical Ubisoft title involves climbing more towers than King Kong after a coke binge, then this latest adventure should prove anything but ordinary. Following on from the success of Skylanders and LEGO Dimensions, the French basedpublisher has now unveiled its take on the toys-to-life medium.
First unveiled at this year’s E3, Starlink: Battle For Atlas is a spacebased dogfighting title that combines real-life figurines with an enormous digital playground. Plonked atop of your Xbox One gamepad – but riding just high enough to avoid nicking any knuckles – Starlink utilises a custom controller bracket into which players slot their pilot, followed by a starship.
It’s a clever little setup – a wee bit ungainly perhaps – but clever nonetheless. Smarter still are the modular elements – interchangeable add-ons that can be clipped onto the figurine to elicit various boosts and buffs. Fancy ditching your shields for a tad more firepower? Simply swap out an armour node for one with a minigun, laser beam or flamethrower. Hell, you can even stack them one on top of the other, like a champion Buckaroo player or a glutton at a buffet – though you’re likely to be penalised where speed is concerned.
Early impressions suggest that swapping out these bits and pieces on the fly is key to making progress, though whether you’ll need to pause the game and set the pad down in order to do so is another matter entirely. We recommend you start training up a pit crew in advance.
As for the game’s setting, developer Ubisoft Toronto is promising a total of seven unique star-systems within the Atlas galaxy, ranging from deadly asteroid belts to arid desert planets. You can choose to explore these settings from any one of three perspectives – space, atmosphere or planetside, with the latter handling much like a hover tank or a Sparrow from Destiny.
Creative director Laurent Malville has also confirmed that players will have the freedom to explore Atlas at their own pace, though crucially this sense of dynamic progress will also apply to the game’s villains, aka the Forgotten Legion. Spend too long gawking at a star cluster, or scanning strange creatures, and Legion boss Grax will take the opportunity to go off and conquer more quadrants. Stopping him will involve befriending other races and turning them to your cause. So a little bit like San Andreas’ old gang warfare gimmick, with a dash of Mass Effect 3 thrown in for good measure. Excelsior!
With its dynamic setting and modular design, Starlink: Battle For Atlas already looks like being a winning addition to the toys-to-life genre. If only autumn 2018 was just a hyperspeed jump away.
“Ubisoft is promising a total of seven unique star-systems”