As Seen on TV

How Star­link bor­rows from Over­watch

Games Master - - Starlink: Battle For Atlas -

The prac­tice of mak­ing a tele­vi­sion se­ries or film specif­i­cally so it can pro­duce a lu­cra­tive toy line is com­mon enough that there’s a ded­i­cated word for it: toyetic. But Star­link kind of goes the other way. The game and its ac­com­pa­ny­ing toys are so lov­ingly cre­ated, so well thought out, it feels like they’re beg­ging for a proper TV adap­ta­tion to back them up.

The game’s cutscenes have the stylings and pro­duc­tion val­ues of a com­puter-an­i­mated kids’ show – and we mean that in a good way. There’s not a lot of blue sky be­tween the crew of Star­link’s Equinox, with their per­son­alised space­craft, and the res­i­dents of Tracy Is­land, ex­cept that Star­link’s cast are in­di­vid­u­alised in a way that far ex­ceeds ‘the one with the green sash’. There are aliens both fury and scaly, an ir­ri­tat­ing YouTu­ber, a met­al­head en­gi­neer, a gun­sling­ing cow­boy ver­sion of Groot (need­less to say, our favourite), and a guy who, there are no two ways about it, looks a re­mark­able amount like Hanzo.

Which raises an­other strong gam­ing in­flu­ence on Star­link: Bliz­zard’s Over­watch. With the help of its char­ac­ter-fo­cused shorts, that game has made an enor­mous virtue of its two dozen playable he­roes, and Ubisoft seems to have been tak­ing notes. In cre­at­ing Star­link, it seems the com­pany doesn’t just want to make the next Sky­lan­ders, it wants char­ac­ters who can ex­ist out­side of the game. As a line of toys, per­haps.

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