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cycycychris reviews: Starlink: Battle For Atlas (Switch)

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Starlink is a game that feels like it’s trying to jump into a party that has long moved on. Its Ubisoft’s first attempt at the toys-to-life concept that has largely been abandoned (Note: you can buy everything digitally). Ubisoft even got Nintendo to lend Starfox for this unique adventure. So, what does starlink have to offer? Starlink offers an ambitious open universe with many different planets and ships to explore. But such ambition Starlink offers is where it starts to falter and overall was a tiresome experience.

Starlink at its heart is about space exploration and your rag tag team your captain brought along. But Starlink main story revolves around you controlling the crew of the ship “Equinox” that is trying to stop the Legend from taking over the universe. You’ll need to explore the 7 planets and rid them of their Legend influence. If you’re looking for an in-depth story, Starlink is not the game for you. The story is very predictable and follows just about every cliche. It’s so bland and unoriginal. There is also almost no character development, there is a tiny bit in a side mission, but that’s only 20 seconds of back story on each character. I felt no connection to any of the characters; it just felt like a dysfunctional group that was filled with a bunch of focus group tested characters.

The content that was on most planets didn’t do Starlink much favors either. Each plant consists of the same exact busy work tasks. These tasks include liberating bases, befriending laboratories and Refineries, hacking terminals, destroying extractors, and such. There is actually quite a lot to do on each planet, you even get to scan in life forms that live there. I enjoyed doing this on first 2 or 3 planets, but once I got the 4th it was such a drag. They use the same exact assets and designs for these bases and such on every planet. It just felt like busy work that you had to do to get to the next part of the story.

To bore you even more, Starlink has almost no enemy variety. There are about 3 different enemies’ types you will face during your time. They will change some parts of them to make them weak to different elements, but by large they are the exact same enemy design. It was just so boring to face the same enemy again and again, and by large the 3 enemy types are generic by themselves. But the Prime (bosses) fights are actually pretty fun and have depth to them. It’s just a shame they only made 1 prime type.

Starlink combat system was actually really fun and thrives in its simplicity. In starlink, you use 2 different weapons, one controlled by the right and left trigger. But this system has plenty of depth in the wide range of weapons you can use. Starlink weapon types range from type (fire, magic, light, ice, etc), action (blasts, machine gun, plow, etc), and some other factors such as firing rate and cool down. There are around 20 weapons to choose from within the deluxe edition and each time you pair new weapons together, it feels like something new. And you’ll be switching often due to enemies changing what they are weak to.

Every weapon, ship, and wing within the game can be leveled up and augmented with mods. There is also a basic level system for your character and skill points that can be assigned based on this level. To add another level to that, you can even upgrade the home ship “Equinox” to improve your attributes and some other QOL changes. There is also a world building aspect to every planet; each has building spots (for labs, mines, armories, etc) and other locations that you can upgrade and advance your influence on a plant. All these layers did at times feel a bit overwhelming, but the thought and care they put into creating an in-depth customization/leveling system is commendable. It also offered a welcomed break from the game.

The world of Atlas was just beautiful from a graphical stand point; it’s rich with detail and has tons of character. Every planet within Atlas can be entered/left with no load screen; proving a completely seamless experience. Space in Atlas is rather empty and is a bit to vast (with no fast travel system), they do try to solve this by throwing in wrecks for you to explore throughout the galaxy.  But it was kind of boring flying around space. Space also feature’s dreadnaught fights that are actually very intense battles. But the combat in space is bit lame when you figure out homing based weapons are really the only way to go.

A few last side notes on the game, buy the digital version since it gives you way more content for a lower price. Ships act as a life system so it’s important that you have as many as possible since the game does it get a bit tough on the last 2 planets and dreadnaught fights. Starlink does allow you to play as Star Fox the entire game, they even shoestring him into almost every cut scene. Fox also features his own side missions where he chases after Wolf.

Verdict:

Overall, Starlink is an ok game to play, but it’s sadly filled to the brim with flaws. Its repetitive content is grueling to play through by the end. The story is nothing but cliche and is very barebones. Starlink also features almost no character development, feeling more like a sequel than a start to a new franchise. But not all is gloom; the seamless galaxy of Atlas and its planets is absolutely gorgeous. The combat system and its variety were very enjoyable, though brought down by the lack of enemy diversity.  The amount of customization with mods and upgradeable systems was truly impressive and gave the game some much needed depth. In the end, if Starlink is on sale for cheap it’s worth a try, but not for full price.

Score:

6/10

+
Excellent Graphic
Fun Combat System
Seemless open world
Tons of customization and advancement

-
Cliche/barebone Story
no character development
Repetitive tasks Last edited by cycycychris - on 12 February 2019

     

Check out my lastest games review: Fast RMX and  Snipperclips: Cut it out Together

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It's safe to say that with Digital sales, the game floats around 600K sold copies on Switch vs 200K-280K on the other 2 combined. Safe to say that StarFox saved in part this disaster. A bit sad though cuz the game do feel sastisfying to play but Cycy's right. It suffers from your usual Ubisoft open-world busy tasking and tons of repetitive side-quests which leads you nowhere.

StarFox missions and the sole side quest of the whole game were the only break up from the usual structure it had.



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Bought it for Switch during a sale late last year or early this year. Looked nice enough. Really couldn't hold my interest, though.



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Mar1217 said:
It's safe to say that with Digital sales, the game floats around 600K sold copies on Switch vs 200K-280K on the other 2 combined. Safe to say that StarFox saved in part this disaster. A bit sad though cuz the game do feel sastisfying to play but Cycy's right. It suffers from your usual Ubisoft open-world busy tasking and tons of repetitive side-quests which leads you nowhere.

StarFox missions and the sole side quest of the whole game were the only break up from the usual structure it had.

 Certainly was a bit of a flop. And I'd say it faces worse busy work than most ubisoft games, it's just all the same thing.

d21lewis said:
Bought it for Switch during a sale late last year or early this year. Looked nice enough. Really couldn't hold my interest, though.

 Yeah repetitiveness made me only play in very short burst to hold my attention 



     

Check out my lastest games review: Fast RMX and  Snipperclips: Cut it out Together

Nice review! I'm still intrigued by the gameplay premise, but it sounds like there are a few too many warts to dive in at the full asking price :/



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Veknoid_Outcast said:
Nice review! I'm still intrigued by the gameplay premise, but it sounds like there are a few too many warts to dive in at the full asking price :/

 Thanks for the kind words. If you've ever played an open world ubisoft game, its honestly like that but just a lot more of the busy work. The gameplay is solid and feels great, just the content isn't there.



     

Check out my lastest games review: Fast RMX and  Snipperclips: Cut it out Together