One of E3’s more surprising reveals was another Nintendo and Ubisoft collaboration. Ubisoft’s toys-to-life game Starlink: Battle for Atlas looks like a mostly unremarkable space shooter, with customizable ships and a number of planets to go shoot up. But in comes Fox McCloud, the brilliant pilot from the Star Fox games, and suddenly Starlink looks a heckuva lot cooler.
We went hands-on with Starlink: Battle for Atlas at a recent Nintendo event, as well as during E3 2018. Starlink seems something like a Western reinvention of the classic Star Fox games. A cast of (very chatty) characters check in on the player as they pilot through intergalactic missions, each one requiring players to destroy certain robots and obtain specific resources. The key difference from Nintendo’s franchise is that players can unlock numerous ship parts to repair and rebuild their cruisers as needed — with a real-life series of figures speeding up the process. Otherwise, though, Starlink is clearly gunning for that throwback Star Fox vibe.
Naturally, the best way to emphasize that is by bringing Fox McCloud into the mix. He’s got his Star Fox Zero-garb on, but we quickly forgot about that game as we had Fox pilot the Arwing as he does best.
Fox is playable throughout the entire game, and is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version, naturally. There are also toys of both the character and his ship that are compatible with Starlink, allowing players to unlock both quickly and also have a nice pair of figures to display on their mantle. Scroll through our pics below after watching the gameplay video up top.
- The contents of the physical edition of Starlink: Battle for Atlas for the Nintendo Switch. Not shown are additional digital items, including a second starship. Ubisoft via Twitter
- An assortment of Starlink toys shown at PAX West. Ubisoft via Twitter
- The Arwing and Star Fox figures that are compatible with Starlink. These toys are only available for Nintendo Switch. Ubisoft via Polygon
- The Arwing and Star Fox figures that are compatible with Starlink. Ubisoft via Polygon