Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Game review by David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Starlink: Battle for Atlas Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 10+

Epic space voyage with a potentially large price tag.

Parents say

age 10+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 4 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 10+

Overall good game bogged down by some tedium and "toy" integration.

First, to be clear, you can buy 'digital' download editions of the game from your perspective consoles online store without paying for the physical copies that come with these plastic toys that attach to your controllers. That being said. For Nintendo owners, this is the best Star Fox game to come out since the franchise was first introduced. Personally I prefer the 'on rails' action that of the original, but their integration into Starlink seems to be the answer to the question of how to fix the franchise after so many lackluster attempts and even some outright perplexing flops. This is a free roaming game is all set with you in your ship which is either done between planets as a free roam 'open world' approach or on the ground where movement is fluid but necessarily limited as you do close counter engagements. There is a learning curve, as with every game, to test your limitations, and I have to say, this takes some adept maneuvering if you want to survive battles. Dodging and coordinating your attacks will often be crucial to move forward so this is not a mindless shoot 'em up that just anybody can pick up and start blasting away. For children this means the ability to read direction on a 3rd to 5th grade level especially. Unlike most Star Fox games, Starlink is as much about exploration and building progress over time as it is about action. You can swap weapon loadouts ' on the fly' either in the pause menu or with the toys (that practically nobody is actually buying). WITH the toys,... this has to be covered..., you can take the physical weapons and swap them out on your toy ship which will translate in the game and swap your in game weaponry. This 'sounds cool', but the biggest complaints here are the pricetags for these toys which can easily surpass the actual games initial cost. Plus the fact that many , if not most players, find these toys awkward as they have to be attached ON TOP of your controller in order to function with the game. Some were able to adapt to it, some find it hindering and obstructing to play the game this way. The story itself is well done and "Disney like" with the StarFox alliance somewhat shoehorned into the background as add ons, but it all works well enough as a backdrop to the gameplay. Being one of the few titles supporting 2 players local gameplay is a big win though as you can play under the same roof without buying multiple consoles and games, you only need 2 controllers and a single TV. With the same moralities and tone of your typical nintendo fare, this is a child friendly PG to PG 13 kind of game. Nothing over the top in violence but refined and responsive enough to surpass it's cartoon looks and be engaging with a good amount of depth. The ships are satisfyingly maneuverable and familiar for Star Fox fans and the various weapons interesting to experiment with, along with some speed and thrusting capabilities that are satisfying and efficient in covering more ground. Be prepared to go on side quests and farming exspeditions at times with many traveling departures that take some chunks of time to get through but can be fast traveled later. Although i have seen and been old these toys are DOA and not selling hardly at all, the game itself to me is somewhat of a pacifier. I wouldn't have dropped 60 bucks on it if I had it to do over as i think its actual worth is about 40, but for those who have longed for a good action space exploration game especially a Star Fox one. This is probably the best you are going to get for a long while.

Game Details

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