Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a narrative driven exploration of space offering complete freedom and loose objectives. It's an interesting take on this genre and it works quite well. It's definitely focused on the younger audience, but it can certainly deliver a challenge with multiple difficulty options. For context, this is a toys to game experience and for this review I played without the toys. You're able to play this without having the toys, but I can't help but feel they would have enhanced the experience further. That being said, I've noticed nothing that would indicate they're needed. Things start out relatively easy as this young team works to assist someone in space, it then completely falls apart as one of their own is taken.
This situation causes chaos as the crew crash lands onto a planet and you learn the basics from there. The story is split across multiple planets and situations, it does a great job of teaching you all of the features as you progress. It's really well done, that being said it does feel a tad repetitive later on. It continues to build with ever more epic enemies and then it sort of just has you repeat steps to progress. That was disappointing as it feels tedious after awhile. There are countless hours of gameplay here however, I'm just saying that I wanted more of a narrative focus. Instead of working through story I would be clearing a variety of outposts that are very similar, and you see those all over the planets. That aspect gets boring, at least to me very quickly.
This is one smooth game whether you're on a planet's surface or headed into space. It's a seamless transition with no loading and it's gorgeous. The planets are seriously just stunning with every inch being a breathtaking sight. There are creatures to scan, minerals to loot and things to interact with. These feel like living worlds and they're a pleasure to explore. Again, the types of objectives you have are very similar and become incredibly repetitive after a few planets. There are other missions to get and you always have something to do if you want, I was looking for something more there.
The ships handle amazingly, they're seriously impressive. It's easy for anyone to get a hold of with tactical options for adjusting to any situation. Transition between ground hovering or flying into space, you can strafe simply and it's great. The switching of weapons could have been quicker, but it's easy to swap for better elemental tools depending on the situation. The visuals are unreal across the entire game, they look great and I just wanted to mention again how impressive the visuals were on Xbox One X. There are some solid RPG elements present in regards to the plethora of crew members and the ships present. There are upgrades, facilities and other items to unlock which will enhance your journey.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an incredible experience providing a seamless transition of space and planet exploration. It's quite impressive in terms of scale and design. The worlds are amazing, a true pleasure to visit. There's a solid story in here too, a decent cast and a ton to do. I did find some of the tasks repetitive and I felt there could have been a better balance for those that mostly wanted the story.
I wasn't too interested in aimlessly flying across a planet taking on the same small doses of enemies multiple times for more resources. Overall I felt this game delivered on what was expected and exceeded my expectations for it. I'm not sure if the toys would have been a nice extra, but I had a fine time without them facing no hindrance. This is a great and accessible space title that should be excellent for all ages. There's two player local coop as well if that's something you'd like to know about.
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Starlink: Battle for Atlas Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Ubisoft