Weak incentives, confused launch and a lack of substance prevent the Nintendo Switch's online service from being among the greatsWritten by Sam Nason on 13th April 2019
Impressions: Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Gaming Editor Imogen Mellor explores Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Is this game worth the money and time? Or is the sky really the limit?
During my time at EGX this past September, I got my hands on the upcoming game Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Not knowing much about it as I went to go and try it out, the best I can describe it isn’t very complicated. It's your regular fight and starflight sort of action-adventure game with bonus appearances featuring Fox McCloud from Starfox. What Starlink brings to the table, however, is it’s ‘build and play’ feature.
It’s not a new concept to have a physical representation of a game mechanic. Looking at products like Skylanders or Amiibos, they have been a popular part of gaming for a couple of years now. Starlink takes a different approach. When playing, you can change character, ship, gun, wings, and pretty much every main option, by customising the controller you use. If you want more power, pick up a new engine and clip it onto the wing in your hands and boom. Your ship goes faster instantly.
When playing this game at EGX, it was a blast. I had so many parts and so many options that I could switch out at any time. Sure, it made the controller a little heavier than normal, but overall it was tonnes of fun. That was until I realised the implications of such a product.
When buying a game these days, it’s rare to expect a complete experience without having to pay extra later on. You can look at loot boxes for example, or the even more common DLC. These have created controversy and conversation about what people are paying for in a game anymore. This concept is no different when I thought about it.
The base ‘starter pack’ on Amazon is about £65. A little on the expensive side but it does come with a couple of items. You get a ship, both of its wings, two guns and two characters. A decent start to your collection but pretty basic. A massive attraction of this game is the variety you can create, just by using its niche mechanic. To get two new weapons, that will cost you £10. To get a new starship it costs £25. I could go on, but you get the point.
Upon release of this title, to have the awesome experience I had of the game, it seems you are going to have to spend upwards of £100.
I’m a student. I also like to play games on the go. With the Switch being at my side so much of the time, there are obviously two issues. The first is I can’t bring all these parts with me everywhere to play the game. The second is, I’m poor. I can’t pay this much just to have some fun and I think it’s unreasonable to expect that of anyone.
That being said. I really enjoyed playing Starlink. It was fast paced and I lost a lot of time in the game without even realising it, which I always think is a good sign. If you have the money for it, I think be all means, give it a go. If you don’t want to spend that much on a game like me, the games industry have more and more indie and low cost options out there for us.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas will be available from 16th of October on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.