Starlink: Battle for Atlas sets you lose in Atlas, an open-world star system, to explore it however you see fit. Throughout your journey, you'll seamlessly fly from one planet to the next, battle on the surface and in space against the evil Forgotten Legion, customize your ship on the fly, and get to know your adventurous crew and the native inhabitants of Atlas. In anticipation of the game's launch on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, we've assembled four reasons why we can't wait to plunge headfirst into the Atlas star system when Starlink releases on October 16.
While Starlink technology allows players to seamlessly swap out physical ship components and see those changes reflect in-game, in real time, it also exists within the game world as well. The Starlink Initiative's newest member, Mason Rana, is the inventor of Starlink technology. Mason's tech allows the crew to seamlessly swap out weapons and ship parts.
Switching out your weapons in battle significantly broadens your tactical options, but Starlink is about more than just weapons. Every wing, ship, and pilot has its own unique stats and specialties so depending on which ones you own, you can find the loadout that suits you best or change it on the fly as needed. You can also alter a ship's stats by equipping the wings of another ship. For example, the Nadir is built for straight-line speed and defense, but if you want it to be a little more agile, try outfitting it with wings from the Lance, which specializes in maneuverability.
While you're tinkering around customizing your loadout, be sure to check out mods. Every individual weapon and ship can equip its own modifiers allowing you to alter your stats to fit your playstyle. Want to be a damage-soaking powerhouse? Equip the Neptune ship and fill it out with defensive boost mods and you'll be the closest thing to a flying tank in Atlas. Or, add some speed mods to Pulse to become a speed demon. Mods can be freely mixed with any ship so you can boost your strengths or fill out your weaknesses as you like. You'll find these ship and weapon modifications scattered throughout Atlas, so make sure you take some time to really explore if you want to completely customize your ships.
Exploration is at the heart of Starlink and you'll be doing a ton of it while traveling through the completely open-world Atlas Star System. You're free to engage your hyperdrive for interplanetary travel – letting you jump from planet to planet – whenever you like.
Each of the seven planets in Atlas is home to individual plant and wildlife that you can harvest or scan via a quick minigame. For example, if you feel like harvesting some Bonefruit; you'll have to grab it with your ship's tractor beam and reel it in to your ship. Similarly, if you want to add a majestic Razorbeak – a four-legged animal with chicken-like rear legs, hooved front legs, and a sharp beak – to your database, you'll have to fly 360 degrees around it to complete a scan. These mechanics can even combine, when in one instance, a faunal infection kept us from scanning a giant beast on the planet Vylus. To be able to scan it, we first had to pluck the infection off the animal's hide while it took us for a ride. Removing the infection temporarily pacified the animal, giving us enough time to scan it.
There's plenty to do on each planet, but make sure to head to the stars because space travel offers up its own fun. When you jump to hyperspace to travel from planet to planet, you'll have to navigate through more than just asteroid fields. Outlaws around the system set up hyperspace traps between planets; trigger one of these, and they'll pull you out of hyperspeed for an ambush. You'll only be able to continue on your path after you've defeated them all. If you wish to avoid conflict altogether, you'll have to successfully thread the needle through these traps.
You won't spend all your time in Atlas battling it out against the Forgotten Legion. Throughout our demo, we took on quests that involved some platforming and puzzle solving. On occasion, you'll be asked to transport something, but you won't be able to just fly it there. Some object make you too heavy to fly which leads to some tense platforming and puzzle solving moments and really highlights the differences in maneuverability between Starlink ships.
Colorful Cast of Characters
The Starlink Initiative is filled with some of the best pilots around, and if you want to pick them all up, you can play as any one of them, at any time. Each pilot has a distinct personality, backstory, and special ability that makes him or her a crucial part of the Starlink crew.
While the full crew hasn't been completely revealed, we've already spent some time with a few of the folks who you'll be traveling (and playing) with in Atlas. Victor St. Grand, a genius astrophysicist with an eye for adventure, leads the Starlink Initiative. He's also captain of your mothership, the Equinox. St. Grand assembled his squad after meeting an alien who crash-landed on Earth. That alien is Judge, the most enigmatic member of the Starlink crew. Judge's origins are a mystery, even to himself, and as a collection of sentient liquid held together in a space suit, he's about as alien as it gets. The team's search for Judge's home leads them to Atlas
A captain is only as good as his crew. Luckily for St. Grand, his crew is one of the best, and that all starts with his second in command, Razor. Razor was top of her class at the military academy before dropping out the week before graduation to form a metal band. Her skill and passion for flying made her an obvious choice when looking for a right-hand woman. In addition to Mason, the aforementioned inventor of the Starlink tech, the rest of the crew we've met includes Hunter, a Samoan soldier whose time in a Himalayan monastery helped him achieve inner peace; Chase, a Brazilian pro racing legend who overcame a devastating crash to emerge stronger and faster than ever before; Shaid, a natural-born space pirate and thief whose criminal ambitions overreached her grasp, leaving her with nowhere to turn except Starlink; and Levi, an action sports fanatic with millions of online followers who snuck aboard the Equinox before becoming like family to the rest of the crew.
Those of you playing on Nintendo Switch will also have access to an exclusive crewmember as Fox McCloud is fully playable in Starlink.
Shortly after the Starlink team arrives in Atlas, they're confronted by the evil, planet-dominating Forgotten Legion, which kidnaps St. Grand. To get him back and save Atlas, the Starlink crew will have to fight off hordes of Forgotten Legion enemies.
Enemies in Starlink are fast and numerous. Stay in one place too long, and you might not make it out alive. If you want to survive, you'll need to keep your enemies in front of you so you can effectively block their attacks and use some crowd control to keep from being overwhelmed. Combat favors speed and mobility so you'll need to utilize, jumps, dodges, strafes, and of course, barrel rolls, if you want to survive. You'll also need to find the right weapon for the job. Luckily, Starlink boasts an arsenal of varied elemental and status altering weapons. Each ship comes with two available weapon slots, meaning you can mix and match various elemental and status combinations to deal extra damage or take advantage of enemy weaknesses.
Weapon combinations can come together to devastating effect. For example, combining the Flamethrower and Frost Barrage inflicts some crippling thermal shock damage. If enemies are overwhelming you, try a combination of the Levitator and Imploder. The former's effect isolates your enemies in stasis and while the latter's area of effect vortex to hit multiple enemies at once. Or, if you truly want to wreak havoc, try shooting some Volcano rounds or Frost Barrage missiles into an Imploder's vortex to turn it into a whirling fiery (or freezing) death trap. There are a lot of possible combinations, so feel free to experiment as it's one of the best ways to take out your enemies while feeling like the baddest pilot in all of Atlas.
You'll be able to start building your fleet and explore all the Atlas Star System has to offer when Starlink comes out on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on October 16. For more on Starlink, subscribe to this channel and visit us at news.ubisoft.com.