Last week saw the release of the highly anticipated Starlink: Battle for Atlas. While the toys and gameplay looked interesting, the most awaited aspect was arguably the inclusion of Star Fox in the Nintendo Switch version of the game. It was an unexpected announcement, and applauded by fans as this looked to be a great Star Fox experience the Switch was missing at the moment. Interestingly, Ubisoft actually began to implement Fox's Arwing before the deal was confirmed by Nintendo.
In an interview with Riley Little of Okay, Cool, Starlink producer Matthew Rose talked about Nintendo's relationship with Ubisoft, and that the team prepared the Arwing before Nintendo officially confirmed inclusion for Star Fox.
Matthew Rose: "So we always thought “maybe, maybe they’ll be interested. Maybe this is something we can do” and so we started right away, because we were like “we’re so excited by even them having this conversation with us, even though they hadn’t confirmed anything.” And so we started working. We started drawing concepts, we made a 3D-printed Arwing that had their proper connectors and toys in it so that you could take it apart and everything.”
Rose would go on to say that the team presented the Arwing to Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto, and of course we all know what happens from there. It's a fascinating collaboration, as not only is Star Fox implemented into the gameplay, but also into some of the game's cutscenes. Adding Star Fox seems to have worked in getting fans excited for the Nintendo Switch version. In the United Kingdom, 82% of Starlink copies sold during launch were from the Nintendo Switch version, according to Game Industry.biz. The game has performed reasonably well critically, with the Switch and Xbox One versions getting a 75 on Metacritic.
Ubisoft is no stranger to working with Nintendo. Before Starlink, the companies worked together on Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, which released last year. Kingdom Battle was highly acclaimed, achieving a score of 85 on Metacritic. Clearly, Nintendo and Ubisoft working together means fun, interesting results. Those looking to play an open world Star Fox title should play Starlink. It is unknown when the next Star Fox game will release. The previous one, Star Fox Zero, released in 2016 to mixed reception, getting a 69 on Metacritic. As a whole, Starlink: Battle for Atlas isn't a perfect game, but there is a lot to like. The open world design is nice, and fans of space shooters will feel right at home with the game's combat.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas is available now for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4.