Ubisoft’s entry into the toys-to-life market didn’t turn heads that much when it was first announced at E3 2017. Played behind closed doors then, the game would return with a shocker at E3 2018. Introducing Fox McCloud exclusively on the Nintendo Switch version, the snippets of gameplay showed that you shouldn’t judge a game by its added-on plastic figures. Now that we’re almost a month away from the game’s release, various gaming outlets are sharing footage, interviews, and their time playing the game from an Ubisoft media event.

Questions about the game have been thrown around, like: Would Fox be a major part of the storyline? Will we see Falco, Slippy, or even Wolf make it in? A leak of Peppy’s model certainly made an argument that, yes, we’d see more characters from Star Fox appear. Luckily, the curtain was pulled back and we’re now able to view the game’s “first level” and have some of these questions answered through a new pair of GameXplain videos:

 

 
The game’s first cutscene, which introduces us to the main cast of Starlink, ends a bit differently on Nintendo Switch. Just before entering a firefight, the camera pulls back, revealing Fox McCloud and the complete Star Fox team. With a few quips from Falco, Slippy, and Peppy (and a mention of Wolf), Fox throws caution to the wind and takes off to aid the crew of the Equinox.

 

 
After hitting a snag thanks to The Legion (the antagonist for Starlink) and a crash landing onto Kirite, it’s time to delve into the realm of Atlas and learn combat on land. No, the Landmaster won’t be present — you’re limited to your ship (the Arwing if you play as Fox) and “hovering” around the planet’s surface. Throughout the demo that was shown, Kirite’s map is limited from the start. A combination of quests and exploration will aid in fleshing out the map and certain milestones will appears on the game’s main UI. For example, once a quest associated with the Shaletown Observatory was completed on Kirite, a “25% of Planet Explored” notification popped up.

There’s more to do on land too, noting from the game’s UI. Smaller quests, collectibles, and more appear on a planet’s map. It’s easy to see how one can “get lost” while exploring a planet’s surface with all the floral and fauna around. Unfortunately though, only snippets of this were shown.

Once leaving Kirite, we were treated to another cutscene. While this does set up more of the main storyline for Starlink, Fox and crew aren’t tacked on exactly. They’re incorporated well, interacting with the main cast and making a pact to help each other out — while also finding Star Wolf and rescuing the Equinox’s captain.

Lastly, if you’re curious about how Star Fox even made it into Starlink: Battle for Atlas, producer Matt Rose was able to divulge how this crossover happened. Many Nintendo higher-ups played the demo during E3 2017, including Yoshiaki Koizumi, Yoshio Sakamoto, and Reggie Fils-Aimé. After E3, Ubisoft and Nintendo discussed Starlink, culminating in a pitch to Shigeru Miyamoto and the original Star Fox development team. As you can see, the idea was approved and it’s been a fantastic collaboration since. Matt Rose also noted that Nintendo is responsible for Fox’s pose in the toys-to-life piece that comes with the Nintendo Switch version, and that the voice actors for Fox and his crew did return to reprise their roles — so much so that the development team for Starlink: Battle for Atlas even got a special message from the whole crew (in character).

You can enter the world of Starlink: Battle for Atlas beginning on October 16th.

 

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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)

Jennifer Burch