Customize a toy ship and use it to explore the galaxy in ‘Starlink: Battle for Atlas’

Ubisoft had a number of surprises during its E3 2017 showcase, but one of the more interesting games on display was Starlink: Battle for Atlas. Coming next year, the space exploration game takes elements from toys-to-life titles to deliver a personalized experience and it is even cooler on Nintendo Switch.

Taking place in the titular Atlas star system, Starlink: Battle for Atlas tells the story of interstellar pilots who must work together to defend their home against the robotic Forgotten Legends. To do this, each pilot builds their own customizable ship to explore the far reaches of space and destroy alien threats.

These changes are physical. Ubisoft promises “an unprecedented level of customization and creativity,” and any modifications made to the plastic ship you created in the real world are instantly translated into the game. Using different weapon types and abilities, you can play the game using your own playstyle, but enemies will adapt.

Each planet you visit, as with the similar No Man’s Sky, will feature a unique ecosystem, complete with its own wildlife. The world will “evolve” depending on what you do, though it is not clear to what degree this will occur. It is a lofty promise for a game that appears to be vast in scope already.

Though Starlink will also be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the video Ubisoft showed during its press conference focused on the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Con grip. The plastic ship you use snaps right on the top of it, presumably using the controller’s built-in NFC function, but you can also play the game in its handheld mode if you need to leave your television.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas will not arrive until fall 2018, but we cannot wait to explore asteroid fields, and take on evil robots. It is in development at Ubisoft Toronto, known for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and its work on the recent Far Cry games.