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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is an open world Avatar video game for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. It was developed by Ubisoft's Massive Entertainment studio, collaborating with Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Games. It is directed by Ditte Deenfeldt and was released on December 7, 2023.

The story is set during the Second Pandoran War, during the one year unseen time skip in Avatar: The Way of Water, after the RDA has returned to Pandora. The major conflict of the story is the colonization of the Western Frontier.

Plot synopsis[]

"The RDA's greed poisoned our world. They took everything from us... from me."

Like the Wii/PSP and Nintendo DS games, the story focuses on a Na'vi lead character confronting Resources Development Administration encroachment. The story is a new, standalone installment featuring new characters. The game was not announced as a direct sequel to Ubisoft's James Cameron's Avatar: The Game or a direct movie tie-in game, but expands on the Avatar universe in new ways alongside the upcoming sequel films.[1] While canon, it does not have any major crossover with the films.[2] Instead, there are some minor crossover aspects such as Frances Ardmore being mentioned in the game.

Before the Battle of the Hallelujah Mountains, the RDA's TAP (The Ambassador Program) abducted Na'vi children in an attempt to raise the Na'vi as if they were humans, and turn them against their own species. One of these children is the protagonist. The children were abducted by RDA leader John Mercer, but when the facility was attacked by the Na'vi clans during Pandoran War, the RDA ordered the execution of the children. The children were rescued by their teacher Alma Cortez who put the group of children in cryosleep.

Promotional image 3

The Western Frontier

15 years later, the children awoke and were free to explore their world. They are perceived as outsiders by other Na'vi and must reconnect with their original lost heritage. However, the RDA returned and the Na'vi must unite their clans to protect Pandora once more.

The game is set in the Western Frontier, a continent of Pandora. Areas include:

Plot[]

READER'S NOTE: The rest is to be written -- this plot summary isn't the best and could use improvement, as well as the order of events. We will not be copying/pasting from Wikipedia.
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Alma Cortez's avatar who teaches TAP

In 2146 (8 years before the first Avatar film), the RDA has set up a program called The Ambassador Program (TAP) in which Na'vi are raised like humans to become cultural ambassadors for the RDA's interests. The children have a teacher, Alma Cortez, and the program is directed by John Mercer. The protagonist is one of these children, along with their sister Aha'ri, and other students Ri'nela, Teylan, and Nor. The children are told by Mercer their clan abandoned them, but Aha'ri refuses to believe this. She attempts to escape with the group, but she is killed by Mercer for being defiant.

8 years later, in 2154, Jake Sully has organized the Na'vi for the Assault on the Tree of Souls. The commotion and rebellion encourages Mercer to end TAP, and he orders the executions of the now teenage students. Although the soldiers are about to fire on the student, Alma comes in and shoots them to death. The students and Alma find cryopods and Alma puts them inside to hide and save them.

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Priya and So'lek at Resistance HQ.

Almost 16 years later, in 2169, Alma returns with a few members of the Resistance to free the children (it took this long because Alma thought they were all dead due to an explosion). They escape, but the protagonist briefly meets Mercer again as well as Angela Harding, his colonel assistant. Mercer still wants the students dead after all these years. The protagonist meets So'lek and goes to the Resistance HQ where they meet Priya Chen. While the group is safe for now, they are informed of the RDA's decision to recolonize Pandora, especially the Western Frontier.

While assisting the Resistance to destroy RDA bases, the students find a Tarsyu plant where they connect to Eywa. The protagonist learns their clan, the Sarentu, was founded by Entu a long time ago, and speaks to his ancestral memory.

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Etuwa and Nefika of the Aranahe.

The protagonist also meets the Aranahe clan and befriends Etuwa, the tsahik, and Nefika, a talented weaver. The group of three discover why there is an overabundance of kinglor in their Hometree, and find out the problem stems from the RDA's pollution. With this knowledge, the clan leader Ka'nat agrees for the clan to fight against the RDA.

The protagonist then meets Nesim and Minang, the two leaders of the Zeswa clan, who ask for help dealing with the RDA. The protagonist learns about direhorse riding, and how Harding is poaching animals such as the zakru for a black market of vaulable materials.

After successfully driving Harding out of the Upper Plains, the Resistance hosts a party to celebrate, during which Nor has an argument with Alma about how she condoned much of Mercer's and Harding's abuse. Before the argument can escalate, the base is attacked and destroyed by the RDA.

The protagonist is taken hostage to Mercer's base in the Clouded Forest. Billy Nash, who had pretended to renounce the Resistance, helps them escape but sacrifices his life to blow up the facility. The protagonist learns that Teylan is missing and tries to contact him, learning that he double-crossed the Resistance and gave their location to Mercer. They reconvene with the Resistance in their new hideout in a mountain within the Clouded Forest and learn that many members, including Alma's avatar, are gravely injured and need medicine. The protagonist decides to seek the aid of the elusive Kame'tire clan as they are known for their mastery of herbalism, but Alma warns the protagonist that the clan is untrustworthy.

Main Characters[]

Humans[]

Priya Chen Profile

Priya Chen of the Resistance

Na'vi[]

Teylan HQ

Teylan, one of the TAP students

Gameplay[]

Character Creation and Customization[]

ChooseHumanNaviweapons

A customized Na'vi on the main menu.

The player can choose between a feminine or masculine body type and from three different voices: a feminine, masculine, and androgynous one. Hair can be customized with different styles and colors; players can unlock new hair styles and hair tints from game quests. Eye and skin color are also customizable, as are stripe and bioluminescence patterns. Facial features are also customizable, but players primarily must choose from a set of face presets. Players can re-customize their appearance later, meaning players can enjoy and jump into the game sooner instead of having to perfect their appearance. They can collect new armor and clothing throughout the game. Players can choose to make their clothing items resemble any piece of clothing they have unlocked while keeping the stats and bonuses of another. Cosmetic overrides completely replace the look of a part and can be purchased from the shop.

Player stats include health, energy, fire resistance, poison resistance, electrical resistance, and stealth.

Exploration[]

The game is a first person action adventure open world game that was meant to have a living and reactive world. However, it becomes third person while riding animals. The developers were interested in creating an immersive version of Pandora where players can "live an alternate life on the moon".[3] There are plenty of quests and sidequests.

The player can use "Na'vi vision" which helps scan the environment. It highlights the rough area an objective's in as a big light turquoise smudge in the field of view. Na'vi vision can pick up the scent of animal trails. Na'vi vision is also used for the "Hunter's Guide" which essentially acts as this game's own Pandorapedia where they can learn the lore of the flora and fauna.

Poached animal

The player saving a poached animal.

The player will sometimes find animals that are being poached by the RDA with tracking devices embedded into their bodies. The player may choose to save them.

At certain campfires and resting spots, players can choose to "pass time" in order to progress the day/night cycle. This can trigger characters to appear when they are needed for quests, or to harvest plants at the best time.

Because the Na'vi do not seem to use money, there exists a clan favor system instead where doing errands and activities for clans will unlock new items from them.

Ikran and direhorse riding[]

Frontiers Na'vi Warrior

Ikran riding

A portion into the game, players will bond with their own ikran which they can name, feed and customize. They can experience acrobatics while flying, such as doing barrel rolls, and fight the RDA in aerial battles. The ikran cannot be killed. Every ikran has their own favorite food which is randomized for every play to figure out. Players can unlock different skins for their ikran, and raise their gameplay attributes via the skill tree (e.g. flying faster or doing flying takedowns on staggered enemies). When flying near bodies of water, ikran can catch fish to replenish their energy.

At the Upper Plains, the player can ride direhorses. Unlike ikran, direhorses do not bond for life and are simply used for navigation. Direhorses can be killed; entering any body of water will instantly kill them, likely because they have their breathing holes on the sides of their bodies.

Item collection and crafting[]

Players can collect resources from flora and wildlife. According to one of the developers, the game is not about "hoarding and taking everything you see" because it goes against the themes of the series. The nature of the Na'vi is that they live in harmony with Pandora, only taking what they need to live, the idea of depicting them exploiting nature for its resources would contradict this. Rather, item hunting and collecting is only supposed to be about "finding the best of it."[4] This is done by a rarity system where players try to find "exquisite" ingredients and materials.

The game has a crafting system, including weapons and dishes; these consumables translate into status effects and bonuses. Better crafting materials in an area become available once the area's RDA base is taken out.

Players can also choose to eat food raw instead, instead of having to cook.

Characters[]

FOPTrailer06

Nefika, a weaver of the Aranahe clan

The game's characters react to the environment (e.g. commenting on the weather) and will comment on the protagonist's decisions made and their progress. They may also comment on the character's appearance, complimenting or making fun of their choice of attire.

The previous Avatar: The Game was criticized for featuring bland characters who exist mainly to dish out fetch quests. However, Frontiers of Pandora is claimed to have a "rich cast of characters" that the developers "really wanted to convey the Na'vi culture and heritage." Because of this, each character has their own independent side stories which can be read in the "Characters" section of the Journal. Many side quests in the game are centralized around various interpersonal conflicts between characters.

Combat[]

See also: Weapons in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

The player has access to both Na'vi and human weapons. Na'vi weapons include:

RDA weapons include:

Na'vi weapons are suited for stealth, and arrows can be crafted by collecting plants that grow in the environment. In contrast, guns are powerful but they are loud. The game will not force a playstyle onto the player, instead allowing them to decide which approach they prefer. Ammo for human weapons can only be replenished by finding ammo at RDA outposts or on dead soldiers.

Avfop-home-game info-promo-04-combat

Fighting at an RDA base

Over the course of the game, players attack RDA outposts. These facilities pollute the areas they're in, and destroying them allows nature to reclaim them. This translates to new resources for the player to collect. The player can scope out RDA bases using instincts to get a general read on where the humans are, and thus tag enemies. Traps can be set up using a weapon called the Staff Sling. Destroying the RDA's bases allows Pandora's damaged environment to recover from the pollution, allowing flora to be harvested. There is also a hacking minigame at the RDA bases, field labs, and occasional loot boxes using a device known as the Systems Interrogation Device (SID).

Players may kill Pandoran animals and wildlife.

Skill trees[]

Tarsyu Plant

Connecting to Eywa through the Tarsyu plant

The game features a skill tree upgrade system. This upgrade system is accessed via connecting to Eywa using the Tarsyu plant, thus learning from the memories of past Na'vi ancestors. The skill tree has the following branches:

  • Hunter: Unlocks skills to improve tracking abilities and identify higher-quality materials
  • Maker: Improves cooking and crafting attributes
  • Rider: Provides skills for the player's ikran
  • Survivor: Provides stats for health and increases inventory size
  • Warrior: Raises proficiency with weapons

Co-op Mode[]

There is optional two-player co-op, allowing the player to experience the full story campaign from start to finish with a friend, as well as give items and weapons to each other. The game supports cross-platform so that PC, Xbox and PlayStation players can all co-op together.

Co-op is available after the player has finished the quest "The Aranahe Clan". In co-op, one player acts as the host (the one inviting to the session), and the other is the guest (the one accepting the invitation). The world will reflect the host's progress as the co-op session begins. Quests and activities completed in co-op do not need to be replayed solo. Players keep all progression gained during the co-op session, including gear, items, and collectibles.

When it comes to difficulty during co-op, the game respects each player's individual settings on how much damage they take and how much damage they deal. It also takes into account each player's Combat Strength (a unified measurement of your equipment and skills). In instances where the difficulty is relative to the player's Combat Strength, the game will adapt its difficultly level to reflect the host, the one who started the co-op session by sending an invitation.

Other features[]

On PlayStation 5, the game supports haptic feedback, allowing players to feel vibrations such as when falling to the ground, feeling their ikran's wings fly, etc.

The game has a photo mode.

Audio and Music[]

The main theme of the game is The People's Cry which is sung in the Na'vi language.

The music was composed by Pinar Toprak; she intended the score to resonate with the hearts and minds of players so that it would be memorable and stay with them. Another intention was to try to make the different regions and clans have different music so that they would feel unique, as well as to shift to more "organic" music to symbolize the player's journey to becoming Na'vi. Simon Landry supervised the music when it was recorded with the Royal National Scottish Orchestra.

Audio director Alex Riviere said that one of the main goal's of the audio design was to engage the player so much that they forget they are playing a video game. He wanted to stay true to the music identity of the Avatar series.

Development[]

Massive,_Lightstorm_and_Fox_Interactive_team_up_for_a_game_based_on_Avatar_universe_-US-

Massive, Lightstorm and Fox Interactive team up for a game based on Avatar universe -US-

Announcement video for the Avatar Project

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Avatar- Frontiers of Pandora™- First Look Trailer - -UbiForward - Ubisoft -NA-

First look trailer from Ubisoft Forward presentation at E3 2021

Massive Entertainment AB, a Ubisoft owned studio since 2008, is best known for their work on the open world shooter game Tom Clancy's The Division. Their proprietary game engine, Snowdrop, used for The Division, allows for the creation of realistic game environments with huge amounts of detail, dynamic global illumination lighting, and real-time destruction effects.[1]

Ubisoft worked on the concept for an Avatar game independently of Frontiers. Its proof of concept was brought to Lightstorm. Lightstorm was impressed with the pitch.[5]

After seeing a prototype run in Snowdrop, James Cameron and Lightstorm agreed to the game partnership. The announcement of the game, then known as the Avatar Project, was announced in February 2016. It was coordinated during the 2017 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California to help attract top talent to the Avatar Project development team.[6] Ubisoft later clarified that Massive's Avatar Project development team was a dedicated team separate from Massive's development team for The Division.[7]

On August 8th, 2017, Massive announced Ubisoft Stockholm as a collaborator on the Avatar Project.[8] On Ubisoft's website for the game, Ubisoft Düsseldorf and Ubisoft Shanghai were listed as developers alongside Massive Entertainment.

Massive's staff watched the first film numerous times in order to be immersed in the setting. They were allowed to read the script of The Way of Water before release, and were given additional information on the setting by Lightstorm. Lightstorm had final say over any element within the game.[5]

The primarily first person mode is a stylistic choice intended to make the player feel closer to Pandora: "A first-person perspective is the best way to be immersed in a new place. There's so much in the details and in the technology of Pandora, all these otherworldly, reactive things, and you want to touch them and see how they react. First-person was the most tactile, and most importantly, the most immersive."

Ditte

Director Ditte Deenfeldt presenting Frontiers of Pandora at Ubisoft Forward

On July 21, 2022, during an investor call, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was delayed from a 2022 release to one between April 2023 and March 2024.[9]

On June 12, 2023, Ubisoft held their "Ubisoft Forward" event where additional information on Frontiers of Pandora was revealed.

The game was intended to be released in 2022, simultaniously with The Way of Water. However, after several delays, the game launched in December 2023 with limited marketing.[10]

DLC (post-launch content)[]

Story Pack 1: The Sky Breaker (July 16, 2024)[]

FOP-Poster

The Sky Breaker DLC poster

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Avatar- Frontiers of Pandora - The Sky Breaker Story Pack Trailer - Ubisoft Forward

First look trailer for The Sky Breaker from the Ubisoft Forward presentation on June 10, 2024

"A mysterious shadow looms in the sky, threatening the Na'vi clans below who are celebrating at their great festival of games. Face the RDA and protect the unity of the clans."

Ubisoft Forward first look trailer and press release[]

A trailer for The Sky Breaker was released on June 10, at Ubisoft Forward, and it announced the release date to be July 16, 2024.

The trailer includes footage of a Zakru migration, a new red variant of direhorse, and a new camp at which the 'Great Games' are held. Some competitions the protagonist can participate in are featured as well, including a mounted archery course on the back of a direhorse, as well as a footrace. Interestingly enough, nine seconds into the trailer, Na'vi behind the player character can be seen wearing what appears to be traditional Sarentu clothing. Whether these are other TAP survivors not previously seen, or Sarentu who somehow avoided the massacre, is currently unknown.

The Sky Breaker will add a new area to the Upper Plains called The Heart of the Plains, which will include familiar biomes as well as new ones such as the Prism Fields, Feathered Grasslands, and Stone Rapids.[11]

The AMP Defender and RDA Lieutenant will be new enemy types added in this DLC.[11]

New timed challenges will be added, as well as a higher 'Legendary' rarity category for items. The DLC will also increase the level cap to level 25 for players who have access to the content.[11]

Nesim and Anufi will likely appear in the DLC, as they appear in the trailer. Presumably, Etuwa and Minang will also be featured, as they appear in the cover art. Angela Harding will appear as an antagonist.

Avatar Theory video[]

A video released by the channel Avatar Theory included exclusive b-roll footage not released during the Ubisoft Forward event.[12] The footage included more in-depth looks at the new map location, the new camp, the Zakru migration, and the competitions.[12] The footage also revealed a new mechanic in which the player can use direhorse pitcher plants to summon a direhorse.[12]

More promotional images[]

Gematsu, a Japanese video game news website, released an album on June 10 of art relating to The Sky Breaker.[13] Along with high resolution versions of the already-released promotional poster and the title, the album included nine new promotional images of the upcoming DLC content.

The discoveringpandora Instagram account posted two of these images on June 20. In their post featuring the image with the petrified trees, they claimed the area featured was called the Tree of Echoes.[14] In their post of the new RDA camp, they claimed the camps were called SecOps Camps.[15] The discoveringpandora Instagram also later posted the floating mountains promotional image, claiming the region was called the Shattered Mountains.[16]

FoPSkyBreakerTitleScreen

The Sky Breaker new title screen

New title screen[]

On June 17, the game received Title Update 3.4[17] which fixed crashes and also added a new title screen promoting the DLC. The new title screen features four kites being flown on the Upper Plains, in contrast to the old title screen which was set in the Kinglor Forest. Each of the kites seem to represent one of the clans on the Western Frontier. The kinglor kite, in common Aranahe cloth colors, represents the Aranahe. The kite next to it may represent the Kame'tire as it resembles a Sailfin Goliath. The red ikran kite may represent the Zeswa as it is in the same style as the kites they fly near their camps. Finally, the more abstract kite may represent the Sarentu clan, having a slight similarity to the Sarentu symbol each of the survivors is marked with.

Title Update 4.0[]

On July 15, Ubisoft published the patch notes for Title Update 4.0, which will deliver the Sky Breaker DLC content to players.[18] The patch notes revealed more information about the DLC and how to access it.

As revealed earlier, the DLC will occur after the main story of Frontiers of Pandora. However, if players so choose, they may skip the main story after the main quest Songs of the Ancestor, which is the fourth main quest of the game, and start the DLC. Players will reportedly be given all that they need in order to play the DLC content if they decide to skip the game's main story.[18]

The first quest of the DLC will be called An Invitation.[18]

The DLC will include a main questline as well as new sidequests and activities. The new RDA enemy types will be located in areas called RDA Command Stations. Skill points also have a new use, and can upgrade character damage, energy, and health stats up to four times each. The cost for these upgrades has not been revealed in these patch notes.[18]

Direhorses are getting a comprehensive overhaul. The new direhorse varieties shown in earlier reveals will be called Heartlands direhorse variants, and will only occur in the new Heart of the Plains location. Direhorses also can perform a new type of jump: a Great Jump. Direhorses also will be able to ride through deeper waters "more effectively" — this likely refers to patching out the fact that direhorses previously would instantly die if ridden into slightly deep water.[18]

Story Pack 2: Secrets of the Spires (Fall 2024)[]

"Engage in epic aerial combat on your banshee to uncover the secrets of this new canyon region and restore the peace before it's too late!"

Bonus Quest: Familiar Echoes[]

"Infiltrate a highly secured RDA military base and hack their classified data to sabotage them from the inside."

Editions[]

There are multiple versions of the game. There is a base version that simply contains the game. Pre-ordering the game anywhere resulted in the "Child of Two Worlds" pack containing 1 character cosmetic and 1 unique weapon skin. There were three major editions after:

Gold Edition (digital):

  • Contains the Child of Two Worlds pre-order bonus
  • Season Pass (2 DLCs), The Sky Breaker, Secrets of Spires.
  • Bonus Mission (Famillar Echoes)
  • Resistance Banshee Mount: 1 Unique Banshee Skin
  • Resistance Equipment Pack: 1 Character Gear Set and 1 Weapon
Avatar-Ultimate-Edition

Ultimate Edition

Ultimate Edition (digital):

  • Contains everything in the Gold Edition, plus:
    • Sarentu Heritage Cosmetic Pack: (1 Character Cosmetic Set, 1 Premium Weapon Skin, 1 Banshee Cosmetic Set)
    • Sarentu Hunter Equipment Pack: (1 Character Gear Set and 1 Unique Weapon)
    • Digital Artbook
Avatar-different-editions-2-1536x864

Collector's Edition

Collection's Edition (physical):

  • Includes everything in the Ultimate Edition (and thus Gold Edition as well)
  • Comes with Collector's Packaging
  • Resistance Field Notebook
  • Premium Certificate of Authenticity
  • 3 Lithographs
  • 35cm statue of a female Na'vi
  • Steelbook containing the game
  • AMP Suit blueprint
  • 128 page physical artbook

Note that the "Ultimate" Edition is somewhat of a misnomer because it lacks the physical collectibles, and thus the Collector's Edition could be considered the best version by those who want the most content.

Reception[]

Frontiers of Pandora received generally positive reviews and currently has a 72/100 on Metacritic.[1]

GameSpot gave it a 8/10 and felt it has exciting combat and a beautiful open world with great graphics and art design. They felt the story is interesting, but suffers from the open-world issue of spreading it too thin, making it tough to remember the names of characters and what their role is, especially a few hours after initial contact. Some NPCs are relegated to side quests that the player might not have played, giving them a disposable quality to their character. GamingTrend went so far as to call the story "safe" -- one that is predictable of the Avatar series and inoffensive, while other reviewers called it dull and uninspired.

GameRant was not as kind, giving the game a 2.5/5, commenting, "Frontiers of Pandora feels less like the game Cameron's films deserve and more like a theme park ride that wears out its welcome far too soon." They felt the game drops the ball in its gameplay, mission design and story, finding them predictable, generic, and repetitive, commenting it is what to be expected of a Ubisoft formula.[19]

Mercer kills Aha'ri

Aha'ri being killed after the player only knows her for five minutes

It can be argued Frontiers suffers some of the same problems as Avatar: The Game; the characters who die in the story are ones the player barely knows on a deep personal level, such as Billy Nash.[citation needed] Many players were disappointed by Mercer's and Harding's lack of role in the story as antagonists, feeling both of their presences are not really felt.[citation needed] Many players feel Mercer is a generic evil uninteresting bad guy, which Miles Quaritch in the first film has been criticized for, and even a regression from Anthony Ossman from the Nintendo DS game released over a decade prior who can easily be argued has more complexity to his character and motives (i.e. doing rather evil things to save his ill daughter's life).[citation needed]

One complaint of a missed opportunity is players wishing they spent more time in TAP (or even outside on Pandora) bonding with Aha'ri, Teylan, Ri'nela and Nor. The decision to kill Aha'ri, the protagonist's sister, a mere 5 minutes into the game, was questioned, and many players felt her death would have been emotionally impactful if the player knew her for more than 5 minutes.[citation needed]

A Polygon journalist wished the gameplay and story reflected the environmental themes more, commenting, "I’m taught to give thanks to Eywa and the animals whose skin and meat I harvest after I kill them; I am supposed to be a thoughtful Na’vi, only taking what I need with great care from the world around me. In Na’vi culture, we’re only meant to remove a single egg from a nest to ensure the survival of a species, but there’s nothing stopping me from reaping an entire generation of eggs from the forest because I can and I want to (and also achievements, maybe). Such is the beauty of gaming... We’re still relying on the same storytelling tropes from FernGully, a children’s film, with just enough self-awareness to seem progressive. You do not come to Avatar for education, or even edutainment, but for good, old-fashioned feelgood entertainment."[20]

A common criticism is that the game is too similar to being Far Cry.[citation needed] While this can be good or bad depending on if the player enjoys Far Cry, others felt this has consequences and that the game has a lack of many welcomed modern trends. This can include:

  • NPC traveling companions
  • Romance/dating options, when the Mass Effect games and even the first Avatar film are stories about humans falling in love with aliens
  • Allowing the player to choose their dialogue during conversations, or allowing the player to make difficult moral choices (besides one choice to forgive Alma during an optional side quest which has no effect on anything later)
    • In addition, there is only one ending where the player is forced to kill Mercer; there is no alternate ending where the player can spare his life and take him captive to the Resistance, and even hold his life as leverage to be used against the RDA which could introduce more grey-on-grey moral complexity
  • An option to change the pitch of the player's voice, similar to Saints Row games
  • Having more than one possible ending based on the cumulative actions of the player throughout the game
  • Random encounters spread throughout the map, such as finding members of the Resistance fighting the RDA
  • New Game+ features; there is also no way for the RDA to occasionally take over outposts once all of them are completed, hurting the game's replay value for those who enjoy its combat
  • Allowing the player to choose between first or third person. The director said she felt third-person is too much work in a video interview, despite that much of the animation work for the protagonist is already done, as proven by watching a partner in co-op mode. Many feel not having an optional third-person mode for the sake of "immersion" was a patronizing choice and also a deal breaker to not even buy the game.[citation needed] Some have stated that immersion is relative and that they get this more from third-person instead of first, while others experience motion sickness from first-person.[citation needed]
  • No VR support, when the PlayStation 5 has PlayStation VR2

It can easily be considered that the game misjudges some of the values of the Avatar fanbase, as Ubisoft has effectively made an Avatar first-person shooter game full of outpost raiding, when many people who have had Post-Avatar Depression Syndrome would prefer a social multiplayer role-playing game or MMORPG.[citation needed] While many fans wanted an open world Pandora, there is a huge emphasis on item and resource collecting to the point many players felt grew monotonous, often just to kill things more easily, even animals which some fans think is unnecessary and tone-deaf.[citation needed]

Another aspect some players were disappointed with is that they never psychologically feel part of a clan, but merely a fish-out-of-water character who assists clans.[citation needed] Frontiers is supposed to be about reclaiming Sarentu heritage, although Nor runs off in the ending and disappears, and Teylan is absent for a portion of the story, effectively leaving the player with Ri'nela. Frontiers also does not feature much spoken Na'vi, missing an opportunity for players to learn many Na'vi phrases. The way the NPCs were handled was criticized, as the player does not have members of the Resistance fight with them in gameplay, and it can feel like the player is the only one actually doing any combat against the RDA in the Western Frontier.[citation needed]

Despite these aspects, Siliconera gave the game a 7/10 and felt Frontiers of Pandora "isn't a soulless Far Cry clone. There is love and care put into recreating James Cameron's world. However, once the awe of wandering Pandora eventually wears off, you're left with a game that doesn't have as much going on as it should in a world this vast and alive."[21]

Criticism of Hunting Elements[]

Avfop-game-informer-hunting

The player aiming at a Bone Helm Rhino

GameRant's reviewer also criticized its hunting mechanics; while The Way of Water focuses on animal rights issues with the tulkun, previous Avatar video games were not focused on hunting animals, and James Cameron is a vegan who has chefs only serve vegan food for the cast of the Avatar sequels, Frontiers encourages players to slaughter docile animals to create meat-based meals which raise stat boosts, putting players who would rather not kill virtual animals at a gameplay disadvantage, and some quests try to pressure players into its hunting elements. The reviewer commented it feels "embarrassingly ironic" and tone-deaf to feature hunting, feeling the themes would be better if the hunting system simply was not included in the first place.[22] Some players were also irked by the graphic nature of the hunting mechanics and desired to be able to play the game without having to utilize them. In response, a portion of the community have attempted to play the game in a way it was not intended by creating a pacifist guide.[citation needed]

It is unclear if Ubisoft and Massive will ever patch the game to be more considerate of anti-hunting players and let players roleplay as a non-killing Na'vi. The game's roadmap only mentions Story DLC, and the idea for Frontiers of Pandora to have a community-based roadmap to add player-requested features makes it unlikely.

Sales[]

The game received a major price drop (30 percent off) only 10 days after it was released. Some aspects can be seen as hurting its sales; for example, it was delayed for a year which meant it could no longer be released alongside The Way of Water. Many gamers still do not own Xbox Series or PlayStation 5s, and Frontiers is not available for the previous console generation. The game took half a year to release on Steam, and many PC gamers are opposed to buying games which require launchers such as Ubisoft Connect, Origin, Epic, etc. The game requires decent PCs for the graphics. The game's 72 Metascore and many online reviewers making videos about how Frontiers is "mid" did not work in the game's favor either.

As of January 2024, the game has accumulated 1.9 million players, which translated into an estimated $133 million in gross revenue. However, this was a reduction of Massive's previous Division games, which grossed 2 to 3 times as much.[10]

Trivia[]

So'lek's Journey 1a

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora: So'lek's Journey

Trudy easter egg

Trudy's Samson

  • There is a six-issue tie-in comic featuring the character So'lek.
  • There are audio dubs in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  • Paul Frommer, the developer of the Na'vi language, mentioned on his site Na'viteri.org that he contributed to Frontiers of Pandora to ensure the language is accurate. He also contributed to the names of the new fauna and flora.
  • The writers of the game's story were allowed to read the scripts for Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5 to ensure the story would be true and cohesive to canon. Jon Landau also mentioned that Frontiers of Pandora will have connections to Avatar 3 but did not elaborate how.[23]
  • An easter egg referencing Trudy Chacón's Samson with the number 16 and name "Chacon" printed on the side can be found in-tact in the Kinglor Forest.
  • Players have poked fun at the Hammerhead Titanotheres in the game because in the first film, Grace Augustine said they will not attack if players hold their ground due to it being a territorial threat display. In the game, this does not work and they will simply try to trample the player.
  • During the game, it is revealed that the Na'vi can connect their queues and access each other's memories. It is unclear if avatars can do this with Na'vi and with each other's avatars, and also begs the question if Neytiri could view Jake Sully's memories of Earth, now that his consciousness is in his avatar body.
  • Frontiers of Pandora was somewhat buggy on release, and the bugs could make the player stuck on objectives and unable to progress. The quest The Missing Hunter had a notorious bug where Zomey would be stuck in the ground which would softlock players and pressure them to restart the entire game. Most major bugs were fixed in patch 1.02 a week after release.
  • The player can find books within field labs scattered across the map. Among these books there is The Na'vi, The RDA Encyclopedia, Pandoran Grasses: Bio-systematics and Genome Analysis, and Evolution & Convergent Morphology: An Intergalactic Perspective. The last may be a reference to Pandora's fauna being highly anatomically similar to that of Earth. The RDA Encyclopedia also has a subtitle but it is unreadable due to the texture resolution being too low.
  • Some SecOps NPCs in RDA bases can be heard saying, "Wonder who will play who when they make this into a movie," possibly an easter egg referencing the Avatar films.
  • The game has several instances of LGBTQ+ representation. Priya Chen and Anqa Salaam are implied to have romantic feelings for one another and later start a relationship; two Na'vi characters use exclusively gender-neutral pronouns, Okul and Tsu'kiri; and a Zeswa clan NPC can be overheard mentioning her anxiety about talking to her female crush. The voice actor for the androgynous voice of the protagonist, Ess Hödlmoser, is also non-binary.

External links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://www.ubisoft.com/en-US/company/press/detail.aspx?id=283739
  2. https://www.polygon.com/23500772/avatar-2-games-frontiers-of-pandora-reckoning-vs-way-of-water
  3. https://youtu.be/RIH9CAco_F8
  4. https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/avatar-frontiers-of-pandora-interview-drew-rechner/
  5. 5.0 5.1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlgnvfL0iZ0
  6. http://blog.ubi.com/new-avatar-game-spearheaded-division-developer-massive/
  7. http://www.pcgamer.com/ubisoft-says-its-new-avatar-project-will-have-no-impact-on-the-division/
  8. https://twitter.com/UbiMassive/status/894951557556572162
  9. https://twinfinite.net/2022/07/splinter-cell-vr-ghost-recon-frontline-canceled-ubisoft/
  10. 10.0 10.1 https://insider-gaming.com/inside-ubisoft-from-low-morale-to-internal-tensions/
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, The Sky Breaker press release
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 SKY BREAKER DLC | Extended Gameplay Discussion - New Locations and MORE!
  13. https://www.gematsu.com/gallery/avatar-frontiers-of-pandora/june-10-2024
  14. https://www.instagram.com/p/C8c7syGyuBL/?igsh=dG1meXIwNjNtdmx4
  15. https://www.instagram.com/p/C8c7lBey3Ik/
  16. https://www.instagram.com/p/C8fIiPXPwDz/?igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
  17. AVATAR: FRONTIERS OF PANDORA – TITLE UPDATE 3.4
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 AVATAR: FRONTIERS OF PANDORA – TITLE UPDATE 4.0 PATCH NOTES
  19. GameRant review
  20. Polygon reviewer
  21. Siliconera review
  22. GameRant review
  23. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/avatar-frontiers-of-pandora-game-has-clues-about-avatar-3/1100-6519516/
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