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Avatar: Reckoning, known in China as Avatar: Return to Pandora (阿凡达:重返潘多拉), is a cancelled open world MMORPG Avatar video game for mobile devices (Android/iOS). The game was being developed and published by Archosaur Games and intended for release in 2024. However, it was cancelled to this vague reason: “strategic adjustment of the company's products and operations.”

It has been said that the game would be free-to-play, but would have optional micro-transactions meant for aspects such as cosmetics, weapon skins and clothing.[citation needed]

Due to the game's cancellation, it may be considered lost media forever. As a result, the Avatar Wiki has tried to preserve the game's story through extensive datamining. There is a script and a fully translated version from Chinese.

Plot[]

Canonicity[]

The plot was going to be canon, but would not tie in heavily with the events of the films, although Jake Sully was indirectly referenced and Neytiri appeared as a boss fight cameo.[3]

Since the game is cancelled, it is unclear if any aspects of the story are still canon, such as the new clans.

Synopsis[]

The story was set after the events of the first film, after the RDA had returned to Pandora. Although a year was not provided, Lily Reese is said to have "not been on Pandora 16 years ago", suggesting it was set in 2170 close to Avatar: The Way of Water and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.

The story took place in never-before-seen parts of Pandora (the Wetlands and Highlands) where players would meet new Na'vi clans fighting to defend their home and battle the RDA for resources.[1] These clans included the Hulanta Clan, the Rey'tanu Clan, the Anurai Clan and the Tayrangi Clan.

Edmund newer

Dr. Edmund Langford

The protagonist of the game was given the default call-sign of Raven and the plot of the game focused around their mission to uncover the truth about what happened to their parents, who went missing after their Samson vessel was attacked and crashed in the jungle. They would work for Edmund Langford, a knowledgeable professor who was friends with their parents.

However, soon after chapter two begins, Raven meets Ro'até, a Na'vi of the Hulanta clan. Ro'até saves Raven from a hammerhead titanothere. Raven gradually discovers there is more to the RDA and Na'vi than meets the eye.

Raven would eventually go to the Anurai Clan, and then to the Tayrangi Clan.

Main Characters[]

Trinity human portrait

Trinity Harper, the main villain

  • Raven: Raven is the protagonist whose gender and appearance can be decided by the player.
  • Raven's Father: Raven's father who went missing over a decade ago on Pandora, and is believed by Raven to be deceased.
  • Raven's Mother: Raven's mother who went missing over a decade ago on Pandora, and is believed by Raven to be deceased.
  • Trinity Harper: She is the main antagonist of the game, and the administrator of the RDA's base.
  • Edmund Langford: He is assisting Raven with their desire to avenge their parents, as he and them were close friends. He covers for Raven and gives Raven advice on what to do next.
  • Will Murphy: A SecOps captain whose squad also consists of Vince "Beethoven" Anderson and Ashley "Ghost" Sloane. Evidence suggests they would be bigoted against the Na'vi, but their time on Pandora with Raven would get them to switch sides.
  • Ro'até: The Tsakarem of the Hulanta clan who teaches Raven about the Na'vi.
  • Eaton Roberts: The administrator of the RDA's mining base in the Highlands who could not care less about the welfare of the Na'vi.

Gameplay[]

GameplayAvatarReckoning-04

The character creator

Players were able to create their own avatar who could level up and be equipped with gear and weapons.[1]

The game contained a campaign with at least three chapters. The player would have an inventory and go on quests, interacting with NPCs and being able to occasionally choose their own dialogue. They would be able to have flying mounts, swim underwater, and climb the sides of rocky walls similar to the Uncharted series.

Gameplay trailer

The game featured single-player and co-op functions, with both PVE and PVP modes. Players would join Na’vi clans to fight off waves of RDA troops in both solo and multiplayer matches.[4]

Players would carry a futuristic handheld device with a screen which they would use to navigate menus. They could chat using text chat, and there would also be emojis they could use. In at least one instance, some characters (Ashley Sloane, Vince Anderson and Will Murphy) are seen using the group chat.

There would have been a player hub (seen here) where lots of players would gather, and they could go on missions together to defeat waves of enemies or do target practice.

The game was built on Unreal Engine 4, like Archosaur's Dragon Raja, with touchscreen tailored combat.[5][1]

Development[]

Avatar-_Reckoning_-_Official_Trailer

Avatar- Reckoning - Official Trailer

Avatar: Reckoning was officially announced on January 13, 2022, with a closed beta planned for Canada the same month.[6] The developers, Archosaur Games, are a mainland China based company specializing in mobile MMO development backed by Tencent, Perfect World, and Sixjoy Hong Kong Limited.[7]

The first closed beta testing began in January 24 in Canada and lasted for 10 days.

The official trailer for the game was released on June 27, 2022, and mentioned that the game had been delayed from a 2022 release to a 2023 release.

Neytiri Reckoning

Neytiri in the new boss fight

Another closed beta period ran from June 19, 2023 to August 11, 2023. Although initially meant only for Philippines players, it was eventually opened up to other regions but with a limited player capacity. By this point, Neytiri was added as a playable boss battle instead of merely a cutscene. The story also made it clearer that Reckoning is set around the year 2170.

In November 2023, it was announced that the game would be fully launched in the early half of 2024 in China, and then be successively launched in other regions.

In December 2023, it was announced Reckoning would no longer be operated by Level Infinite, with publishing and operations now being assumed by the game's developer, Archosaur Games. The team opened up refunds for purchases as a result.

The game was cancelled in January 2024, due to "strategic adjustments" for Archosaur Games.[8] A message was posted in Chinese on the Chinese site, translating to this: "We share your deep feelings for "Avatar: Return to Pandora" and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the suspension! We sincerely thank you for your understanding and forgiveness."

Reception[]

The game, while it was available for beta testing, received generally positive reviews, making many Avatar fans disappointed with the news of its cancellation, and making it harder to cope with Post-Avatar Depression Syndrome. Fans of Reckoning are also baffled because datamining the game showed an enormous amount of work put into the game's lore, cutscenes, models, animations, voice acting, etc.

It is unclear if Lightstorm Entertainment will attempt an Avatar MMO in the future, or if the game's assets will be re-used in future Avatar games as they are Unreal Engine.

Trivia[]

Space Avatars

Avatars in futuristic suits

  • Some players have datamined the closed beta and discovered some things. These includes a model of Eytukan, pictograms which the Na'vi may use, as well as avatars in futuristic suits. There is also a skybox and some aquatic flora, such as the Starry Doughnut, which suggests there was going to be a Metkayina/Avatar: The Way of Water inspired setting from the Eastern Sea.
  • By examining the script and audio files, it appears that whoever wrote the game's story were winging it to a degree, which would have contributed to the game being in development hell, explaining why it was supposed to be released in 2022 but had to be delayed to 2024. Many scenes that were voiced appear to have went unused. Names of characters were changed (Eirouna became O'ame, Tiala became Elang). The developers made the mistake of having voice actors record unfinalized lines, resulting in a waste of time. Many voice lines also have wrong pronunciation (e.g. "oh-lo-eek-tan"). Certain characters seemed to get entirely new voice actors as a result, with different voice direction and accents. Some character such as Angat and Fatao also received entirely new models and clothing.

External links[]

References[]

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