Pandora ring

Everything we know about Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Ubisoft’s foray into the world of cinema

The Ubisoft showcase at E3 2021 wasn’t exactly full of surprises, but it’s safe to say no one had Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora on their list. While Ubisoft has reassured us on several occasions, work on the game is in progress, this is the first tangible proof of its existence.

It’s time to take a look at what we have so far: here’s all the information currently available on Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Most of the information about the game is still well hidden, because it is probably still early for the game. Ubisoft is even still recruiting for that. Still, there are some interesting things to dig into depending on the game’s relationship to source material and development history.

What is the release date of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora?

Currently, Frontiers of Pandora is slated for release in 2022. It’s still pretty vague, but for a game we haven’t heard from in so long, we’ve almost thought it was canceled, that’s a pretty concrete time frame. Ubisoft’s overall lineup is perhaps slightly less crowded than in previous years, with no fixed release date for Ubisoft PC games targeting 2022, so it doesn’t seem like a stretch to hope for a release next year.

Here is the trailer for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

This nearly three-minute trailer is mostly cutscenes, rendered in-engine, with what could be chunks of footage pre-rendered in-game whenever the camera switches to first person.

The trailer begins with a glimpse of lush foliage, before a Na’vi attempts to approach a mountain banshee. This is followed by more wildlife enjoying a foggy morning. At this point I can’t help but think about what the satirist Outer Worlds 2 Trailer meant when he was talking about how calm and peaceful surroundings make games seem big and important. The scenery is beautiful in the cutscene, however, and it also features the flying jellyfish creatures that everyone loved to wade through while watching Avatar in theaters.

The trailer shows more of Pandora’s wildlife, including gazelle-like hexapeds, grazing strumbeests, and some Na’vi riding direhorses, some lift their heads to the sky, making it clear that the danger is not far. Soon after, military forces riding tall mechs and reading jets enter the scene. The logo on these machines and the cash registers nearby shows that it is the GDR, the paramilitary force in the film which failed to take no for an answer. There’s a fight in the air, where you can clearly tell the trailer was made in the engine (look at Navi’s faces at 2:26, ​​for example). The Na’vi emerge victorious. the end. For the moment.

Although it shows a beautiful world, this trailer actually doesn’t say anything about what the actual game looks like, possibly because it’s just too early to show up.

Expect an open world

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be an open-world first-person game, according to the official Ubisoft website. “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora brings the alluring world of Pandora with all its beauty and dangers to life in an immersive and open experience of the world,” it read. There isn’t much here beyond the buzzwords, but you can reasonably expect some fighting with the forces of the RDA, hopefully some fun flight gameplay and maybe some of hunting.

The PCGamer team met after the announcement to exchange feedback on the announcement. Strong feelings were felt on the movie itself, but we also looked at the potential of Avatar as a game world. The point is, Ubisoft is very good at making first-person games in beautiful settings, just watch the Far Cry series for that.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Who is the developer of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora?

Several studios are working on Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. The project is led by Massive Entertainment, also known as Ubisoft Massive. Ubisoft acquired Massive Entertainment from Activision in 2008. Subsequently, Massive collaborated with Ubisoft Montreal on parts of Far Cry 3, which could work in their favor here. Since 2016, Massive Entertainment has been known for The Division series, but Avatar is run by a separate team. In addition to Avatar, Massive Entertainment is also working on a still untitled open world. Star Wars game. The Avatar team first announced the game in 2017, but without any streak.

Shortly after the Frontiers of Pandora announcement, Massive Entertainment studio director David Polfeldt resigned company to take a sabbatical. While a large-scale management change like this would normally be bad news for a game, Ubisoft apparently has a replacement for Polfeldt ready.

Massive Entertainment is collaborating on the game with Ubisoft Studios in Germany and China. As usual for a licensed game, Ubisoft also lists Disney, which owns the rights to the film, as well as Avatar’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, among its contributors.

What is Avatar, anyway?

If you forgot (I don’t blame you, it’s been a long time), Avatar is the highest grossing film in the world of all time, in part because tickets to 3D movie screenings are more expensive than regular screenings. , by the way. Avatar was directed by James Cameron, whose film Titanic held the record for the highest grossing film in the world before Avatar. It is still the highest grossing film in several countries, but was overtaken by Avengers: Endgame in countries like the United States and Canada in 2019. Avatar was praised for its fine use of 3D, ushering in an era where each movie had to have at least one element of 3D.

The story of Avatar, on the other hand, is why 12 years later many are trying to pretend he never existed – it’s basically about Pocahontas with really big blue aliens. An organization called the Resources Development Administration (RDA) is mining the distant planet of Pandora for valuable mineral. It turns out that the inhabitants of Pandora, the Na’vi, would much prefer that humans stop digging up their planet, but because that would be the reasonable thing to do, the GDR instead sends an avatar of an elder. sailor on the planet. Since Pandora is toxic to humans, they use avatars, essentially copies of themselves in a Navi’s body, to still be able to access the planet. The Marine falls in love with a Na’vi, decides that the Na’vi people are worth saving, in fact, and does it. In the process, humans are banished from Pandora and only he can stay there.

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

What is the story of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora?

Ubisoft has stated that Frontiers of Pandora will feature a new standalone story and play a part of Pandora that we haven’t seen in the movies. It is not known whether it takes place before or after the events of the film. Both are possible, but since the RDA openly fights the Na’vi in ​​the trailer, it’s more likely that the days of their collaboration are definitely over.

The game could also have a crossover with Avatar 2, which after numerous delays, not least due to the pandemic, is finally set to release in December 2022, the same year as the game. It’s safe to say things have been lined up from this way for maximum marketing.

This isn’t the first Avatar game, either.

Ubisoft already created an Avatar game, in 2009, when the first movie was released. James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal for consoles only and worked as a prequel. It came out before the movie and didn’t actually explain the Avatar story, instead assuming you would definitely go see it. It even had 3D effects that you could enjoy on a compatible 3D screen. From what I understand, this is not a forgotten video game classic. It looked great for a 2009 game, but other than that it was a third-person action adventure with no other notable qualities other than the Avatar license.

This means that Frontiers of Pandora could be an opportunity for Ubisoft to start over and create a really fun action game. Avatar the movie is basically about a bunch of people who turn their lives into MMOs, after all.