The Na’Vi take flight in latest Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora trailer

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is shaping up to be a must-play game for the holiday season.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is set to unveil an intriguing and majestic new facet of James Cameron’s celebrated now-multimedia universe, picking up the story after the events of the original Avatar film. This narrative places players on an uncharted continent of Pandora, drawing them into an immersive journey where they’ll team up with various Na’vi clans to shield their homeland from the encroachments of the RDA corporation.

Ubisoft delineates a captivating protagonist, portraying them as a “child of two worlds,” – born as a Na’vi, but raised at an RDA facility, this character’s tumultuous past marks them as unique. The storyline picks up 15 years following their abduction by the RDA, where they find themselves liberated and on a path to rediscover their suppressed heritage.

Recent footage from the game, showcased during Sony’s State of Play, re-affirms a visually stunning experience. Players will take on a first-person perspective, leaping off dramatic cliffs and clashing with the formidable mechs of the RDA as they traverse the vibrant ecosystems of Pandora. This new trailer, combined with further insights from a follow-up post on the PlayStation Blog, lets players in on a deeper backstory. The protagonist, one of the last of the Sarentu clan, was forced into cryosleep after the climactic Battle of the Hallelujah Mountains depicted in the inaugural movie. Waking up a decade and a half later, they’re strangers in their own land, a narrative arc that promises emotional depth and personal discovery.

The sprawling world of Pandora teems with diverse Na’vi clans. As players journey through this alien landscape, they’ll encounter the likes of the Aranahe weavers and the Zeswa novads. And, as has been teased by Ubisoft, the game will allow players to mount and ride iconic creatures such as ikrans and direhorses.

Yet, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora promises more than just a serene exploration. The game’s recent trailers emphasized an engrossing narrative. After the protagonist’s abduction in their infancy by the RDA, they received proper training trained under The Ambassador Program, intended to forward human interests on Pandora. However, during the chaotic evacuation by the RDA in the aftermath of the Battle of the Hallelujah Mountains, our hero was placed in emergency cryosleep.

Emerging from this stasis, they now find themselves free from RDA’s grasp and faced with the daunting task of finding their footing in a homeworld they scarcely remember – and one that’s hostile to them.

If there’s ever a property that’s the perfect fit for the stereotypical Ubisoft formula, it’s Avatar.

As for the gameplay, we can’t overlook the familiar combat aspects. The trailers have spotlighted a plethora of combat techniques, from the traditional bow and arrow to advanced rocket launchers. Players will need to harness both high-Tech human armaments and the more rudimentary but equally lethal weaponry of the Na’vi.

The entire gaming experience seems reminiscent of the best-selling Far Cry franchise, re-skinned and re-tooled with the unique aesthetics and narrative depth of the Avatar universe.

In a way, describing Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora as Far Cry but set in the Avatar universe is just as much of a praise as saying that Starfield is just Skyrim set in Space.

With Far Cry currently MIA following Far Cry 6‘s release, franchise fans will have to make do with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.

All that’s left now is for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, which is a collaborative effort between Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft along with Disney and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, to stick its landing on December 7.

A current-gen-exclusive title, the first-ever AAA Avatar game was originally meant to release alongside James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which has since set a new record as the third-highest-grossing film of all time following an extended run in movie theaters.

As fans anticipate this release, they’ll also have their eyes set on the horizon, as the third installment of the Avatar film series has been pushed to December 2025, with the fourth and fifth films set for later dates, culminating in 2031.

It’s a shame that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora missed out on the hype of being associated with last year’s Avatar: The Way of Water.

As for Ubisoft, the company has a stacked slate of upcoming AAA titles outside of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, starting with Assassin’s Creed: Mirage in October followed by Star Wars: Outlaws next year with a still-unconfirmed Assassin’s Creed 4 Remake on the horizon. 

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