After years of waiting, fans were finally given their first look at Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay during the recent Ubisoft Forward showcase, and generally speaking, it seems as though it’s been worth the wait. Though Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora might look a little too similar to Far Cry in terms of its general gameplay loop, the ability to take to the skies on the back of a Banshee and zip past floating mountains is more than enough to convince fans of the franchise it’s worth the price of admission.


But that’s far from the only thing Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has going for itself. On top of an expansive RPG skill tree, upgradable weapons and outfits, and a rich story that hearkens back to the very first Avatar movie, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora features an absolutely stunning open-world, a strength shared with one of PlayStation’s biggest and best exclusives.

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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Shares a Big Strength with Horizon: Forbidden West

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora Gameplay

It may have taken several years of complete radio silence, but Ubisoft has rewarded fans’ patience with an extended 6-minute look at Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora‘s gameplay, and there’s a lot to unpack. The first big reveal is that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora‘s story will revolve around a Na’vi that was captured by the RDA at a young age, and forced to fight alongside them before eventually being abandoned and left to fend for themselves in the wilds of Pandora’s Western Frontier. From there, players will need to unite the various Na’vi clans of Pandora, and lead the fight against the RDA, using a variety of both human and Na’vi weapons to destroy facilities and restore peace to the planet.

But while Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora‘s first gameplay trailer had several impressive moments, ranging from aerial acrobatics on a Banshee to riding a Direhorse across Pandora’s plains to taking down an RDA gunship with just a bow and arrow, the biggest overall standout of the trailer was the general look of the game and its vibrant setting. One of the most memorable aspects of James Cameron’s original Avatar movie was the astoundingly unique look of Pandora. Floating cliffs, bioluminescent plants, neon-speckled creatures, and a ton of greenery dominated much of Avatar‘s screen-time, and this look has since become one of the Avatar franchise’s defining features.

From what fans have seen so far, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora seems to be capturing that unique look perfectly. Throughout Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora‘s first gameplay trailer, fans are bombarded with iconic, authentic Avatar imagery, with a big focus on the world’s foliage, from gigantic trees that connect to floating cliffs to flowers that collapse when touched to an array of multicolored vines stretching across a forest floor. In many ways, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora shares this strength with Horizon: Forbidden West, another game that prided itself on vibrant yet realistic environments, sweeping vistas, gorgeous lighting, and a variety of unique and noteworthy plants and trees.

Much like Horizon: Forbidden West, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora‘s foliage also has a practical use in gameplay as well. In Avatar, players will be able to pick fruit and harvest trees and wildlife, which seemingly gives them crafting materials that can then be used to make new weapons and upgrade existing ones. It seems likely that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora might also feature a weapon and cosmetic dying system as well, just like Horizon: Forbidden West, allowing players to change the appearance of their weapons and outfits by harvesting specific plants. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora also integrates its foliage into the game’s traversal systems, with the trailer showing the player-character bouncing off mushrooms and climbing retracting vines. With the Avatar franchise revolving around a core theme of nature, it’s great to see Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora incorporating this into the actual gameplay as well.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is set to release December 7, 2023, for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

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