- Previous Avatar games fell short, but Frontiers of Pandora has the potential to break the curse.
- The game is canonical and bridges the events of the first two movies, promising to leave footprints in the overarching narrative and dropping hints about the next Avatar movie.
It’s rare for me to venture out of the realm of RPGs. These rare games do come around every so often, and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora just may be what my Avatar fan heart needs.
I’ve been an Avatar fan since 2009 when the first movie came out. I saw it three times in theaters and even had a special Na’vi cake made for my birthday that year. To this day, you can play any song from the original soundtrack, and I’ll know right away it’s from Avatar.
And yes, I was one of the fans who waited with bated breath for years for the follow-up, The Way of the Water. There is just something so engaging about the world and I will continue to watch the next entries in the series.
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Immersing myself in the world of Avatar has always been a dream of mine. Imagine stepping into the big, blue feet of a Na’vi, crafting your own story, and feeling the pulse of life on Pandora around you. Soon, with the release of Frontiers of Pandora, that dream will become a reality.
Previous attempts at Avatar-based games, such as Avatar: The Game and Avatar: Reckoning fell short, trapped in the realm of mediocrity. Much like other cursed video games based on movies, they never quite hit the mark of creating an immersive experience that recalls what makes the movie so memorable to the fans.
I’m optimistic, however, that Frontiers of Pandora will break that curse. This open-world survival game invites you to create your custom Navi character, offering options to shape your appearance and abilities. While not an RPG, in essence, there’s enough of a roleplaying element for me to be allured into playing the game. The Na’vi you play will have a background story – specifically that of one who was initially trained to fight against the Navi themselves, and then, due to the events in the original Avatar movie, you find yourself free and able to learn about the place you came from for the first time.
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Everything in Frontiers of Pandora is part of the broader Avatar movie universe. Ubisoft and Lightstorm Studios assure us that the game holds canonical elements and even drops hints about the next Avatar movie, currently slated for release in 2025.
This is the most important thing to keep in mind about Frontiers of Pandora: the game is canonical. The events take place during events that bridge the first two movies together. In other words, your customizable Na’vi hero, existing in the greater world that Cameron has built, will be leaving footprints in the overarching narrative.
In this adventure, you’ll traverse the Western Frontier of Pandora, a territory not yet seen in the movies, inhabited by Na’vi tribes not yet encountered on the big screen. While it connects partially to the movie’s plot, it unfolds as a separate story, aiming to expand Pandora’s world and delve into the lesser-known aspects of Na’vi culture and the environments surrounding these groups.
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This is specifically where the Avatar lore nerd in me is freaking out! The purpose of this game was not to just retread the same grounds found within the movies, but to be a unique and engaging experience of its own. James Cameron has already mentioned quite a few times that one of the things he plans to do in the subsequent Avatar movies is to not only explore the overarching conflicts between the RDA and the Na’vi, but the different locations, ecosystems, and different Na’vi groups themselves. Much like The Way of Water did in showing us the water-based clan of Na’vi, this game will also introduce us to other groups who call Pandora home.
While the game is only expected to be about 12 or so hours if you just do the story, I feel like the meditative nature of being resourceful and contemplative about your preparations and actions will make the experience worthwhile. Plus, if I’m being honest, my year of RPGs has already been chock-full of meaty, and memorable RPGs like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Fire Emblem: Engage.
Frontiers of Pandora isn’t just a game; it’s an journey offering a deeper perspective on Pandora, or so Ubisoft and the series of mini-documentaries will have me believe. Here’s hoping I can finally live “the blue life” in Pandora.
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