Ubisoft’s Lush Avatar Game Finally Shows Off Its Open-World Gameplay

Ubisoft’s Lush Avatar Game Finally Shows Off Its Open-World Gameplay

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora might have missed launching alongside the long-delayed movie, but at least we finally know more about what you’ll do in the game. During Monday’s Ubisoft Forward presentation, the publisher showed what fans can expect from its take on James Cameron’s epic sci-fi fantasy.

The game opened the Ubisoft Forward event and it’s very much giving Far Cry. Set in what appears to be largely a first-person perspective, we see a Na’vi exploring Pandora, riding on the back of a winged beast and swimming deep undersea before engaging in some heated firefights with militarised men.

Massive Entertainment, the Ubisoft studio behind The Division games, teased it was working on an Avatar adaptation in 2017. But it was years until we heard more about it. The game was one of many to get announced and then dip before a 2021 CGI trailer finally showed off Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’s world. It looked as beautiful as the movies but provided little indication of what the game even was.

Ubisoft revealed shortly after that the game would be a current-gen exclusive, ditching the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports. The development team said it hoped to capitalise on the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X hardware to let players fly around Avatar’s world seamlessly. Ubisoft described detailed vertical environments full of reflective pools of water and realistic volumetric lighting in the clouds. Cool.

While Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was supposed to arrive before March 31, Ubisoft announced during a July 2022 earnings call that it would be pushed to the next fiscal year instead, which falls somewhere between now and March 2024. Notably, that meant it wouldn’t arrive in time for James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, which hit theatres in December 2022 after the highly-anticipated sequel dodged its 2014 release.

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Production at Ubisoft has struggled during the pandemic as teams adjusted to working from home, though project-specific issues have also caused delays. Earlier this year, Kotaku learned that at least one producer had recently been yanked from another major game to help finish up Frontiers of Pandora.

Kotaku is covering everything Summer Game Fest, from the main show on Thursday to other events happening throughout the next week. Whether you’re into larger-than-life triple-A games or intimate, offbeat indies, you can keep up with all things SGF here.

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