Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – everything we know

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is an upcoming open-world adventure developed by The Division studio Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. It was announced just last year, but it’s already got a bit of a hype train, thanks largely in part for the upcoming Avatar 2 film release this year. 

But despite the highly anticipated movie sequel due out in 2022, Ubisoft’s financial report indicates we can currently expect to see the adventure land early next year in 2023. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be for current-gen consoles only, so expect it to drop on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. It makes sense that it’ll be current-gen consoles only: after seeing an Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora tech test at E3 2022, the impressive visuals might put last-gen consoles under too much stress.

Aside from the tech test, here’s everything we know so far about Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora release date

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is due out sometime before the end of Ubisoft’s fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2023. Unlike Far Cry 6, however, Ubisoft’s Avatar title won’t be released on PS4 or Xbox One. Instead, on a rare commitment to making a truly next-gen experience, Ubisoft has revealed that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will launch on PS5, PC, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia, and Amazon’s upcoming Luna cloud service.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora tech test

The Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora tech test certainly dropped some jaws with its immersive, incredibly detailed world that could easily be mistaken for a scene from the film. “As the world of Avatar is so different from anything we’ve done before, we had to do some major upgrades, some big improvements, to our engine,” said technical art director Sebastian Lindoff during the showcase. “In the past, Snowdrop allowed us to build amazing cities, but to capture the natural beauty of Pandora, we needed to push Snowdrop even further.”

Snowdrop allows devs to process complex shaders which means they can create real-time wind simulations and plants that react to players’ presence. There’s even a new volumetric cloud system that will have you sky-gazing quite a bit during gameplay. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay, setting, and characters

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Despite dropping a gorgeous (and genuinely exciting trailer) Ubisoft was tight-lipped about what Frontiers of Pandora will actually involve. Still, that isn’t to say that we’re completely in the dark here. Put in the shoes of Pandora’s indigenous Na’vi, players will be able to fight for survival while exploring the “never before seen” Western Frontier of Pandora. It turns out, players will be able to get a very close look at this new region. Despite the eye-catching third-person action showcased in the trailer, Ubisoft states that Frontiers of Pandora will actually be a first-person action-adventure.

In what’s become a bit of the norm for Ubisoft, this Avatar will also be set in a sprawling open world, with Ubisoft promising that this next-gen title will provide players with a gorgeous and  “immersive” experience. While we know that players will be fighting off the invading RDA forces as they explore this new region of Pandora, the publisher has yet to reveal whether fans can expect to see any familiar faces from the films. 

Still, whether this game ends up sharing a setting with Avatar 2 or not, upon release Ubisoft states that Frontiers of Pandora will show off a new region to the planet. “Explore the Western Frontier, a never-before-seen part of Pandora,” stated Ubisoft. “Explore a living and reactive world inhabited by unique creatures and new characters and push back the formidable RDA forces that threaten it.”

With James Cameron’s repeatedly delayed Avatar 2 film scheduled to hit cinemas on the 16th December 2022, it would make sense for Ubisoft to release Frontiers of Pandora just in time to capitalize on the hype. With Massive also working on a yet-to-be-titled Ubisoft Star Wars game, it seems as though the Swedish studio is being set up to be Ubisoft’s go-to creators for large-scale movie tie-ins.

See what else could be on the way with our look at upcoming Xbox Series X games and upcoming PS5 games

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