I've only had a few hours to put into Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, but one thing is evident. This game needed a bit longer in the oven. December is a notoriously bad time to launch a new game. Besides Super Smash Brothers or other Nintendo Switch games, I can't think of many games that can battle against the zeitgeist that games like Fortnite, Warzone, and whichever games do well at the Game Awards command from the gaming audience around this time. The new Warzone from Call of Duty just launched, Fortnite introduced a huge update with Fortnite Legos and more. And later tonight, we will be covering the Game Awards live.
These are just a few of the big gaming events going on while Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora quietly launches in the background. The launch date isn't the game's only issue though, which I noticed after only a few hours of gameplay.
Is Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora worth playing?
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of James Cameron's Avatar franchise. I enjoyed the first movie mainly for its innovative use of 3D in a way movies hadn't really done before. That fad has mostly left movies by this point, so when the new movie was released earlier this year, I don't think I even saw an option for 3D at any of my local theaters. I went and saw the movie a bit begrudgingly but ended up enjoying it for the action and directing.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is following a similar trend in that I don't have a ton of interest in the game but playing it is providing a better experience than I expected. Want to get an overall feel of the game? Check out the trailer below.
I'm not a huge Ubisoft open-world fan. I like the old Assassin's Creed games and even Black Flag, but I never got into Far Cry or the newer massive open-world Assassin's Creed games like Valhalla. That being said, it is hard to shake the feeling that Avatar is a little bit closer to Horizon Zero Dawn than it is Far Cry at least in the first few hours of the game, and I did enjoy Horizon Zero Dawn.
With all of that being said, I am enjoying the game, unfortunately, the game feels somewhat unfinished and could have benefited from a rounding out of the quest system, combat, and storytelling. I played the game on my PC with a 12th Gen i7 12700k and a 3060Ti with 32GB of DDR5 RAM and the game plays well enough for me with DLSS enabled.
If you're a fan of Avatar though, the one thing I can't take away from this game is that it does transport you to that world, and the Snowdrop engine never disappoints.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshots
The game feels like a Far Cry game with missions focusing on stealth or "going loud" as we colloquially call it. The quest system doesn't innovate beyond the normal Ubisoft formula, and this is what the game really needed to succeed in my opinion. Get ready for the same formula of attacking a large base to get experience, and working through a laundry list of tasks to get gear upgrades and to level up.
All-in-all, I will keep playing the game, and will probably enjoy it, but the game had the bones to be a great game, Ubisoft just needed to put the same love and attention into this IP adaptation that we saw out of games like Hogwarts Legacy earlier in the year. Hogwarts Legacy is still on sale at Steam until December 11th if you want to pick up a copy and see how companies can successfully adapt IP from a movie to a game.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was initially slated to be released in 2022 but was delayed until 2023. It doesn't seem like the delay was long enough though, and as already discussed the game would have likely benefitted from another 6 months to try to spruce up the quest system and storytelling. With mega-hits like Grand Theft Auto 6 confirmed to be releasing in 2025, there likely would have been a good window for Avatar to release in the summer of next year.
Avatar might continue the trend of a game being released with underwhelming reviews but later being viewed in a favorable light, such as Quantum Break after the release of Alan Wake 2. I can't give a full review of the game as I'm still playing through it, but hopefully, Ubisoft can continue to work on it to make it the kind of game that Avatar fans can be proud of.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is a beautiful game set in an exotic world but it's basically an underdeveloped Far Cry game from what I have played so far. If you love Far Cry or Avatar though the experience isn't without some positives that might be worth the price of admission.
✅Perfect for: Fans of the Avatar cinematic universe and the world of Pandora, as well as fans of Ubisoft open-world games such as Far Cry.
❌Avoid if: You have too many games to play or aren't a fan of Ubisoft's laundry list style open-world games.
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Colton is a seasoned cybersecurity professional that wants to share his love of technology with the Windows Central audience. When he isn’t assisting in defending companies from the newest zero-days or sharing his thoughts through his articles, he loves to spend time with his family and play video games on PC and Xbox. Colton focuses on buying guides, PCs, and devices and is always happy to have a conversation about emerging tech and gaming news.
I registered just so I can trash your review. Let's begin:Reply
1. What does the quality of the game have to do with the month it's launched in? When I started reading the title and first sentences I thought you were going to say something like "launch in December, miss all the award shows", but turns out in your opinion, launch in December means "bad game".
2. The game needed more time in the "owen" ? It's one of the smoothest launches this year. Not many bugs and impressive game performance in spite of high base requirements. I don't have enough fingers to count how many poor launches there have been this year. Avatar is breath of fresh air in this regard.
3. The game needs a better quest system? Why? It's an fps, man, you shoot things and blow stuff up, and look cool while doing it. This is not Baldurs Gate 3.
4. Launched to "middling" reviews? I did not check all the reviews but I did check the "big" ones, and they all had nothing but praise. For a typical Ubisoft open world game, this is one of the better typical Ubisoft games. You review a game for what it is, not for what it isn't. If you eat a delicious burger, you're not going to say it's bad just because you wanted pizza.
5. You don't like the Avatar franchise and don't like Ubisoft open world games, yet apparently you were the best choice to review this game. That's like asking the CEO of Exxon to review a Tesla.
6. In spite of all the shade you threw at the game, you say you're going to keep playing it AND enjoy it? I'm sorry, but how can you enjoy something you clearly dislike? If you had just stayed the course and said it was a "bad" game all the way to the end, I would have respected that, as I respect people's opinions, even if I do not agree with them. But even you don't know if you like the game or not.
Bonus point: I know not everyone can afford a high end GPU, but Avatar Frontiers of Pandora is not a game you review on a 3060Ti.
I got the game free for buying a AMD GPU, not compare to cod , avatar is way better. Cod is also a dying franchise because they supported pedophila #callofgroomers. So even if they won the gamer awards it won't be taken seriously. Now avatar had great graphics and a good story line, I was in ultra graphics and still pushing over 100 fps in huge fights especially in the end. This article is a joke. I'm not a huge Avatar fan but the game was awesome could of been a little bit longer, beat the whole game in coop in 20 hours compared to cod that only takes 4 hours on veteran on solo. Your comparing dog shit to Apples , cod being the dog shit. I can't really say anything about fortnight because that's a kids skill level game and I don't play it for that reason.Reply
You may not realize, but you've taken the whole so-called "callofgroomers" thing out of context. That was just a tag created by a very small group to try and link Activision's battle against an 'anti-woke' boycott of their games to pedophilia grooming. I'd suggest reading this Rolling Stone article for a bit more context.mrnobody said:I got the game free for buying a AMD GPU, not compare to cod , avatar is way better. Cod is also a dying franchise because they supported pedophila #callofgroomers. So even if they won the gamer awards it won't be taken seriously. Now avatar had great graphics and a good story line, I was in ultra graphics and still pushing over 100 fps in huge fights especially in the end. This article is a joke. I'm not a huge Avatar fan but the game was awesome could of been a little bit longer, beat the whole game in coop in 20 hours compared to cod that only takes 4 hours on veteran on solo. Your comparing dog **** to Apples , cod being the dog ****. I can't really say anything about fortnight because that's a kids skill level game and I don't play it for that reason.
False it was made because a state government wanted to take rights way from parents and force kids to go against their parents, what started it was we don't care "what you do just leave kids out of it" as in stop forcing sexualize actions on kids. Nice try though trying to make it seem like something elseHelloNNNewman said:You may not realize, but you've taken the whole so-called "callofgroomers" thing out of context. That was just a tag created by a very small group to try and link Activision's battle against an 'anti-woke' boycott of their games to pedophilia grooming. I'd suggest reading this Rolling Stone article for a bit more context.