Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora preview

Two Worlds Meet

Though it may be set in the world of James Cameron’s blockbuster franchise, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora isn’t just a simple retelling of the events of the films. Instead, publisher Ubisoft and developer Massive Entertainment have opted to tell an original story centered on entirely new characters. In fact, the character you play as is about as new as it gets, since you’ll be able to customize your very own Na’vi hero. (If you’re not up on your Avatar lingo, the Na’vi are the aliens—you know, the blue, vaguely cat-like ones.)

Intriguingly, however, your character hasn’t grown up as a part of Na’vi society. Instead, they were abducted by the not-so-friendly humans of the RDA corporation and forced into a program designed to brainwash young Na’vi and train them to fight alongside humans. As a result of the war that broke out during the first Avatar film, the RDA abandoned the program, and the kidnapped Na’vi were abandoned in the facility in cryogenic sleep pods.

That’s the jumping-off point for Frontiers of Pandora’s adventure: Your character awakens after 15 years and connects with the tribal Na’vi for the first time. Before long, they’re fighting against the humans alongside the tribes of Pandora’s Western Frontier—a continent not yet seen in the films—in a battle for survival.

Your hero’s background plays a crucial role in gameplay, as you’ll be able to make use of both Na’vi and human weapons in the game’s first-person combat. Perhaps the right tool for the job is a stealthy bow and arrow, or maybe it’s a rocket launcher. The choice is yours.

While the game will feature many familiar elements of open-world games, like taking out RDA outposts and gathering resources from the environment, Massive has put an environmentally friendly spin on gameplay to better capture the message of the films. When you’re gathering resources, you’ll have to be careful to take only what you need, and ridding Pandora of those pollution-spewing outposts will actually allow nature to reclaim the surrounding areas, with the ecosystem returning to balance over time.

Given the massive success of the Avatar films at the box office—enough that there are already three more sequels in the works—it’s clear there are millions of people around the world captivated by the lush setting of Pandora and the Na’vi. Now, with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, those fans will finally get a chance to feel what it’s like to be Na’vi, and to be even more immersed in the franchise’s world than ever before.

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