If you make a purchase after following a link on our site, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Looks Pretty But is Pretty Enough?

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora 1
Image: Ubisoft

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora looks visually striking, ut is that enough?

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, shown at Ubisoft Forward, features all all the trappings of the franchise’s alien planet, Pandora. There are weird flowers, strange animals and human invaders in big stompy mechs. Yes, it’s basically Dances With Wolves in space but James Cameron’s movies have a character all its own.

And yet, we have this nagging feeling that someone at Fox, Ubisoft or whatever has underestimated just how much more Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is going to have to do stand out as a game.

It’s not as if it has a lot of competition at the cinema, it’s one of the most distinctive – and profitable – series out there. There’s, what, John Carter of Mars, maybe? Prometheus? None of those quite match Avatar’s visual style.

But when it comes to the gaming arena, you can’t move for open world titles. Ubisoft itself has its own often-mocked formula. You know the deal – radio towers, camps and so forth. The gameplay trailer talks about destroying RDA facilities, plural, so it seems as if it’ll follow suit.

And while we hope the company has really put the work in, how long will that sense of wonder last when you’ve taken down your twelfth mech? Combat, exploration, story: all these things have to be spot on. This’ll the second PC/console Avatar game, and the last one didn’t exactly set the world on fire.

We’re being a little cynical, we’ll admit. But Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water are three hours or so of spectacle and they absolutely work. No, it doesn’t make sense that Jake and Neytiri would just up sticks like that but you’ll be too distracted to actually think too much about it.

But to take that spectacle and stretch it out over 15+ hours or however long Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is? It’s going to need to be one hell of a game, not just Far Cry: Happy Shiny Planet.

Are we going to play Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora when it arrives this December 7th? Absolutely. But we’re going to be a little nervous until we actually get our hands on it.

Check out the rest of our Summer Game Fest 2023 coverage by clicking here.

Weekend Editor // Chris has been gaming since the days of the Acorn Electron, which was allegedly purchased to 'help him with his homework'. You can probably guess how well that went. He’ll tackle most genres – football titles aside – though he has a taste for games that that are post-apocalyptic, horror-oriented or thought provoking in nature.