Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – Hands-on Impressions

A beautifully created wonder of Pandora.

Running through lush, vibrant forests teeming with flora and fauna is a magical experience like no other. If you’ve been blown away by James Cameron’s Avatar films, Massive Entertainment’s upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will undoubtedly mesmerize you with a beautifully created world of Pandora.

Thanks to Ubisoft, I was honored to explore such a lovely part of Pandora’s western front.

Credits to Ubisoft

I’m a huge fan of James Cameron’s work in Avatar, and he created one of the most beautiful worlds I have ever seen in movies. Much like the films, Pandora is spectacular. It’s brimming with life, I got to discover much of its flora and fauna, traversing through the lush environment can get engrossing and yet still feel dangerous due to the possible encounters with hostile creatures. The absence of a waypoint gives a better immersion and experience as a Na’vi, and I love this direction in exploration.

During the session, I managed to play about 2 hours of what the demo offered. In a controlled environment, there were four interesting main quests and a few side missions to do. While the full game gives you the freedom to create your own Na’vi, the demo gave me a pre-made character armed with the appropriate arsenal to survive, and five skill points to use.

The demo did not just focus on the main story alone, rather, Ubisoft wanted to showcase some of its core gameplay elements they were proud to feature. I had to rely on my character’s Na’vi senses throughout the entire game. Activating the senses by holding R1 highlights important points of interest and various lootable flora, it also gives you the ability to scan your environment for information and enemy weaknesses.

Survival is also one of the key elements in the game, as you’ll be gathering resources, crafting, and scouring for food, giving you boosted perks that can prove helpful during your missions.

Hands-on Impression Screenshot / Not the Final Representation of the Game

Missions, on the other hand, can range from gathering resources to a full-blown fight against the RDA, the Resources Development Administration. However, unlike in most Far Cry and first-person shooters, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’s Na’vi are always outmatched by the technology and arsenal of the RDA. You’re lacking the armor to protect you, and there is the mechanized armor that the RDA troops use, the Amplified Mobility Platform or otherwise known as the AMP.

My Na’vi is weak, when I get shot, the health bar depletes almost instantly; the only way for me to win against the RDA is through stealth and a strategic approach to combat, making use of the Na’vi senses and abilities helps me overcome this problem. This captures the essence of the Na’vi race from the films, and Massive Entertainment stayed true to its source material.

One of the missions in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora featured that iconic moment when a Na’vi gets his/her own Mountain Banshee, the famous flying Ikran. I had to climb the floating mountains, witness the scenic beauty of Pandora in the skies, tame my own Ikran, give her a name, and eventually fly them in the skies of Pandora. It’s one of the most memorable missions, plus the flying combat mechanics feel so surreal, easy to maneuver, and epic to experience.

Knowing that Massive Entertainment developed one of the Far Cry games, I immediately noticed how perfectly fitting it is to make Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora in first-person, it gives that immersive experience everyone has been looking for in an Avatar game for years.

Credits to Ubisoft

What impresses me the most is the game’s soundtrack. I’m a sucker for score and music as I believe it adds the depth and emotion it wants to exude to the players when playing a game. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora successfully captures the drive that they want to make the players feel when playing the game through its amazing musical score, it makes you feel more involved and empowered.

Visually speaking, the game looks spectacular, and I stopped in every beautiful scene I got to witness during my exploration, that alone can say a lot when it comes to how great the game looks.

The Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora demo had me excited even more, and I can’t wait to fully experience what Massive Entertainment has to offer when the game comes out on December 7, 2023, on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.