Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Review – Another Average Ubisoft Game

Frontiers of Pandora is simply another Ubisoft open world.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora Review
Overall
3
  • Story And Setting
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals And Performance

Verdict

Underneath its exceptional visuals and great movement system, this is still a regular old Ubisoft game with all the problems that come with.

Pros

  • Great Movement System
  • Ikran Flying
  • Fantastic Graphics
  • Incredible World

Cons

  • Repetitive Combat
  • Poor Mission Structure
  • Subpar Narrative

With Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Ubisoft had the chance to take a rich and already-established universe, and deliver a truly remarkable experience that could have been something truly spectacular. But instead of taking any actual risks, the developer decided to once again double down on their already established formula.

Key Takeaways
  • Developer: Massive Entertainment
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: December 7, 2023
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5
  • Game Length: 25 Hours
  • Time Played: 35 Hours
Editors Note: We made sure to finish the entire game and even devote additional hours to completing side content before a final verdict was reached.

So the result is a game that is in many ways very fun, but at the same time so similar to previous titles put out by the company that it fails to stand out in any way, 

Story And Setting

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora Review
Story. (Credits: eXputer)

Yes, Frontiers of Pandora is set on the same alien planet that the blockbuster movies explore, but it has little to do with the actual plot of those films. It takes place in a completely new region of the planet called the Western Frontier.

On one hand, this means that the events of our game are separate from the tale of Jake Sully, the protagonist of the movies. But on the other, his actions do have an impact on the plot, and you can even hear major characters being referenced throughout the campaign. 

James Cameron and his team probably kept the game’s writing team on a short leash in terms of how much they could experiment.

I’m not saying that many of us expected Ubisoft to deliver groundbreaking writing, but this does imply that the developers were probably limited from doing anything truly unique in terms of the plot. James Cameron and his team probably kept the game’s writing team on a short leash in terms of how much they could experiment.

As for the actual events of Frontiers of Pandora, you take on the role of a Na’vi orphan who was raised in captivity by the Resources Development Administration and has now broken out intending to unite the local Na’vi tribes and fight back against your oppressors. 

Character Creator. (Captured By: eXputer)

The plot is fairly predictable in terms of what themes and stories it explores and even after 30+ hours with it, I can hardly recall any truly captivating story thread or character.

It’s all so indistinguishable from each other after a while, and none of that is helped by the varying quality of acting on display. Some performances are truly great, while others hardly seem to have any weight to them.

The plot is fairly predictable in terms of what themes and stories it explores and even after 30+ hours with it, I can hardly recall any truly captivating story thread or character.

I don’t mean to generalize, but we all know Ubisoft writing when we see it, and it’s still here in Frontiers of Pandora. Gone are the days when you could expect anything surprising from the company, and we all just have to accept that.

Gameplay

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora Review
Gameplay. (Image Captured By eXputer)

Calling this game Far Cry, but on Pandora, might sound reductive to some, but it’s also kind of the best way to describe the experience with a single sentence.

Played from a mostly first-person perspective, many of the missions and side quests involve you going into some sort of RDA-occupied areas and taking out human enemies with either stealth or run-and-gun tactics. And at your disposal, you have silent weapons like a bow or louder alternatives like the assault rifle and shotgun.

You can choose which approach works best for you, and then spam it throughout the campaign if you so choose, keeping in mind that the arsenal at your disposal is serviceable, but not nearly as vast as what we say in say Far Cry 6. So while it’s all fun for the first couple of hours, expect the combat to get repetitive after a while.

Calling this game Far Cry, but on Pandora, might sound reductive to some, but it’s also kind of the best way to describe the experience with a single sentence.

It’s not fun to take on copy-pasted strongholds one after the other, with the same handful of enemy types guarding them, especially when many of these locations even look indistinguishable from one another.

What doesn’t get old however is the movement system, which allows your Na’vi to sprint their way through the beautiful and dense wilderness of Pandora like they were Usain Bolt. It’s exhilarating and makes the simple act of going from one place to another an absolute blast.

Na’vi Senses. (Image By eXputer)

Frontiers of Pandora’s version of the planet is tailor-made to facilitate movement, and it’s a joy to run through lush jungles and fields, parkouring off of giant leaves and mushrooms to keep yourself going. There are even special plants that you can run through to boost your momentum so that you never have to stop.

Frontiers of Pandora’s version of the planet is tailor-made to facilitate movement.

Also worth mentioning is the Ikran that you get access to near the start of the story, which allows you to fly anywhere you please. This, combined with the parkour system, are the two features I would truly say make the game worth playing.

Its combat is okay at best, but nothing beats being able to jump off a ledge, knowing that your Ikran will catch you as you soar to your next objective. 

Visuals And Performance

Visuals. (Captured By eXputer)

Frontiers of Pandora features some of the most impressive sights that I have ever seen in a video game, and that is no exaggeration in any way. 

Each and every corner of the map is densely packed with alien wildlife, making it seem like the planet of Pandora was ripped directly out of the movies alongside all of their diverse flora and fauna. From lush rainforests to floating islands, it’s truly a sight to behold.

It also helps that this is the first exclusively next-gen game that Ubisoft has released since the ninth generation of consoles rolled out, so the developers didn’t have to make any compromises for the previous gen. And that lack of compromise truly shows with the impressive new level of detail on display here.

Frontiers of Pandora features some of the most impressive sights that I have ever seen in a video game, and that is no exaggeration in any way. 

Special mention also has to be given to the ray-tracing effects, which help to enhance the visual appeal of an already stunning world beyond what I thought possible. Each streak of light cutting through the forest canopy or reflecting off a pool of water almost made me stop and stare for a moment.

If nothing else, Ubisoft has truly outdone itself on the graphical side of things, and the performance is no joke either. With an RTX 3080, we were able to maintain a somewhat steady 60 FPS at 1080p for the most part on high quality, and it fluctuated a bit on ultra.

But we understand that that exceeds the recommended system requirements. So we also tried it out on a GTX 1080, and even then we managed to maintain a steady 60 FPS, albeit at medium quality. But overall, this is a very well optimized game that should be able to run on high settings on most modern GPUs.

Verdict

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora Review
Verdict. (Image Credits: eXputer)

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is one of the best games Ubisoft has put out in a long time, but that’s not saying much considering their recent track record. Its combat is repetitive, its mission structure is abysmal, and it’s narrative leaves much to be desired.

But if that’s what you want out of a Ubisoft game, then this might be exactly what you’re looking for. Because the combat is decent, the movement is fantastic, and exploring the world of Pandora on your Ikran can be an absolute delight, even if there isn’t much to discover that isn’t already a map marker.

It’s also one of the most detailed and beautiful games the company has ever put out, and if you’re a fan of the Avatar movies, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

This has been our Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora  Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles. 

This is box title
Get This Game
If you love the Avatar universe and want a healthy dose of exploration and that traditional old Ubisoft formula.
Dont Get This Game
If you were bothered by any of the studio’s previous games, because a new setting does not change what is essentially the same gameplay loop.
Do I Need To Get This Game
If you’re into open world action-adventure games, then you can’t go wrong here. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking.
Alternative Games
  • Far Cry 6
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Assassin’s Creed Mirage
  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
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Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews

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