I remember when the first Avatar movie came out. It was mind blowing. Well, the visuals were anyway. Many still to this day stand by the belief that Avatar is just a rip off of the Dances With Wolves plot. And with the recent sequel movie the high standard of visuals was again met, even if the plot was a rehash of the original. And, although there has been previous Avatar base games, what we all want is that same level of visual fidelity that is portrayed in the movies. Thankfully with the release of Avatar – Frontiers of Pandora, that is something we do get.
I’m Blue (Da Ba De).
Ok, so right of the bat, yes, you could call Avatar – Frontiers of Pandora Far Cry Blue. Is this a bad thing? Not if you like the Far Cry series. And as I mentioned in my Far Cry 5 Review a few years ago, Far Cry is all about big, dumb, fun. So how does this translate in to the open world of Pandora? Pretty well actually. There are definitely some quirks and annoyances’. But overall for fans of Far Cry and fans of the Avatar universe there is absolutely some fun to be had here.
And as with the more recent Far Cry titles, the world of Pandora is huge. With a variety of flora and fauna to be seen, and killed. Although killing non-aggressive animals may have repercussions.
Jake Sully. Who?
With a story based in the same timeframe as the original movie, you play the part of a Na’vi who was stole and raised by the human military group known as the RDA. After 15 years you are back in your native habitat but with none of your natural skills. A perfect set up and starting point for any game. You go about earning the trust of your fellow Na’vi and cleansing the land of the RDA and their polluting machinery.
This earns you brownie points with the local tribes and allows you to learn skills and upgrade equipment. Unfortunately interaction with many of the other Na’vi is a bit tiresome. They tend to draw out conversation, and tell you their life story. I skipped much of the dialogue just to crack on with the mission.
Don’t Go Too Far, You May Cry.
As mentioned, Avatar – Frontiers of Pandora, is definitely designed in the Far Cry style of game. You will be carrying out fetch quests, clearing outposts, and collecting a host of, um, collectables. It is all done pretty well and looks fantastic. For those familiar with Far Cry, just replace all the vehicles with animals and you are ready for Pandora.
My biggest gripe is the jump mechanic. It is a form of hold down and release style which often had me falling to my death. Why a simple jump, double jump mechanic wasn’t used is beyond me. Also the harvesting side of the crafting is a bit painful. Having to wait for the correct time of day and weather conditions to get higher quality items is dumb.
Avatar – Frontiers of Pandora looks great. And there is something satisfying about launching a javelin sized arrow through an enemy soldier. But I cant help feel that this is a way to engage many of the modern day problems with a tried and true formula. We all know how bad the current state of the world is.
Thankfully, even with the underlying messages, Avatar – Frontiers of Pandora, is still fun to play and gorgeous to look at. If Far Cry is big, dumb, fun. Then Maybe this is big, dumb, fun with a conscience.