Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was one of the biggest surprises of E3 2021. The Ubisoft sequel to 2009 movie tie-in game James Cameron's Avatar: The Game, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora looks to return players to the planet of Pandora ahead of the movie's long-awaited sequels.
Many Ubisoft fans were disappointed to learn that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora would only be on next-generation consoles, but it seems that leaving behind the older consoles will allow the game to develop some revolutionary new systems and features. One of the biggest of these new features will come in the form of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora's advanced AI.
In a tech showcase with IGN, lead narrative realization designer Alice Rendell went into some more detail about how the AI will work. Rendell says that thanks to the game using Ubisoft Massive's Snowdrop engine, best known for its use in the Division series, NPCs in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be able to react much more realistically to their environment. The tech showcase did not delve too deeply into the details, but Rendell provides examples of NPCs taking note of the time of day, weather, player progression, or even the plants surrounding them. With Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora's beautiful visuals shown off in its reveal trailer, it definitely seems the team is taking full advantage of the Snowdrop engine.
In a separate interview with IGN, the game's technical director of programming Nikolay Stefanov gave an example of how the new technology could work in the case of a big creature. Stefanov gave the example of the large creature carefully walking around plants and trees when it is calm but plowing through those same plants and destroying them if they are panicked or being hunted. Of course, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora looks like it has a lot of great features, but the described reactive AI could definitely help make the world of Pandora feel even more alive.
It will be very interesting to see what else is shown of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora leading up to its release. The game has yet to have an official release window narrower than just 2022, but many fans are already wondering whether or not Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will release before or after the next Avatar movie. Hopefully, Avatar fans will receive more news on when they should expect to get their hands on both Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and the movie sequels sometime soon.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is slated for release in 2022 on Amazon Luna, Google Stadia, PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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