Differences From the First Avatar Movie and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

James Cameron's Avatar franchise has seen an incredible level of expansion in recent years. Starting with the release of Avatar in 2009, which went on to achieve astronomical commercial success, 20th Century Fox later announced a series of planned sequels were in the works. While little is known about the upcoming sequels, Avatar 2 is set to release in 2022 barring any other delays. However, that's not the only taste of Pandora that fans will be seeing in 2022 – Publisher Ubisoft has given Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora a tentative release window for next year as well.

This is not the first game set in the world of Avatar. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game was released in 2009 along with the first film, but only received mixed reviews. Hopefully, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has its sights set on a better critical reception, and with all that fans have been able to glimpse so far, it certainly seems like an ambitious title. Still, with the original film generating such a loyal and widespread fanbase, those already invested in the world of Pandora and its inhabitants are likely wondering how the upcoming game compares to the first Avatar film.

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What Avatar Fans Have Seen So Far

Despite a release scheduled for next year, not much is known about Massive Entertainment's upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. After being officially revealed during the 2021 Ubisoft Forward earlier this year, the details of what players can come to expect from the game have been fairly sparse. From what has been seen so far, however, there are more than enough tidbits to go on to speculate on what Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora might entail. From the First Look trailer, fans were shown the familiar breathtaking and verdant world of Pandora with a look at the jungle, its bioluminescent sections, and its rocky canyons.

Pandora's vast, lush landscapes and exotic jungles were some of the best parts of the first film, and it's great to see them recreated in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora for players to properly explore. The developers have said that the in-game setting will be a "living and reactive world inhabited by unique creatures and new characters," no doubt pushing the capabilities of the Snowdrop Engine. The game will take players across the Western Frontier, a never-before-seen region of the hotly disputed planet of Pandora, which will hopefully provide exciting and fresh landscapes along with the more recognizable regions.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be a completely standalone story, so it's unlikely that the game will crossover too much (if at all) with previously seen characters, although the story will center on the ongoing battle between the indigenous Na'vi and the exploitative Resources Development Administration (or RDA). Players will have the chance to control a Na'vi to fight against the RDA and stop their expansion across the resource-rich planet, as well as explore the immersive open world.

Some Things Change While Others Stay The Same

While the biggest difference will no doubt be the whole new area that players will be navigating, there are still some smaller changes from the first Avatar film. Along with new characters, the first glimpse provided a look at some brand new species of flora and fauna, with no doubt many more to see once the game releases. Familiar animals like woodsprites, direhorses, and flying banshees make an appearance, with the inclusion of flying banshees opening up interesting combat possibilities. There are still some creatures that keen-eyed fans have spotted in the brief trailer for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora that appear new to the world, though, like the larger dinosaur-like creatures that roam the plains.

The helicopters and mech suits utilized by the RDA are pulled directly from the first film, but the base that players can see in the reveal trailer seems like a new location specifically for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. With the aim of the game to stop RDA's invasive expansion across the planet, it's likely that they will have set up new bases or compounds across Pandora that players will have to shut down or destroy. Although the Na'vi look like they will once again be facing up against machine guns and modern weaponry with only their bows and arrows, an explosive arrow takes out a helicopter during the thrilling aerial fight in the reveal trailer, hinting at potentially diverse ammunition types in order for players to match up against RDA's seemingly superior might.

With newer elements combined with the familiar ones that made the first Avatar film the highest-grossing in history, it's clear Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has the potential to be as era-defining as its cinematic predecessor.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be available in 2022 for PC, PS5, Stadia, and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: James Cameron Shares New Avatar 2 Set Photos And Stunning Concept Art

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora's Release Date is Good for Ubisoft's Star Wars Game

Ubisoft's Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora releasing in 2022 is good news for the company's untitled open-world Star Wars game, coming in 2023.

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