Avatar is a franchise that my fandom goes a bit all over the place. The first movie I bounced from loving to being indifferent, and the sequel, The Way of Water, is… well, it’s fine. The one thing that I consistently like about it is the interesting world with all its flora and fauna. So an open-world game set in the universe? Well, I was ready to be impressed.
A movie game that doesn’t have anything to do with the movie!
One thing I was nervous about was how it was going to be tied into the movie. Fortunately, it isn’t. The game kicks off with an opening cutscene beginning eight years before the movie. We met a bunch of Na’vi students in an RDA facility. These poor Na’vi were taken from their clans for the humans to corrupt them. The RDA bossman is trying to convince them that they were abandoned but they aren’t buying it. One of the Na’vi students decides to test this out and leave, only to be shot in front of the rest of the class.
Humans are the baddies on this part of Pandora too
The game then jumps forward eight years to when RDS is being forced off Pandora, because of that awesome battle in the movie. The bad guy tells his stooges to shoot the students. Fortunately their teacher who was in her Na’vi body kills them first and gets the students to be frozen. 16 years later they are awoken by their teacher and some Na’vi fighters. Turns out the RDA is back in action and the students are on the hit list. They escape, and the game kicks off.
The RDA is trying to take more land for RDA activities, and the Na’vi are fighting back. It’s pretty much what you have come to know from the Avatar series, and as far as game plots go, it’s solid. Like not going to blow your mind, but it is interesting enough to keep you going. We get clans uniting, we get bad humans, we get battles. You know, Avatar stuff.
Explore Pandora yourself
The real reason this game is worth playing is the amazing open world you get to explore. This open world is split up into three distinct areas. There is the rainforest area which is what we are used to from the movies, then there is the foggy forest area, and then there are the open plains. They have official names, but who cares. The first two are what we have seen, while the open plains is a cool different area that feels more interesting and unique.
The game is played in first person, which is awesome as hell. The first person angle absolutely enhances the experience as you explore this amazing world. But you can’t just enjoy a beautiful world can you? You have to kill stuff. Fortunately you have the choice between human guns or Na’vi weapons. It’s not Farcry, er I mean a Ubisoft game without a good dose of crafting. Killing creatures gets you stuff to craft with, but only if you use Na’vi weapons which is a cool touch.
On the whole, the gameplay is as solid as you have come to expect from Ubi games. In many ways it won’t blow your mind, but it’s fun to play. It’s even more fun when you get to mount your Ikran and fly around the beautiful world.
Farcry on Pandora
I mean what more is there to say? The gameplay is good, the story is good, and the world is great. As far as expectations go, this game beat mine and it’s an excellent game to sit back. Explore, and enjoy. Pandora is waiting for you.