Frontiers Of Pandora Can’t Follow Way Of Water

The Avatar sequel The Way of Water just got a trailer, but the hype around the movie shouldn’t affect Frontiers of Pandora’s open-world gameplay.

People had seen footage of the Avatar spinoff video game Frontiers of Pandora long before The Way of Water trailer was even announced, and comparisons between the two are inevitable. The game is planning to be a standalone action-adventure story set in the world of Pandora with mystery still surrounding the characters and plot. However, due to the similarity in release dates, people might be worried that the game is directly related to The Way of Water instead of being a full spinoff.

Frontiers of Pandora is still aiming for a 2022 release date to coincide with the release of the movie, but that doesn’t mean that it should be related to The Way of Water outside of this. Pandora is already massive, despite only having a single film, due to the work that’s gone into the franchise’s world development. Just following The Way of Water would likely be a waste of effort given the lush landscapes that exist outside the oceans of Avatar.

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The game is being developed by Ubisoft, meaning that there will probably be open-world aspects and lots of side-quests that explore the world at large. However, there’s incentive for the development team to work with the Way of Water team to integrate new locations and tie-in events from the new movie. Pandora is a rich location for a video game, but following a pre-existing storyline or even one related to the events of the film would restrict Frontiers of Pandora‘s freedom of gameplay on release that the game needs to succeed.


An Avatar Movie Tie-In Game Would Waste Pandora’s Potential

Jake Riding Toruk in Avatar 2

Tie-in games are often limited by scope and budget due to the need to get the games released in sync with films, much like the previous Avatar game that was available during the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 generation. Games that follow this format have not always been of the highest quality, and not many movie tie-in games still hold up years later. Recently, these games have seemingly fallen out of fashion, with more tie-in games being sequels, prequels, or related to the franchise rather than direct retellings of the same story. These games allow players who have already seen the movie more content to explore and allow developers to create new stories.


This being said, the marketing and trailers for Frontiers of Pandora‘s open-world has shown off a world that seems to be more about exploration, as it should be. The Hallelujah Mountains, the Hometree, and the Na’vi Reservation all have distinct visual styles and would be fun to explore. The dichotomy of the military and the natural world might be simple, but the player should be given the freedom to discover those heavily detailed areas without being held back by The Way of Water’s story.

Although the Avatar sequel’s production cycle has been long and arduous, the video game may still turn out to be a fun game. In fact, the trailer for The Way of Water shows entirely new areas of Pandora that haven’t been shown off before. Many exploration games like Abzu and Subnautica have shown that exploring oceans and lakes can be truly exciting, so perhaps the game can utilize these new locations to create a new gameplay experience. However, it would be silly for Frontiers of Pandora to follow the story of the sequel when there’s many more stories to be told on the alien planet.


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