Avatar, the hit film series, was bound to see a game adaptation sooner or later. And the onerous task was entrusted to Massive Entertainment. Yes, an Ubisoft studio. So we’re not going to mince our words. At Ubisoft, not everything is fair game. Even if Mirage or Motorfest are simply top-notch. Avatar is very similar to what we’ve already seen. So we assumed we were on familiar ground.
Pandora your unforgiving universe…
So if the title has already been postponed, you’d think it would result in an unfinished game with its share of bugs. But we’re lucky in that respect. But before we talk about the gameplay, etc., let’s talk about the story. Let’s talk about the story.
Fans will be happy to know that: yes, the title’s story is canon! It follows on from the adventures seen in the film. You take control of a Na’vi captive of the RDA. So yes, a native of Pandora directly. Where we learn that, following the first film, the plan to make us ambassadors fell through, and that we’ll have to flee and learn our roots, and fight the human invaders.
And, as with all such schemes, we realize that all our hopes are pinned on us. And that’s why you’ll have a main storyline that you can follow directly. Or set off on an adventure to discover other peoples and help your fellow human beings and the resistance.
No experience, but…
As your adventures progress, the title will offer you the chance to collect stuff and skill points. These are directly linked to your level. In other words, the more powerful your equipment, the greater its impact on your level. And the same goes for skill points. As a result, it’s not always easy to understand the rationale behind levels in various quests.
Speaking of equipment, you’ll find the best of both worlds. In other words, you’ll sometimes have Na’Vi equipment and weapons. But also human. From bows to automatic rifles, everything is in place to make you a weapon of destruction. Add to all this the Ancestor skills you’ll need to find on the map. You’ll have everything you need to be ultra-versatile.
The title is divided into 3 biomes that offer a change of scenery and a taste of what’s already been seen in the movies. And that’s what we love about the title. You’ll find a lot of elements from the saga. Yes, the title is all about that, but it’s just as much about freedom. And just like in the latest Ubisoft productions. We’re on familiar ground here. And that’s perhaps also what we’ll criticize the title for. That it’s not totally original, but uses a familiar pattern from the studio’s other sagas. Between FarCry and Assassin’s Creed… It’s like something you’ve heard before.
The other concern is the world itself. At first glance, the title is beautiful and vast. But the textures are often ugly. So, yes, overall on PS5, the title is pretty. But at times, you wonder if you’re in the same game. And that’s a shame, because the basic world is beautiful on the whole.
The world is vast, and as with many Ubisoft titles, you’ll quickly give up walking around it, as it’s so cumbersome to get from one point to another. Luckily, the title has teleportation systems that break the immersion, but save you time. This will also be the case when you finally gain access to the mounts. Once that’s unlocked, there’s no question of moving around on foot.
Flora and fauna…
One of the most important aspects of Avatar is its crafting and harvesting system. Basically, you’ll often need to obtain materials for your stuff or craft. And to do so, you’ll need to gather and hunt.
So far, so good. But when you learn that to get the best quality loot, certain conditions must be met… It quickly becomes a headache. Kill in the wrong way and you’ll get basic loot. Don’t pick at night or in the rain, either. Suffice to say, it quickly becomes so headache-inducing that you no longer want to hunt or pick.
It’s a pity, because to find resources, you’ll be able to use an encyclopedia to find or track down what you’re looking for. The idea itself is very good, even if it’s too random at times.
You get the idea. Avatar’s lifespan isn’t great in a straight line, and you’ll have to dig deep to realize its full potential. In other words, if you make a straight line, you’ll get to see part of the world the title offers. It remains to be seen whether future DLC will complete these zones, which are there purely for the pleasure of travelling.
Finally, Avatar could have been a sort of FarCry Primal, but places us on Pandora with the Na’Vi. The title isn’t bad. But it’s not a game of the year either. It will appeal above all to fans of the saga and lovers of quests by the thousand. For the rest of us, it will smell like FarCry light. A pity, because the title has so much to offer and show.