Avatar: Froniters of Pandora will have next-gen characters like Witcher had 14 years ago

Avatar: Froniters of Pandora will have "next-gen" characters like Witcher had 14 years ago

It’s always interesting to hear how developers are trying to describe to us what they’ve been able to do by switching to the current generation of hardware. One of the infamous statements from 2013 was related to the game CoD: Ghosts which the developers drummed to have advanced artificial intelligence of fish that run away when their character approaches. The statement became a subject of ridicule as it had nothing to do with more advanced hardware - the fish were running away from the players back in Super Mario 64.

Something similar has now been stated by Ubisoft Massive regarding Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, the first Ubisoft game to be developed exclusively for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X / S, and PC. They state that in the new iteration of the Snowdrop engine they have gone a step further in terms of artificial intelligence and that the characters in their game know how to recognize the state of the world in which they find themselves.

This means that the characters know what time of day it is and what the weather conditions are, and they also know how to recognize the character's progress. And that’s great, let’s face it, except it doesn’t necessarily have to do with stronger hardware. Back in the first Witcher, the characters were aware of the meteorological conditions around them, so they fled under the roofs when it started to rain. The characters in Morrowind and later TES games were also aware of when it was day and when it was night.

The new Avatar game looks nice, but it’s a bit funny to me that as some kind of advanced thing in artificial intelligence, they highlight something we’ve seen in games for the last twenty years or so.


However, not everything sounds like selling fog. At Ubisoft, they say the (open) world in this next-gen game will be more meaningful in a way that previous Ubisoft worlds were not. Previous hardware required interesting locations on the map to be scattered, that is, away from each other, so that the hardware has time to load everything it needs until the player arrives at the intended location. It’s one of those design techniques by which games are artificially stretched or slowed down. 

But Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora shouldn’t suffer from it but the locations in the game will be more connected than ever before, and Ubisoft says it will result in a world that isn’t as formulaic in design as in their previous games. And I'm skeptical about that, but they were alive and well. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora we should be playing sometime during 2021.

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