Avatar: Frontiers Of Pandora Looks Beautifully Alien In New Snowdrop Engine Tech Showcase


Announced at the Ubisoft Forward E3 2021 presentation, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora takes players back to the alien world that was originally introduced in James Cameron’s 2009 film. Built using the latest iteration of the Snowdrop engine, Ubisoft has released a new trailer for the game which features insight from the developers at Massive Entertainment and Lightstorm Entertainment about how the software has evolved to create a version of Pandora that looks truly alien.

According to senior technical artist Kunal Luthra, thousands of assets can be propagated inside of each frame to create more highly detailed environments, while the automated placement of objects and vegetation has helped to make the planet more populated with dense foliage. Even the plants of Pandora will react to your presence, but one of the more interesting details is a system that allows NPCs to react more naturally to the state of Pandora.


“The different activities that NPCs can perform in the world and the different animations they have can make the world feel really alive,” lead narrative realization director Alice Rendell explained. “For Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, we wanted to take this one step further and created a system where our NPCs understand the state of the world. For example weather, player progression, or time of day.”

Real-time ray tracing means that more dynamic lighting will be present in the game, with real light reflections from the emissions and bioluminescence of Pandora’s plants. Even the skies above players have received some upgrades, as a new volumetric cloud system will improve the visual quality of the sky.

Ubisoft’s first look at its new Avatar game confirmed that it’s being developed “exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PC,” and will take the shape of a first-person action-adventure. This isn’t the only game that Massive Entertainment is working on, as it’s also working on an open-world Star Wars game–something which Ubisoft said the studio is capable of thanks to its current size.


In case you missed it, you can catch up on all the biggest news and reveals from Ubisoft Forward in our roundup.

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