If you keep up with the latest game releases, chances are you're at least passingly aware of Respawn Entertainment's Jedi: Survivor which released on April 28th, 2023. Jedi: Survivor is a sequel to the critically-acclaimed Jedi: Fallen Order, which stunned the world in 2019 with its revolutionary gameplay and compelling story. As we began to explore Respawn's latest Star Wars adventure, it quickly became apparent that a new bar has been set for open world, action-adventure games.
As fans of James Cameron's Avatar, and with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora news expected as early as this summer, we couldn't help but notice several things that Jedi: Survivor does well which would similarly benefit Ubisoft Massive's upcoming open-world action RPG. Here are three takeaways from Jedi: Survivor that we hope UbiMassive is paying attention to for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Open, but not empty
Open-world games often suffer from "hiking simulator" syndrome, where there are large swathes of environment that are simply empty, natural terrain between the more interesting focal points of the world. Jedi: Survivor does not fall into this pitfall. The world itself breathes. Between dynamic enemy encounters, documenting local flora and fauna, and tucked-away mini-narratives, even in the remotest parts of the world there are discoveries to be made.
Additionally, Jedi: Survivor creates a sense of grounded civilization by introducing settlements to its planets, something its predecessor did not have. Whether it's the frontier-reminiscent Rambler's Reach on Koboh or the Narkis Anchorite archeological outpost on Jehda, each world is benefitted by giving players a personal experience with the planet's long-term inhabitants. This builds the illusion that these civilizations have existed long before the player's arrival, and will continue to exist long after.
In a world as vast and diverse as Pandora, there is an opportunity to craft an unforgettable player experience that pulls on all of Jedi: Survivor's worldbuilding triumphs. The mix of unmarred Pandoran frontier and RDA settlement should provide diverse gameplay while helping to balance out the open world.
An eye for detail
Jedi: Survivor's excellence doesn't stop at large-scale worldbuilding, however. The attention to detail in the natural environments shows how truly impressive a next generation title can be, and is nothing short of beautiful. Sunlight filters through alien trees and onto basalt pillars not entirely unreminiscent of Pandora's Hallelujah Mountains. Water flows down natural watersheds and tumbles into rivers far below. The sound of wildlife, both seen and unseen, permeates the air.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is being developed on Ubisoft's proprietary next-gen Snowdrop engine. The announcement trailer gives a live demonstration of the in-engine capabilities, and after playing Jedi: Survivor Avatar fans can only hope that the same attention to detail is being paid to the environments in Frontiers of Pandora.
Finally, and most importantly, Jedi: Survivor's story anchors its gameplay and gives the player a reason to engage with the game. The characters are diverse, both in background and personality. Where many open world games sacrifice story for scale, Jedi: Survivor manages to do retain both by committing to over-arching narratives and small scale ones that are uncovered through exploration and discovery.
Jedi: Survivor has the benefit of being a sequel with established characters, however Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is already confirmed to have one important recurring character: Pandora itself. With the planet of Pandora anchoring its narrative, we hope that Ubisoft Massive can craft a compelling narrative that ties into the overall conflict on Pandora, creating a consistent and faithful experience for dedicated Avatar fans and newcomers alike.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is set to release sometime in the next year, with official news expected at UbiForward in June. Looking for the latest updates on the game? Join us on Discord.
By: Mako Ryht
So far, 2021 has been an extraordinarily productive year for Kelutral.org. With OmatiCon setting the pace, we are thrilled to unveil the next step in our continued effort to grow and improve the AVATAR community: The Kelutral Network
The AVATAR community is broad and diverse, but also isolated and scattered. With the first sequel now less than two years away, it is our dream to use the time we have remaining to gather the clans under a single banner. With that in mind, we hope to begin to cater to the varying interests and niches in the community beyond simply learning Na'vi. This is why we have launched the Kelutral Network.
Our first partnership brings a thriving Pandora Rising Discord server into the fold. With Pandora Rising representing the most imminent release among the satellite media projects in the works, it is important to us that Kelutral.org have representation for the game and its players. By partnering with the Pandora Discord team to rebrand as "Pandora Rising @ Kelutral.org", we hope to create new opportunities for growth and connection for our network.
As the Na'vi say, siva ko! Let's continue to make 2021 the best year for Kelutral.org yet!
By Albert Chessa
A recent post [on r/avatar] reminded me of how internally frustrated I get with others bagging on Avatar for no reason other than its trendy to do so.
But something always stops me from feeling the need to lash back out when others lash out at me --
I choose to spare myself from the debates, and continue to politely express why Avatar is worthwhile, and no-pressure suggest that anyone who disagrees would benefit from reconsidering their criticism.
That’s something that isn’t noted enough --
That Avatar fans don’t lash out nearly as much as Marvel/Star Wars fans.
We’re genuinely happy with what we have, and scarcity has taught us appreciation in the intervening years between film 1 and 2.
We haven’t been constantly stimulated by regular Avatar content (series, books, film, other), which has prompted us to really cherish and dive into what we do have (which is in-theme with the film, teaching us to appreciate and protect ‘Pandora on Earth’, our own creatures, cultures and environment) 🙏
Whenever someone feels the need to knock someone down in order to feel tall, it speaks of their insecurity that if they didnt do that, their beliefs and the thing they love would crumble, which would expose that their belief is in fact weaker because it’s easily shaken.
Doesn’t sound like a lot of confidence to me,
Like Cameron and his filmmaking style, I feel Avatar fans are resilient, and not shaken by doubters and critics.
And, also like Jim, the Avatar community is just quietly, self-sustainingly confident in the inherent worthwhile-ness and always-relevant message (and unparalleled artistry, and ultra-detailed world lore) of Avatar.
I’m grateful for that, for the insanely hard-working crew and cast of all upcoming Avatar projects, and for all of you here too ☺️
By: Paige Gibbs
Na'vi language creator Dr. Paul Frommer and James Cameron's "AVATAR" concept designer TyRuben Ellingson held seminars Jan. 2 for nearly 70 fans at OmatiCon, the community's first international virtual meetup hosted by Na'vi language community Kelutral.org.
The day-long convention celebrated the film with "AVATAR"-themed games, workshops and guest speakers utilizing Discord and Zoom. Virtual attendees spanned multiple time zones and many sessions were hosted in both German and English.
Ellingson hosted an informal Q&A regarding his time as a concept designer for "AVATAR." His vehicle designs eventually became the film's iconic A.M.P. suits and the larger-than-life dragon gunship.
When asked how he felt having worked on a project as big as the "AVATAR" film, Ellingson spoke very highly of working with Cameron and the other designers.
"It's bliss. It's kind of glorious bliss," Ellingson said.
"I know that we can think about our life goals and we can think about the things we want to accomplish. And it's a struggle. It's a struggle for everyone who has dreams to go out and make them real. When you do finally find your way to getting your projects realized… for me to actually have that opportunity was like a dream come true."
His final word came as an exhortation to aspiring artists and filmmakers.
"Start now," Ellingson said. "Like get started now. Shoot crap movies. Shoot phone movies. Like don't wait. There's never a perfect moment to get involved with your dreams."
Community member Kris, known to the community as EanaUnil, led draw-along workshops in both German and English, where she taught the basics of drawing a Na'vi. She ended the sessions by helping aspiring artists fine tune their work.
Frommer spoke on the topic of language learning versus Stephen Krashen's theory of second language acquisition. After a short demonstration lesson of how to practically apply language acquisition as a teacher, Frommer answered questions from eager language learners.
Fans of the "AVATAR" franchise both old and new enjoyed discussing the first film, as well as the promise of the sequels. The next is scheduled to release December 16, 2022. As is tradition at previous in-person meetups, the evening closed with a group watch viewing of the film.
Some fans joined the community at large specifically to attend OmatiCon.
One such fan and Na'vi language learner is simply known as Ducky. She has been learning Na'vi with the German-speaking language community Lerngruppe since March 2020. Ducky was pleased to meet so many new people and have the opportunity to listen to Frommer's seminar, she said.
Being new to the Na'vi language and community, Ducky found OmatiCon inspired her to continue her language journey.
"I think [OmatiCon] was gorgeous, because there were so many people, and a big motivation boost, because it was a wonderful experience," Ducky said.
A community blog for language updates, AVATAR news, and community happenings, maintained by the members of Kelutral.org