Test Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Test Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Graphical Showcases in This Year’s Gaming

This year, we’ve witnessed the release of several games with exceptional graphic fidelity. Notable examples include “Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty,” “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor,” “Dead Space (Remake),” “Resident Evil 4 (Remake),” and “Alan Wake 2,” all of which showcased above-average visual quality. PlayStation 5 players also received “Horizon Forbidden West – Burning Shores,” offering them the opportunity to explore the ravaged terrains of Los Angeles and Hollywood. As the year came to a closure, another game was added to the list, this time from Ubisoft – “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.” It’s undeniable that this release concluded the year with a visual spectacle, exploiting the capabilities of modern PCs and current-generation consoles.

The Genesis of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

We first heard about “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora” in 2017. During the Game Developers Conference, James Cameron, along with Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment, confirmed they were working on the Avatar Project, which later adopted the title “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.” The Massive studio employed its proprietary engine Snowdrop, famously known for “Tom Clancy’s The Division” and “The Division 2,” which are both visually impressive games. Snowdrop is particularly capable of rendering stunning open-world environments, making it an excellent choice for “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.” Indeed, the game boasts beautiful graphics, worthy of competing with “Horizon Forbidden West,” often lauded as the most beautifully rendered open-world game. However, “Avatar” brings a significant bargaining chip to the table with its considerably more diverse range of environments for players to explore.

High Graphical Standards Set by Ubisoft with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

“Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora” raises the bar high for graphic quality expectations, as Ubisoft prepares this major game for the year 2023. We compare the PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X versions, as well as evaluate the effectiveness of various resolution scaling technologies.

Utilizing Modern Console and PC Capabilities in Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

“Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora” takes full advantage of contemporary consoles and PCs to such an extent that Ubisoft chose not to develop versions for the older PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Notably, “Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora” is one of the few games where ray tracing is hard-coded into the game and cannot be disabled, whether on PC or consoles. Massive Entertainment approached ray tracing differently by using it on standard shaders. This allowed them to avoid limiting the game to graphics cards with dedicated cores for ray tracing computations. As a result, the game can be run on hardware like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1000 (Pascal) and Radeon RX 5000 (RDNA) series, albeit with lower performance. On PC, players can benefit from a range of resolution scaling techniques, such as DLSS (with Frame Generation), FSR (with Fluid Motion Frames), or XeSS.

Image Modes and Performance on Consoles

The console releases for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X include two image modes: one that emphasizes higher resolution and quality and another that prioritizes smoother gameplay at 60 frames per second. It’s worth praising Ubisoft for how efficiently the Performance mode operates, especially considering the relatively minor drop in graphic quality it involves. Given the complex world of Pandora, this was not a given. This year, we’ve seen plenty of games where the Performance mode on consoles was poorly implemented. In our analysis, we’ll not only compare the Quality and Performance modes on consoles but also set up a comparison between the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions, as well as confront the computer and console versions of the game head-to-head. We’ll also discuss NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR, and Intel XeSS technologies, pinpointing which solution looks best in “Avatar.
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