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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, and everything else announced at Ubisoft Forward E3 2021

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Avatar - Ubisoft E3 2021
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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, a new game in the universe of James Cameron’s blockbuster film, is coming next year.

Though Ubisoft previously announced the game, the publisher’s E3 2021 showcase featured a first look at Ubisoft Massive’s movie tie-in. The Swedish studio is known for The Division series, and is also developing a Star Wars game. That open-world adventure in a galaxy far, far away can’t launch until after EA’s exclusivity deal with Disney ends in 2023. So, in the meantime, Massive is taking us to another far away sci-fi world.

Like the studio’s previous games, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be open-world, though we don’t yet know much more about the game. The trailer featured both the native Na’vi and the invading human forces seen in the 2009 film, though it’s unclear which group players will be aligned with. Maybe both? Ubisoft has admitted that one of its games is political now, so, who knows? Maybe Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will pick a side. We’ll likely learn that and more as we get closer to the game’s 2022 launch.

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Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora wasn’t the only heavy-hitter

Unfortunately for Ubisoft, Nintendo leaked Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope ahead of the Forward. But, even with the surprise ruined, the crossover tactics sequel looks just as bizarrely appealing as the 2017 original. Sparks of Hope takes Mario and his Rabbid pals to space where they’ll fight the alien threat, Cursa. Per the setting, Rabbid Rosalina and Rabbid Lumas, of Super Mario Galaxy fame, will be along for the ride. The game will launch next year.

Rainbow Six Extraction - Ubisoft

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction will arrive sooner. The tactical co-op shooter resurfaced recently, boasting a new name after its original title, Rainbow Six Quarantine, fell out of favor for obvious reasons. The Left 4 Dead-like FPS has players squading up to battle goopy aliens. As in Left 4 Dead, teams will battle their way through increasingly dangerous stretches of level, punctuated by safe rooms where they can restock. Each player has character-specific abilities and the environments are, at least partially, destructible. It’s out September 16, 2021.

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Rider's Republic - Ubisoft

Riders Republic also got a fall release date. The online extreme sports game looks extremely fun. Players can participate in races with a variety of vehicles from first- or third-person perspectives. The game builds on Ubisoft’s previous snowboarding game, Steep, but expands the range of vehicles to include dirt bikes, gliders, jet packs and more. Riders Republic launches September 2

Expansions Galore

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is getting a Discovery Tour for free this fall. Like in the two most recent entries, Origins and Odyssey, this mode will allow players to wander a non-violent version of the game’s map and learn the real history that inspired it. Valhalla’s second expansion, The Siege of Paris, is launching this summer and will see the return of play-your-way black box missions. Additionally, Ubisoft confirmed that more expansions are in the works, including one focused on Odin. Valhalla had the biggest launch in series history, and Ubisoft seems eager to support it well into 2022.

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Even before Watch Dogs: Legion launched, Ubisoft has been teasing the return of Aiden Pearce, the gruff, trench coat wearing protagonist of the original game. Today, we finally got a look at what shape his return will take. Watch Dogs: Legion – Bloodline is a new story expansion set before the events of the base game. It will be available for free for players who own the season pass.

The best of the rest

But, if you don’t like gruff hacking antiheroes, here’s everything else Ubisoft showed off at the 2021 Forward.

  • We didn’t get any new information on Far Cry 6, really, except for a cutscene featuring Giancarlo Esposito’s villain Antón Castillo. He continues to look like a bad dude.
  • Oh, and the Season Pass includes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon for free.
  • Rainbow Six Siege is getting crossplay and cross-progression among the PC, Stadia and Luna playerbases.
  • For Honor’s next season is called “Mirage.”
  • Ubisoft gave a brief look at its TV and film efforts with a recap of this season of Mythic Quest and a trailer for Werewolves Within.
  • Rocksmith+ brings Rocksmith back for a new generation of musicians, and Rocksmith Workshop allows players to customize and upload their own versions of existing tracks.
  • Just Dance 2022 will launch sometime this year on just about everything except PC (and Wii, RIP).
  • Ubisoft didn’t give any specific news on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, but did say to expect surprises in celebration of the Ghost Recon series’ 20th anniversary.
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming to Brawlhalla.
  • The Crew 2 is… getting some kind of update.
  • Trackmania is getting new items and new physics, including the ability to bounce on water or dive beneath it.

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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.