The James Cameron hype machine has kicked into overdrive to promote the upcoming movie “Avatar.” And part of the package is “James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game,” a T-rated adventure game from Ubisoft.
The director of “Titanic” and “Terminator” has created an alien world that contains valuable resources, poisonous atmosphere and a race of 10-foot blue humanoids known as the Na’vi. When you add greedy humans, the mix gets very volatile.
You play as Ryder, a human soldier whose consciousness is imported into a human/Na’vi clone, known as an avatar. After learning the basics of life on both sides, you’re forced to decide which race to fight for as war erupts.
“Avatar” — which doesn’t follow the movie’s plot — is basically a third-person adventure game with plenty of fighting. As a human, you have access to a variety of high-tech weapons, aircraft, vehicles and mechanized battle suits. When playing as a Na’vi, you can use a human machine gun or a selection of swords, clubs and bows. You’ll also get the chance to fly on a blue dragonlike Banshee.
The game also offers a conquest feature, basically a strategy game that allows you to fight for control of the entire planet of Pandora.
The graphics are very good, with rich depictions of Pandora’s flora and fauna.
This all sounds very promising, but that promise isn’t really fulfilled. First of all, the controls feel very loose, which leads to quite a few premature deaths in my case. In addition, foes can be unusually tough, which adds to the frustration level. Finally, the game’s action and plot don’t seem to be very well paced. None of these problems were horrible, but they added up to a feeling that the game wasn’t as fun as it should be.
Platforms: Xbox 360 (tested), PlayStation 3, Wii, PC
On the Web:www.avatargame.us.ubi.com