This is a little review for James Cameraon’s Avatar: The Game. Did you ever wonder what it would be like to explore a little more of the Avatar world of Pandora and maybe experience a different story or other plot points? Well, you are in luck because this game has all of that and more. Follow Able Ryder, a soldier sent by humanity to assist in facilitating in harvesting Unobtanium from Pandora. This game provides you with an open world, significant choices and a lot of varied gameplays. Let’s jack into this surprisingly impressive game.
The gameplay in this title is simple but robust. As a straightforward run and gun game, it offers satisfying fast paced action and a small faux open-world to explore. Interestingly, this game actually divides itself in two after a choice is made by the player: one half focuses primarily on a human experience and the other focuses on an Avatar experience.
The human experience has you run around as normal soldier Able Ryder. Ryder must use an arsenal of weapons and vehicles to battle their way through the game. This includes engaging enemies in the native Na’vi and the local flora and fauna. It feels like the whole world is against you, which is fitting because it is. If you side with humanity, it is up to you to take the fight to the local populace and beat them into submission. The combat functions a bit like it does in Mass Effect 2 but with much less use for cover and more on movement.
In the Avatar experience, you still play as Able Ryder but you remain in Avatar form for the entirety of the game. In this form your weapons are limited to slower firing bows and arrows, and you only have access to an avatar issue machine gun. In this form, however, the flora and fauna do not attack you as you are one of the natives. This adds a surprisingly unique dichotomy between the player choices that cause you to stop and think for a second. Thankfully you get to play as both options before being forced to make a choice.
The visuals were actually surprisingly good for a game of this age. Everything is easy to see as much of the alien fauna are quite brightly colored, allowing players to follow the action and make informed decisions during it. The world is beautiful to look at but still maintains its threatening alien aura. The player character in both human and avatar form are pleasing to look at and don’t break the illusion of the game at all.
The story in this title is much like the film but it does not follow the protagonist. Instead, players are offered a similar experience with a new character so they may make the choices of the movie for themselves. You are asked to make a pretty serious choice early on in the game to determine who you actually wish to fight for. You will be allowed to make a similar choice right near the end and the game covers for that brilliantly.
I really enjoyed sticking to one route and then playing it differently with another play through; very satisfying. It reads like Detroit: Become Human or Deus ex: Human Revolution in the way that choices can last a whole game.
If you are after a classic run and gun shooter then this is, without a doubt, the game for you.
- Great Visuals
- Excellent gameplay
- Needed to be longer
Download James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
James Cameron’s Blue aliened movie tie-in didn’t use active shutter technology, rather it used the more comfortable, more effective (and hugely more expensive) polarising tech. Of all the games we tested Avatar was the most convincing, with the branches of its alien jungles appearing to reach right out of the screen and poke you the cheeks and eyes – which is to be expected, really. Allow the camera to clip some grass or hanging vines and you’ll be accosted by giant pixels floating inches from your face. Shoot and bullets sail into the screen.
The game itself is unlikely to be anything particularly magnificent, a Lost Planet-style third-person action-shooter with fantastic giant creatures and bizarre and colourful flora. No, what’s astounding is just how impressive and deceptive the 3D imagery is, to the point where you can’t help but reach out and paw clumsily at the air in front of you while muttering “it’s like it’s right there!
This is, we’re told, the same tech being used in the Avatar film – itself a 3D CGI extravaganzoid, meaning that to get some idea of why these last few pages have been filled with gibbering, wet-eyed descriptions of what a fully-realised third dimension looks like on a screen, you’ve only got to visit your nearest overpriced IMAX cinema.
After 15 minutes of play the effect becomes less pronounced, but at this point we’re invited to remove our Jarvis Cocker specs and view the game running on a regular monitor. The difference is honestly surprising – we had difficulty discerning the edges of objects in the now entirely flat world and simply moving the character felt disorientating. It’s like stepping back into the Vaseline-smeared hell of standard-definition TV, having been given a glimpse of perfect clarity of high-definition. So thanks for that Ubisoft Montreal. Thanks for making everything else we play look shit.
Any praise directed towards the Avatar mod has to be constantly filed under “What might have been” because it’s so badly optimised there’s no way anyone, bar those owning the most powerful PCs on the planet, can get a reasonable frame rate out of it. This problem can be solved by putting Crysis‘ visual settings to their lowest notches, but that makes the point of the mod -the visuals – irrelevant. So let’s talk about it as if it did work.
Barguss has spent three months piecing it together. Ninety percent of this time was spent on creating the la
vish visuals, the likes of which you’ll never have seen in a game before. As one succinct poster on the mod’s home page notes, “I had to slap myself to believe that this was an actual mod”. High praise indeed, and a comment nobody could disagree with too much. But in essence Avatar is just vanilla Crysis with a great new look.
But of course, you’ll never see things as Barguss intended, because most of your time will be spent grinding your teeth into stumpy little pegs as you nudge the mouse slightly to the left and watch the whole thing grind to a halt, as everything is redrawn criminally slowly. It seems that Barguss has forgotten the first rule of development: make sure your players can play the game.
There’s pretty much no way you’ll be playing Avatar properly any time soon. However, there’s always the hope it’ll get tweaked and optimised to a playable degree. If this does happen this will be in any essential Crysis mods list, and the new “look console friends, this is what my machine can do” showing off thing.
You could use it for that now, but consolers will laugh as you freeze in place for the umpteenth time. Barguss, don’t let this be the case forever.
Every Now And then a movie tie-in game comes along that bucks the trend of movie tie-in games that buck the other trend of movie tie-in games being rubbish.
James Cameron’s Avatar tumbles through this Mandelbrot of trend-buckage and emerges, sadly, on the rubbish side. It’s a technological marvel, certainly, having – like the movie – been built from the ground up to be a fully popping-out-of-the-screen-and-into-your-face 3D experience, but beyond the illusion of depth the game itself is flatter than a pug’s face.
You’re one of the soldier men, shipped out to the mystical world of Pandora, a place in which the flora and fauna attempt to tear you limb from limb at every turn. Living on this planet is the equally mystical Na’vi tribe, a bunch of blue-skinned, cat-faced ladies and gents who tower over the invading human forces.
They’re naturally opposed to the imposition, and so the conflict calls for an over-the-shoulder, third-person action-adventure across several different zones on Pandora. You can move freely from place to place, collecting side missions and discovering cell samples, but primarily you’ll be driving the plot onwards along the main quest line. Not far into Avatar, you’ll choose whether to ally with the Na’vi by permanently assuming your alien form (your consciousness can be transferred into the body of a Na’vi, which isn’t very well explained, particularly if you’ve not yet seen the film) or having it speared to bits, never to be seen again. Whichever route you take, most of the same problems will find you.
Foremost is that combat simply isn’t fun on any level. Enemies move in strange, unpredictable patterns, not reacting to your attacks in any way. They don’t take cover or employ tactics, instead opting to run at you repeatedly before doubling back on themselves and retreating to a safe distance.
No matter which path you choose you’ll have to contend with either natural or mechanical transports, the horrendous handling of which defies belief. As a marine you can wield a near-useless flamethrower, and as a Na’vi you’re left to defend yourself with rudimentary tribal nonsense mixed with some useless acrobatics. Playing Avatar is a hollow experience compounded by a two-dimensional, linear string of objectives delivered to you by a soulless cast of rigid actors. This is only worth playing in 3D, so that you can flick them in their stupid floating faces.