James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
James Cameron's Avatar: The Video Game only furthers the point, rather than dispels it, that the movie-to-video game genre is as treacherous as the planet of Pandora itself
- The planet of Pandora is pretty and the AMP suit is fun to drive around
- Clunky controls, poor storyline, lack of variety
With Cameron's latest surefire blockbuster only a few short days away, Ubisoft has teamed up with the cinematic mastermind himself for this official prequel to the enormously anticipated Avatar. The question remains, however -- is it a Terminator-grade masterpiece, or are we looking at another Piranha Part II?
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
When Ubisoft and James Cameron announced the Avatar video game, they made it clear that they wanted to create a title that would not only raise the bar for movie tie-ins, but usher in a new era for the medium itself. That's a rather lofty aspiration, especially given the unfortunate track record already solidified by countless licensing disasters, but with these two powerhouses of entertainment joining forces for a brand new interactive entertainment experience, nothing could go wrong... right?
Well, not quite. Unfortunately, Avatar has little going for it, but the one thing it does right is in the visual department: the sweeping open world of Pandora looks fantastic, with lush vegetation and clear skies full of floating rocks. Yet, I felt that something crucial was missing from the whole planetary spectacle: It just didn't feel alive. The world, while beautiful, is really nothing more than an arena for repetitive battles with various creatures, man-eating plants, and simplistic mission objectives. Recent titles such as Brutal Legend or Assassin's Creed 2 took pains to make their worlds feel unique and memorable, but Avatar's Pandora does little to immerse the player in its jungle habitat. There is a feature called Pandorpedia within the game's menu which explains some of the history and ecology of the world in small paragraphs, but I couldn't help but feel that more time should have been spent bringing Pandora to life rather than writing encyclopedia entries.
The game does try to mix things up by giving you two distinct sides to play as: you can either enlist with the Na'vi (the big blue aliens) or the RDA (human space marines), each with their own unique abilities, vehicles and storylines. However, regardless of which perspective you choose, you're presented with similar mission objectives -- you just happen to be standing on the other side of battle as you do them. The RDA missions do offer up some interesting features like the ability to go crashing around in the large mech AMP suits, but the Na'vi campaign is a pretty dismal affair. I found this highly disappointing as the Na'vi could have offered something different from the many sci-fi space grunt titles already on the market.
While I found the RDA soldier route slightly better (as it was more challenging to fight against the Na'vi than to play as one of them) neither campaign offered anything worth investing $60 into. The controls are awkward and clunky which makes for some frustrating and oftentimes dizzying moments, and I found that on both sides of the battle I spent most of my time running through forests like a possessed delivery boy, avoiding conflicts and pressing the required button to complete some objective (say, planting a bomb) with no real challenge or sense of accomplishment. There are a couple boss fights, mostly reserved for the RDA campaign, but they can be quickly resolved with a few grenade rounds. It is regrettable, as the universe Cameron has set up seems strong enough to support a unique and varied experience. Yet, the game ultimately gives you no incentive to continue playing, as once you've completed one mission, you've completed them all.
The game has native support for 3D capable televisions, but I wasn't able to test that feature out. It may end up adding a bit more fun to the game visually, but overall, Avatar is simply a rather dull experience, which could be the worst thing you could say for any piece of entertainment. From my time with it, James Cameron's Avatar: The Video Game only furthers the point, rather than dispels it, that the movie-to-video game genre is as treacherous as the planet of Pandora itself.
Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPProject Technical LeadQLD
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- CCProject Manager - Telco Networks EngineeringVIC
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- FTSystem EngineerVIC
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- CCPerformance Test AnalystQLD
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerACT
- TPIT Project Manager - Office relocationVIC
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)NSW
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC