James Cameron's Avatar Reviews

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This review has 19 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Concept: Play as a Na'vi or RDA soldier through a few levels on Pandora. Shoot stuff and repeat

Story - Really isn't much narrative but you kinda get the deal of what's going on. Doesn't have much substance. It's not *that* great.

2.5/5

Graphics - The environments are really well done. On a nice TV some of them are stunning. The night environments are EXCELLENT. However, cutscene graphics of the character models/animations are subpar.

4.5/5

Sound - No complaints. Voice work is decent. The music is good but nothing to get excited about.

4/5

Gameplay- Controls take getting used to, and the camera can be a bit wonky at times. RDA play like a mediocre third person shooter, while the Na'vi have a slight more variation as they have melee weapons. Both have a variety of weapons, armor, and powers to use. The vehicle parts are pretty bad, as the unresponsive controls + bouncy camera provide for some frustration. The single player becomes repetitive as the game goes on. Most of the missions are the same thing with a slight spin. Overall it's playable with some annoyances.

3/5

Multiplayer- I found it to be quite fun actually. The game modes are mostly just standard concepts with an 'Avatar' spin. TDM, CTF, and King of the Hill are all present. There's no leaderboards or stats/rankings, so it's just for personal enjoyment. It hurts the replay value. But I find it fun enough to play. Both sides are balanced. But I will probably stop once I get my achievements.

4.5/5
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Vermillion Haze
163,138 (114,445)
Vermillion Haze
TA Score for this game: 1,698
Posted on 17 November 13 at 15:53, Edited on 17 November 13 at 17:22
This review has 9 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Movie licensed games are generally best used as kindling or gifts to hated friends and family. Usually rushed through development to cash in on the brief excitement of the films release or as simple nostalgia years down the line. Finding hidden gems in this vast wasteland of mediocrity is difficult but not impossible.

Serving as a prequel to the film this game already shakes off the stigma of simply allowing players to relive all too familiar action sequences. Instead it serves as a competent vehicle to further explore Pandora itself which in my opinion is the main attraction.

Graphically this game far outshines most AAA titles and I found myself constantly distracted by the beautifully rendered landscape. If you are a fan of the film getting up close and personal with Pandora and it's creatures is probably the primary reason this game interests you. But just in case a pretty forest to fight in is not enough, it does have a story. Even if it provides little more than filler.

You play the role of a fresh RDA recruit who's morality is tested early on in the story. After a certain incident you are allowed to align with your own kind or assimilate into the Na'vi. As you can imagine which side you pick drastically effects every aspect of your experience for the remainder of the game.

If you elected to remain with the RDA you will feel right at home shooting blue aliens in a somewhat generic third person shooter. Gun play is strangely well polished for a movie game. Keeping the enemy out of melee distance is the key to success. You will also have a diverse arsenal of weapons, vehicles and abilities to aid your cause. In essence this is easy mode.

As the Na'vi you will be fighting for survival every step of the way. Requiring the usage of cover, stealth and exploiting your superior maneuverability. Apart from being outnumbered you will also be at a obvious technological disadvantage. RDA weapons have superior range and their vehicles have superior bulk. You will need to utilize hit and run tactics to succeed. Thankfully that's the Na'vi's specialty. A wide array of melee weaponry and spirit abilities allow you to dispatch of soldiers quickly and disappear into the Forrest much like the predators the planet is known for.

Beyond the core mechanics the game is made up of part exploration, fetch quests and a grinding. Leveling up gets you better equipment and skills so grinding XP can get you through some of the tougher missions if your having problems. There is also a surprisingly fun mini war game to pass the time in between missions.

This game also features a multiplayer mode. It's has enough game types and maps to distract you for a few hours but it's definitely underwhelming. One of it's biggest problems is it's simply not balanced. The RDA's range and equipment are a big advantage in most of the game types as you would expect. I did have SOME fun experiences overcoming the odds as the Na'vi and they more then hold their own in Capture the Flag in particular.

In conclusion Avatar is a flawed but competent game and raised the bar for movie titles. I doubt other developers will take notice but this at least proved they don't all have to be complete garbage. It would recommend this as a must own for Avatar fans and a extremely fun rent or bargain title for the average third person shooter enthusiast.

The breaks...

Graphics: 9/10 - Very good graphics for both it's game type and budget. The character models did not get the same detail as the maps but they are still good. You are also able to utilize your stereoscopic 3-D to further enhance your experience.

Sound: 8/10 - The sounds are nearly as enticing as the sights. Unfortunately they only opted for average voice talent. It still balances as another one of the games strengths.

Gameplay: 7/10 - The overall gameplay is passable. I experienced minimal control and camera issues but they are still there nonetheless. Still quite competent and fun.

Replayability: 7/10 - Two separate campaigns, novelty multiplayer and a fun mini game give it above average replayability

Overall: 8/10
Given 4 stars by Vermillion Haze
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