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

Ubisoft James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
  • Ubisoft James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
  • Ubisoft James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
  • Ubisoft James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
  • Expert Rating

    2.00 / 5

Pros

  • The planet of Pandora is pretty and the AMP suit is fun to drive around

Cons

  • Clunky controls, poor storyline, lack of variety

Bottom Line

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?

Would you buy this?

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: games
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?