What ever VanOrd's review is, like it or not, it is his review. With any review a gaming site does, it is a very limited perspective and contains a little bias. These reviewers are hardcore players of every possible title and have their own likes and dislikes based off all the games they play day in and day out. If a game falls short then they likely are comparing it to what they have experienced with the unlimited library sitting on the company shelves. Kevin, like many game reviewers is a singular opinion. Take it literally with a grain of salt IGN: 6.8=Okay; Gametrailers: 6.5; Metacritic: 60; the lists provide a an average quality perspective of Avatar, not below average or above average, just average. Second opinions are always needed, so get over to competing gaming sites to develop a better feel for what the community says about any given game. When in doubt just go out to your local Gamestop, buy a used copy, if you don't like it, return it within seven days and get your money back (like a free rental with the option to buy). I personally don't take any review on gaming sites seriously as a reason to buy or not to buy, if I did, my gaming experiences would be nothing more than hyped titles that have the biggest budgets and meet the expectations of the media. Stick to to what you know and go with your gut as a gaming fan. Try a couple of games that these sites give horrible scores to and form your own perspective.
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Review
This disappointing film tie-in transforms the magical into the mundane.
Of course, what fantasy game would be complete without special powers? You get a number of skills to play around with no matter which side you choose, though it's odd that these abilities are never given any context--you just have to accept that they exist. Nevertheless, they're good to have on hand, and like weapons, skills become more effective as you level up. Your healing ability will become the most useful, because though you regenerate health quickly when not in battle, you'll need to heal yourself when engaged with enemies. There is some overlap between the factions aside from health regeneration. Both sides can sprint for a short period of time, and both can activate camouflage to remain hidden for a short time. Faction-specific skills include the Na'vi's ability to summon a swarm of insects, and the RDA's airstrike. Avatar isn't a difficult game, so you won't often need to employ your special skills, but it's still fun to watch a barrage of missiles devastate a crowd of Na'vi or to summon a viperwolf to fight at your side.
In spite of these special skills, Avatar soon becomes tragically predictable: shoot a group of enemies, travel toward the next hotbed of activity, and shoot some more. The pace rarely varies, so while its goodly length should seem like an asset, Avatar instead feels like it drones on for far too long. There's never a sense that the action is ramping up, and the few boss fights sprinkled about are too tepid to make things more interesting. For example, you take on a huge beast in a large clearing, which is easy to avoid in spite of the poor collision detection that allows it to knock you over even if it misses you by a few feet. When it dies, the creature falls to the ground with little fanfare and dissipates seconds later. Talk about an anticlimax. The by-the-numbers missions don't help matters and serve only to artificially extend Avatar's length. Go here, collect these herbs, and report back. Go to these locations, shoot down some towers, and check back in. Go there, collect these different herbs, and bring them back. This tedium is particularly evident when playing on the Na'vi side, so it's hard not to feel like a big blue personal assistant.
Luckily, you can cut down on your travel time by using Avatar's vehicles and mounts, and in this case, the Na'vi get the better deal. You can ride a few different creatures, and there's a bit of a thrill in flying through the air on a colorful banshee, at least until the loose controls suck some of the joy out of it. If you want to stick to good old Pandora firma, direhorses will be your standard choice. These horselike creatures get the job done, though weak animations and sound effects make riding one seem more like floating about in a hovercar with legs than riding atop a great beast of burden. But direhorses are preferable to the RDA options, in particular the buggies. When you get behind the wheel of a buggy, the camera swoops and sways with every bump and bounce. The effect is so nauseating, it's better to stay on foot and keep your lunch than to take a rover and lose it. Luckily there are a few other options, though not all of them fare better. Gunships, for example, are awkward to pilot thanks to an unusual--and noncustomizable--control scheme.
Avatar's most intriguing idea is its implementation of a turn-based strategy minigame called Conquest, which you can access from the game's fast-travel stations. As you play through the campaign, you earn funds that you can spend on units in Conquest mode. In Conquest mode, you capture territories, thereby earning boosts in the campaign, such as earning more experience points or increasing damage. This is a terrific idea, and it's fun to play around in Conquest for a short while, as simple as it is. However, Avatar is not a challenging game, so the enhancements you receive from capturing territories aren't noticeably helpful, and you could easily finish the game and reach maximum level without even knowing that Conquest exists.
Avatar's multiplayer modes aren't quite as useless as Conquest, letting up to 16 players compete in a variety of modes like Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Capture the Flag. The multiplayer suite feel less like a throwaway than you might expect for a movie tie-in but the factions play so differently that weird imbalances become quickly apparent. A Na'vi player can crush an RDA player with a single swipe of his club, while an RDA player can jump in a mech suit and mow Na'vi down without much fuss. (Though oddly, the swarm of insects Na'vi players can unleash make short work of those big hunks of metal.) The factional differences make for some initially appealing variety, but the disparity is too great--and the basic mechanics too bland--to support long online sessions. The mechs don't feel heavy enough to make them fun to pilot, and the cavorting camera renders buggies as uncomfortable to drive in multiplayer sessions as they are in the campaign.
One of Avatar's main selling points is its use of 3D technology, so if you own a high-definition television equipped with stereoscopy, you may get a kick out of seeing Avatar pop out of your screen. Yet even if you're one of the few lucky enough to see the game this way, no TV yet has the capability of making James Cameron's Avatar: The Game play any better than it does. It's not a bad game, and portions of it are competent, if not quite remarkable. But Avatar wears thin quickly, and the story is too fragile to compensate for the deficiencies.
- Player Reviews: 29
- Game Universe:
- Avatar: The Last Airbender (XBOX, PC, PS2, PSP, DS, WII, GBA, GC),
- Avatar: The Last Airbender -- The Burning Earth (X360, PS2, WII, DS, GBA),
- Avatar - The Last Airbender: Into the Inferno (WII, DS, PS2),
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (X360, PS3, DS, PC, PSP, WII),
- The Last Airbender (DS, WII, IP),
- James Cameron's Avatar (IP, BB, AND)