Top positive review
47 people found this helpful
A decent game, needed more depth...
on 31 December 2009
After seeing James Cameron's Avatar at the cinema, I was enthralled by the huge and diverse world of Pandora. Naturally I bought this game to experience the world of Avatar once more. The previous reviewer stated that the graphics were nothing special... try turning the settings up a few notches; the game is built on Ubisoft's Dunia engine and so contrary to previous comments,it is actually a gorgeous game - there is one scene in particular that stands out when you venture into the 'Willowglade': just like in the film the trees and vegetation gain this ethereal glow, your footsteps are traced by a soft green glow and there are hundreds of particles on screen, your Avatar even sparkles in the dense light, so the game's visuals are a treat. Also in this respect, the vehicles and creatures are diverse and detailed, often accompanied by a pandora-pedia entry that explains the world in greater detail - great for fans of the film.
Aside from the graphics, the gameplay is generally pretty good, perhaps a little clunky - especially at points in the game when you have to fight large groups of enemies and have to respawn, after a short loading screen, pressing enter and then going back to the checkpoint - it would have been nice for a quicker respawn like in the Halo games, bringing you back into the action quicker. The controls are easy to master, especially for regular PC gamers and can be remapped anyway. The game plays a little like an RPG/3rd person shooter; you have a levelling up system (albeit a limited one) and additional weapons and armour that a especially rewarding should you play as the Na'vi. However, again this could have been better - it would have been nice to have more powers to chose from, more weapons and more armour too. Overall it keeps the game interesting.
The storyline is perhaps where the game falls down a little bit - it pretty much mirrors the film narrative but changes the characters, becoming a little bit annoying at times, leaving you wondering why you couldn't just play as Jake Sully. Another thing that fails to impress is the way most of the Na'vi's sacred ways as depicted in the film are absent; like the connection between Na'vi and their creatures - in the game you simply jump on whatever beast is closest and ride on, which seems a little careless of the developers, seeing as they worked so close with the film production; which begs another question - why not use the original soundtrack? James Horner's compositions would have sealed the 'authenticity' of the game, adding a cinematic touch the game suggests. Finally, the ending is quite anti-climatic, ironically failing to mirror the films epic finish, it seems Ubisoft just decided to cut the production short...
Overall this adds up to a pretty enjoyable game, while flawed in many ways, it is much better than some reviews have suggested and certainly kept me entertained for several hours - I would definitely recommend this to those who are craving more from the world of Avatar.