PS3 Previews: James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Preview

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James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Preview

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Scheduled release date:

November 24, 2009

Publisher:

Ubisoft

Developer:

Ubisoft

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Action/Adventure

James Cameron is about to make a big splash in the world of moviemaking yet again – even if you weren’t a fan of “Titanic,” you have to admit, it made a lot of waves (er…pun intended?) – with “Avatar,” which is a sci-fi extravaganza for all you “techhies” out there. Obviously, they’re going to make a game to go along with it, and after watching the early trailer for the movie, we just had to see what Ubisoft has in store for us. Well, the game popped up at the PAX event last week and the first point we should probably clarify is that this title is essentially a prequel to the film. Yeah, we’ve seen plenty of these before, but they can work: you step into the shoes of an RDA (Resources Development Administration) soldier, and right from the start, you’ll notice that something is…amiss. Why exactly are you forcefully pushing your way into a heretofore peaceful land simply to snag some of this precious element? We don’t have permission from the civilians (the Na’vi) of Pandora, so isn’t this called stealing…?

So clearly, it seems you’ll be starting off in the role of the villain, although we’re willing to bet the solider isn’t 100% aware of what he’s part of until the story progresses. At that point, there’s a good chance that this guy will switch sides when he learns what’s up; otherwise, the game will have a not-so-happy ending. Maybe you’ll even be able to pick your side, just for the added flair of freedom and decision-making that so many next-gen gamers appreciate. The good news is that in terms of gameplay, we know a lot more than we knew before, just ‘cuz Ubisoft had a demo on display at PAX. The demo kicks off with a large land-crawler known as the Samson, which simply needs to reach a certain destination in a set period of time. The Samson has plenty of missiles on board, which lets you clear away any obstacles in your path and the best part is that any destruction you cause will yield Effort Points. You can also gain EP from eliminating enemies, but collecting cell samples from certain foes will also be part of your objective.

If you’re wondering what type of gameplay to expect, think of your standard third-person shooter like Uncharted, only with the addition of crazy-huge mechs, like you might find in Lost Planet. We hope Ubisoft gives us an engaging combat mechanic but the one downside we’ve heard is that there isn’t a cover system of any kind, which may prove problematic. After all, we’re so used to taking cover these days, it may come as a surprise when we’re always subject to incoming enemy fire. But at the same time, you’ll have an expansive inventory of weaponry and other useful items that will let you be on the offensive more often. Take, for example, the flamethrower: they showed this off in the demo presentation, and not only did it yield a very appealing visual feast for the eyes – watch that lush forest burn! – but it proved to be effective against the oncoming hordes of viper wolves. And you know, we like the sound of this; when we’re always ducking for cover and playing defense, we lose a little of that old-fashioned heroic, invincible feeling we got when blasting our way through hordes of nasties in shooters from yesteryear.

Towards the end of the demo, everyone was introduced to the Hammerhead, a massive boss that has the huge lumbering body of a Brontosaurus and the head of a hammerhead shark. This thing will knock your ass for a loop even if it grazes you, so it’s best to keep your distance and let the team toss volley after a volley of heavy machine gun fire and grenades in the Hammerhead’s general direction. Everyone seemed impressed at the graphical polish, although we’re not sure if there’s enough here gameplay-wise to separate Avatar from the rest of the pack. Third-person shooters are starting to become more and more popular these days and while we don’t have anything against them, when the genre becomes bloated with new entries, fresh efforts really need to be fresh in some way. Here’s hoping Ubisoft tosses in a few cool concepts that brings the entire production together, or at least make it as technically solid and breathtaking as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.

Okay, we’re not really expecting that, but we always try to hold out hope for the next game based on a movie. Perhaps it’s a vain hope, but hey, we try to be optimistic ‘round these parts.

9/7/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 07, 2009 @ 10:07:54 PM
Reply

Been looking forward to this movie for over 5 years, I can't wait to try the game AFTER watching the movie.

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Schmitty
Monday, September 07, 2009 @ 10:13:07 PM
Reply

the games not 3D right?

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Hezzron
Monday, September 07, 2009 @ 10:13:33 PM
Reply

At the end of the day, despite all the hype, this is still a movie based game......and we all know how good a reputation those have.

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___________
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 2:13:22 AM

not allways.
star wars eppisode 3 was the best star wars game they have made to date.
xmen origins wolverine is a bloody great game, buggy but allot of fun.
and the dark knight is what inspired the new batman arkham asylum game.
the only reason movie based games suck, is because their normally tied to the movies release so their rushed.
when their freed to do whatever and release whenever they want they can turn out just like a normal game if not better.
it would be interesting to see how xmen origins wolverine would of turned out if it had a extra 2 years development and more funds to make it shine.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 4:44:19 AM

KoToR is easilly the greatest star wars game, and Battlefront series is next in it's steed.
Wolfverine was good.
And Batman:AA has NOTHING to do with the Dark Knight. actually it's the only batman game to not even use a movie story, it's actually using the DC Comics story

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LowKey
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 5:10:52 AM

As much as I liked Knights of the old republic 1 and 2 and Star Wars 3. I enjoyed Jedi Academy much more, I wasn't into all that computer generated battle stuff KoTOR brought. I like controling my own lightsaber thank you very much.

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MadKatBebop
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 8:51:33 AM

Same here LowKey, but the best SW games are SW Jedi Academy, SW Republic Commando and SW battlefront series.

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dlte
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 5:17:37 PM

LotR: The Return of the King was good.

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Schmitty
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 6:14:45 PM

Yeah the Dark Knight has nothing to do with Arkham Asylum. By the end of the Dark Knight the joker is captured and batman is blamed for the rampage Harvey Dent caused. Arkham Aslyum opens with the Joker being taken to Arkham by Batman. So unless theirs some time frame inbetween the two stories where Batman and Gotham make up the stories actually contradict each other.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 07, 2009 @ 11:16:37 PM
Reply

What's this movie about?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 12:15:48 AM

::sigh:: You've got to be kidding me

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 4:45:27 AM

I honestly don't know either. I saw it in theatres (the preview) and I was confused. At first I thought it was related to the Avatar The Last Airbender tv show but it's not. and then i was like, wtf, why did they name it the same sh** but have it be something different.

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Naga
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 7:08:04 AM

About some guy in search for the ultimate Avatar!!

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Imagi
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 7:22:29 AM

Yeah, you play the role of a persecuted gimp, that manages to escape his shackles that had imprisoned you in a self soiled pit for the past 17 years.

Once you have escaped, you are on the run, searching to find your voice, setting out on a quest to find an animated avatar for use on the comments section of psxextreme.

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CH1N00K
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 8:11:03 AM

I was thinking the same thing World. I've seen the posters everywhere, but could care less to look into what it's about. Of course I don't really go see movies that often so that could have something to do with it. I only go to a theatre once or twice a year.

I'll probably wait for this to come out on disc before I see it, if I bother with it at all.

And Vertigo, just because you're excited over this one, doesn't mean everyone else is. As soon as I see the name James Cameron, I automatically associate over-hyped Crap with it and usually pass.

Last edited by CH1N00K on 9/8/2009 8:15:51 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 10:49:47 AM

Be nice, I was just giving World a jab.

Other than Titanic JC has never let me down (well Aliens should have never been made but oh well).


Go to imdb if you care to know about the movie.

CH1N00K so I take it you think T1,T2,Aliens, and True lies were over hyped crap?

Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 9/8/2009 10:50:38 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 1:39:32 PM

lol, you guys are funny, i like the PSXE avatar idea.

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newchef
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 9:33:47 AM
Reply

i dont really care about the movie or the videogame...sorry, im now expecting lots of hate

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 10:50:22 AM

I'm really looking forward to the movie but you will find no hate. For others to hate on you for simply stating your opinion about a movie that little is known about would be wrong.

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Schmitty
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 6:17:40 PM

You are allowed to voice your opinion but I guarantee you that you will indeed see this movie. And you most likely will love it.

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NonProphet
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 3:11:50 PM
Reply

James Cameron directed T2 so regardless of Titanic or anything else he's made, he's got skills (imo).

But I read somewhere that he was only making movies in 3D, Avatar isn't in 3D, right? Anyone know anything about that?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 @ 3:29:50 PM

Not only is it in 3D but its been hyped for over 3 years as the movie to revolutionize the way we watch movies.

Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 9/8/2009 3:30:10 PM

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