Nothing To Do With Air Benders: Avatar


Whenever a trailer begins with the phrase, “The following is all in-game footage,” there always seems to be a horrible chance that what follows will elicit the response, “I should bloody well hope so, because if that’s a render…” I’m not sure how I feel in response to the reveal, at last, of Ubisoft’s Avatar – a game that boasts the involvement of James Cameron, to coincide with his first movie in twelve years. Set on Pandora, an alien moon populated by the Na’vi, visited by humans, it features actors from the film reprising roles. However, rather than attempting to botch together the film’s plot in a game format, instead the game is set before the events of the movie.

Like the film, the game is set to be played in 3D should you possess the tech – both for consoles and the PC version. (Which never fails to draw a frown for those like me whose brain doesn’t interpret information from both eyes equally, and thus see a blurry mess.) However, Ubisoft are promising the flat-screened version will be plenty splendid.

It's like a child coloured in Crysis.

As you’ll see in the trailer, Pandora is a… brightly coloured place. I’m trying to avoid the word “garish”. Although undoubtedly it’s also bursting with imagination, and the screenshots look gorgeous. It’s hard to get an impression of the game from the explosion-in-a-Dulux-factory trailer, but it seems it will be a third-person shooter, featuring far more heavy duty tech than the magical-fairy-land images might imply. In fact, there’s meant to be some awesome mechs to play in.

Beyond this, both the content of the film, and in turn the game, are deeply mysterious at this point. Knowing Cameron, finally – finally – back to making science fiction action rather than whinging and crying on a boat, the film should offer vast entertainment. The game? Well, it would be a first if it manages to be something special, however the pieces might be in place for that to happen. Right now, who knows? You might want to head this way to get the HD version, as I’m fairly certain the LD is hurting its chances. Oh, and IGN have a video of Cameron discussing it all.


  1. Dominic White says:

    It.. kinda looks like Lost Planet 2, but not quite as pretty, and with much weaker character animation.

    On a side-note, there’s a demo up on the 360 for the PC-bound Lost Planet 2, and it’s a load of fun with friends. If you liked the first (I am apparently the only person in the western world who did – it was a huge hit in Japan though), it’s an interesting hybrid of Lost Planet and Monster Hunter.

    If you’re one of the people who hated the original, try the sequel – it’s actually quite different. The focus is less on arcadey blasting through the level as quick as possible, and more on planning and executing the perfect attack.

  2. Stupoider says:

    Hmmm… the world does seem quite mad…

    I’ve got the feeling that I really want to see the movie in 3D. I saw a trailer for it and it looked fantastic.

  3. ourdreamsoffreedom says:

    Looks like Dinosaur holocaust to me.

    The graphics looks terribly cliched and the animations are just terrible. :/

  4. westyfield says:

    Um. Isn’t the world Borderlands is set on called Pandora as well?

  5. Chris says:

    The colorful world reminds me a bit of Paraworld, which isn’t a bad thing. It was a pretty game.

  6. Sagan says:

    Until ca. 2 years ago you could play all 3D games in 3D, if you had shutter glasses or those red/green ones.

    Then someone decided that we need special monitors for this, and now they are trying to sell us something as new which we used to get for free.

    I think I might try get this game to work with the old 162.50 3D stereo drivers, just to feel smarter than those who spent money on fancy new 3D hardware.

  7. Chris S. says:

    Papyrus? Seriously? How big does your budget have to be before you can afford a typface that isn’t bundled with windows (and absolute piss)?

  8. Sajmn says:

    Looks likeGiants: Citizen Cameron with a bit of Lost Planet, Halo, and Aliens to top it off.

    Looks awesome (though horribly unoptimised).

  9. Dan says:

    @Sagan: Nvidia supports Red/Green glasses just fine without a fancy monitor.

    link to

  10. Brad Grenz says:

    Is this built on the Far Cry 2 engine?

  11. Darthy says:

    Seems somewhat underwhelming, after watching the movie trailer of the exact same thing.

    Rather then the leap forward in imagery the movie promises, this looks rather over-coloured with poorer textures and detail then a lot of contemporary titles.

  12. Noc says:

    First impression:

    . . . is that trailer using Papyrus? What the hell.

  13. Tei says:

    This how good sci-fi look. Hope is not ruined by hollywood.

  14. StalinsGhost says:

    I’m intrigued. By both the game and film – but it’s one of those ventures that will either be a resounding success or a dramatic failure, with an emphasis on pretentious arse. Fingers crossed for the former.

  15. A Delicate Balance says:

    Sad as it may seem, I was also trying to work out what was wrong with the AVATAR text. Papyrus… fail!

    Still, considering that Terminator 2 and Aliens are two of my favourite movies and quite possibly my favourite sci-fi/action films, I’m hoping at least the film of Avatar will be James Cameron-stylee awesome. It would be nice if the game was good too, but I can’t say I was massively impressed by the trailer.

  16. mehh says:

    Reminds me of a Cadillacs & Dinosaurs reboot.

  17. cowthief skank says:

    Looks a bit like Oblivion with guns.

  18. diebroken says:

    @Brad Grenz : The Dunia engine? Seems like it’s being pushed to the max by Ubisoft:

    link to

  19. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Well at least humans have started invading places that aren’t brown in the future.

  20. wat says:

    Looks a bit like the Command & Conquer Dinosaur easteregg level in 3D – That’s clearly a GDI Orca hunting down Dinos in the first screenshot.

  21. Radiant says:

    Who do we play as orcs or humans?
    The film trailer looked bloody epic btw

  22. diebroken says:

    Maybe this would be a perfect excuse to go crazy and get that Nvidia 3D Vision system…

    For some reaso those mechs remind me of a C&C 3 GDI Zone Trooper (link to crossed with Shattered Steel (link to, oh and the power loader from Aliens oh course! ;)

  23. Cedge says:

    You must understand that the sort of 3D techniques they’re pushing now are far and beyond that old red/green garbage.

  24. Rabbitsoup says:

    “Looks likeGiants: Citizen Cameron with a bit of Lost Planet, Halo, and Aliens to top it off.”

    er no it looked like viva piñata: marine assault

    yeah for James Cameron but the game did not look special and the film trailers was a bit to teaser for me and not enough, well film.

  25. diebroken says:

    @Rabbitsoup : Remember, the film is supposed to be seen in 3D, or is that how you watched it?

    Come to think of it the plot outline of Avatar brings back memories of reading Manta’s Gift… argh – gotta stop this comparison nonsense. :-|

  26. Mark says:

    What the – ? That’s not gray and brown at all! Are you sure this is a game?

  27. Dood says:

    Yes, a shooter that actually contains colors. Praise the gaming gods!

  28. Sagan says:

    Yeah, I realize nobody ever liked red/green glasses. I am primarily bemoaning the loss of shutter glass support. You could buy those for 20€ and they would work with any CRT. (and people like me kept a CRT around just to play games in 3D) And it just seemed like a conspiracy was going on, when they dropped the shutter glass support just, when the new 3D monitors started appearing, which made them probably 10 times as much money.

    But maybe what Dan was poasting also means, that support for shutter glasses is back.

    And the irony remains, that they are now heavily promoting 3D, when the same thing was possible for years at a much cheaper price.

  29. Railick says:

    Shut your mouths! They game isn’t finished yet , you don’t want it to pull a reverse Spore !

  30. dadioflex says:

    I bought Trackmania United Forever for about six quid off Amazon, and it came with 3D specs. The 3D didn’t work too well for me because my right eye>>>left eye and wearing the 3D specs and real glasses was awful. (TMUF is brilliant. But I’m sure everybody already knows that.)(get the XBCD drivers to make your 360 controller actually work.)

    Oh, this is a from movie game. I predict it will suck. History will prove me statistically wise.

  31. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I think this could actually be pretty interesting. Cameron sounds pretty into what he’s doing. But then again, he’s not the one making the game.

  32. JKjoker says:

    uh, it looks nothing like avatar, it looks more like wow with futuristic/modern weapons, dunno might be good, but like others said, Lost world 2 looks a lot better and doesnt have the stigma of being a movie cash in

  33. jarvoll says:

    It looks enough like Halo (not a LOT, but enough) to make me feel physically ill.

  34. CMP5 says:

    I just hope this is more about blowing away native blues then fighting with them against the humans.

  35. Glove says:

    I am also biologically excluded from the possibility of watching 3D media, so I perhaps my cynicism for the technology is based more on envy than my hate for gimmicks.

  36. GJLARP says:

    I agree with Sajmn, reminds me of Giants.

  37. Bib Fortuna says:

    Avatar: yet another collection of fantasy cliché and boring action. In 3D.

  38. Vinraith says:

    It does look a little bit like a Shiny design, I must admit. If it can remotely live up to the promise of that comparison, it may be worth looking at despite the silly 3D gimmick.

  39. Kadayi says:

    Despite all the talk I fear this looks like just another film tie-in and given that Avatar is undoubtedly going to be a better event movie than an actual movie (the entire plot is in the teaser trailer, lets be honest here) I suspect that the game will be fairly underwhelming in the cold light of day.

    Talk of 3D gimmicks aside what makes the film look interesting is the stupidly high end CG (the mechs and beasties might not be upto much..but the Navi are pretty bloody spectacular.. go watch the HD trailer if you haven’t already), but the in game models look fairly unexciting in comparison. Should of gone with ID Tech 5 for a bit more wow factor with the models.

    Also agreed that the game looks like something Shiny would of come up with in terms of the colour scheme.

  40. Brad Grenz says:

    There’s nothing to suggest Id Tech 5 can handle vegetation on this scale. I don’t think it’s an accident Rage takes place in a desert. Dunia’s actually a pretty natural choice given the environment they want to replicate. I imagine the visual qualms you have are down to the need to get the game running at 120hz for the 3D visuals to work.

  41. Monchberter says:

    Halo meets Apocalypto. In Jurassic Park.


  42. Tei says:

    I have decided to build a “punch people feces trough internet” device. Wen Isaac Asimov “FUNDATION” trilogy is made as a movie, I will test the device with these that say that looks like Halo.

  43. shinygerbil says:

    Uh. Does nobody else think that the trailer looks like a mashup of bad CG renders usually seen on the backs of packaging for budget graphics cards? Think PNY GeForce 6800GS meets Sapphire Radeon 9000.

    Also, the trailer made me shout things, totally at random for no reason. Words like “Matrix” and “Halo” and “Alien Resurrection” and “Unreal II”.

  44. Flint says:

    Man I really wish this would be one of those rare occasions where a tie-in game is actually enjoyable, the game looks absolutely amazing.

  45. cowthief skank says:

    Tei: I do not know if you are aware, but Foundation is apparently in propduction… If you have IMDb Pro you can see details, but there is a link here: link to

    Of course, if you are aware, then just ignore me :-)

    In other news, Asimov’s ‘Foundation’ is one of the best stories ever. Thanks for reminding me of my need to read it again!

  46. Funky Badger says:

    Hmmm, looks like the opening level of Halo 3, a bit.

    Also, good Sci-Fi? Pfeh. Me wants an adaption of Eden, by Lem. (Actually me really wants Fiasco, by Lem – bet there’s zero chance of that ever happening)

    ((Foundation was a neat idea – awful writing though)

  47. cqdemal says:

    Tei: You want to punch people’s feces?

    *backs away slowly*

  48. tmp says:

    So, Tabula Rasa with dinosaurs..?

  49. Dr. Nerfball says:

    I wonder why no-one has said: “Hey! It’s Turok but shiny! And with a chance of being good!”

    Is it because of the lack of shiny or the lack of good or just to obvious? Mind you, at least it won’t feature any… mech….walkers… ****! Fear 2 all over again! D=