Meet the new gloss

 

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Avatar: the Game

James Cameron doesn’t really do small-scale. The Terminator and Aliens director’s newest, Avatar, is due out in December and, predictably for a big-budget sci-fi film these days there’s a game tie-in. Of course there is.

Avatar the game seems to be trying to take on a few preconceptions, though. It’s been in development for three years, apparently, and has enjoyed almost unrestricted access to the movie’s assets. A cynical Terminator: Salvation, then, this probably isn’t. Using the Far Cry 2 engine, it offers you the choice of playing as the human soldiers (think Colonial Marines) or the Na’Vi, those big blue half-man half-gazelle things you’ve seen in the trailers. One side’s heavy on tech, the other likes a more home-grown melee approach.

 

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I mention all this only because it’s so rare to see a studio taking a movie tie-in so seriously. If you’ve ever hauled your protesting neurons through the agonising grind that was say, Reservoir Dogs, you’ll know that shoddy production values and thoughtless game design are all-too-common facets of this sub-genre. Avatar appears to have genuine ambitions to the contrary, but whether that simply means more money and time has been poured onto it to give it gloss, or whether it’s genuinely something that adds a few ideas to the shooter landscape, only time will tell.

For a few images, a rather pretty trailer and some links, take a look at the official website (http://avatargame.us.ubi.com/).

Rob Hobson

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