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This article is about the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 version. You may be looking for the demo, the Wii/PSP, Nintendo DS, iOS/Android or Mobile version.

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game is an Avatar video game prequel of James Cameron's film of the same name. The title is developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft, Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox. It was released for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late 2009.

Although the PC version of the game was once on Steam, it was delisted a few years later and is now considered abandonware due to Ubisoft not offering the game on any of their stores.

The game was confirmed to be non-canon to the Avatar franchise in 2023 during an interview with Joshua Izzo.

Another major Ubisoft Avatar game known as Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora released in 2023.

Synopsis[]

The video game takes place two years prior to the events in the movie. In the game, players take the role of Lance Corporal Able Ryder, a SecOps signal specialist who arrives on the distant world Pandora, hand-picked to take part in the Avatar Program. Ryder learns to pilot their own avatar, a hybrid of human DNA and that of Pandora's indigenous species, the Na'vi. As Ryder ventures further into the Pandoran jungle, they learn more about its many creatures of Pandora, the Na'vi, and their struggle with the corporation to save Pandora. At the flashpoint of this conflict, Ryder must decide where their true allegiance lie: with either the RDA, or the Na'vi.

Ryder's gender and appearance are customizable by the player.

Plot[]

Ryder is on a shuttle to Pandora and listens to Dr. Grace Augustine warn about how Dr. René Harper should not be disappointed and how Pandora is dangerous, but to keep a cautious and open mind about it. Ryder arrives at Hell's Gate after landing on Pandora, and meets officer Kendra Midori. Ryder then meets Dr. Victor Monroe, the head of the Avatar Program, and then Commander Karl Falco who explains that a mole is relaying information to the local Na'vi clan, the Tipani.

Blue Lagoon[]

Ryder is then sent to the Blue Lagoon to aid soldiers trapped by viperwolves. After rescuing one named Dalton, Ryder volunteers to complete the soldier's signalling work. Connecting to their avatar, Ryder reports to Dr. René Harper and aids him by collecting cell samples. After a few other minor tasks, Ryder is ordered by Falco to follow a Na'vi called Tan Jala, as it is believed he would be meeting the mole - who turns out to be none other than Harper himself.

Femaleryder8

Ryder choosing to side with the RDA or Na'vi.

Harper shows Ryder the burnt remains of the Na'vi Reservation, revealing the target of the signal Ryder locked for Dalton. Falco and two SecOps troopers arrive in a Samson transport ship and order Harper to surrender. Harper tries to angrily persuade Ryder to join him and the Na'vi, while Falco orders Ryder to shoot Harper. The remainder of the game depends on the player's choice in this standoff.

Na'vi Storyline[]

Vayaha direhorse

Ryder at Vayaha Village.

If Ryder chooses to help Harper and join the Na'vi, Ryder opens fire at the RDA troops and injures Falco, then escapes with Harper to Iknimaya at Vayaha Village. Harper then leads an attack to capture the avatar link beds of Ryder and himself, commenting that if he is not successful, they are finished. Meanwhile, Ryder begins to earn the trust of Beyda'amo, whom distrusts Ryder immensely as he despises traitors. After completing a number of small missions, Ryder is tasked with completing Iknimaya so that he may use a mountain banshee in combat.

Soon after, a Dragon assault ship is sent to kill both Ryder and Harper. Ryder destroys the Dragon by crippling the engines. The Dragon then nearly crashes into the link beds of both Ryder and Harper. Three more dragons appear and bombard the camp, destroying the link beds. In an effort to save the two, the Tipani clan Tsahìk, Sänume, attempts to transfer the consciousness of both Ryder and Harper, wielding success for Ryder but Harper succumbing to his wounds. Ryder, now no longer a human, is told that Vitraya Ramunong, the dormant Well of Souls, needs to be found as Falco seeks it to control the Na'vi population. This can only be done by finding unobtanium shards that can be used with special willow trees to generate a harmonic which in turn aides in locating the long forgotten site.

Lungoray dies

Lungoray is killed by a sniper.

Ryder is sent to Swotulu to find the first three unobtanium shards and the harmonic with the aid of Lungoray. Lungoray cannot be found initially but he is located after completing missions for his student, Unipey. After capturing the three shards and beginning to activate the willow tree, Lungoray is killed by an RDA sniper. Tan Jala tells Ryder to capture the harmonic, despite the fact Ryder knows nothing of how to capture a harmonic. However, Ryder collects the harmonic and travels back to Hometree, bringing the Na'vi closer to finding the dormant Well of Souls.

At this point, the Tsahìk suggests that Ryder is the First Voice, the one who is needed to activate the dormant Well of Souls. Ryder plays down this suggestion but the Tsahìk comments that they have succeeded where many Na'vi have failed. Ryder travels to other locations such as Torukä Na'rìng, where they successfully capture the harmonic and assists destroying the RDA forces which were retreating from the area, and additionally travelling to Va'erä Ramunong, clearing areas of RDA military and re-establishing the Na'vi majority in the area as well as collecting another harmonic and establishing a more exact estimate regarding the location of the dormant Well of Souls. Throughout these regions, Beyda'amo grows increasingly impatient with Ryder despite Ryder's best efforts at assisting the Na'vi.

Upon traveling to Kxanìa Taw and attempting to collect the first shard, the RDA destroy it. Despite this, Ryder continues to assist the local Na'vi population but when attempting to collect the second shard, it is destroyed again by the RDA. Beyda'amo, growing increasingly impatient and aggressive towards Ryder, orders them to assist with the attack on the main local RDA base to capture the last of the three unobtanium shards. Upon invading the base and breaking through to the willow tree previously blocked off by RDA fences, Ryder tells Beyda'amo about the lack of the first two unobtanium shards. Beyda'amo responds aggressively, threatening to attack. Ryder stuns Beyda'amo by activating the willow tree without the shards, confirming they are the Ni'awve Mokri, the First Voice.

After traveling to a few more locations, Ryder arrives at Tantalus and after a brief mission, a great leonopteryx aides Ryder to get to the dormant Well of Souls. A cutscene begins with Falco approaching the still dormant Well of Souls in a Dragon assault ship. However, just as Falco prepares to fire on Ryder, the Well of Souls activates and acts as an EMP against the Dragon, sending it and Falco to their doom. Ryder then meets with Tan Jala and the game ends with Ryder saying that more humans will come, then fading to black.

RDA Storyline[]

Kendra2

Kendra and Ryder survive the crash.

If Ryder chooses to side with the RDA, Ryder opens fire on Harper. He is soon forced against a cliff edge, and before Harper leaps off the cliff, he shoots Ryder's avatar with a Na'vi bow, subsequently killing the avatar. Ryder's human body is unharmed and is soon awakened, then taken aboard a Samson for a flight back to Hell's Gate. While Ryder and Kendra are heading back to Hell's Gate, the Samson is attacked by mountain banshees and forced down on an area known as Needle Hills. As the pilot is badly wounded and Kendra tends to his wounds, Ryder heads alone to a nearby RDA mining center to obtain a Scorpion gunship. After destroying several banshee nests to clear the airspace and rescuing Kendra (the pilot succumbed to his wounds and died), Ryder receives the order to collect unobtanium shards to obtain harmonics from unobtanium willow trees to find the dormant Well of Souls; the first destination is at Needle Hills where, after killing many Na'vi and helping the RDA to secure the whole Needle Hills area, Ryder ultimately finds the three shards needed, and thus finds a waypoint that will help lead the RDA to the dormant Well of Souls.

Ryder meets Trudy

Ryder meets Trudy Chacón

Arriving back at Hell's Gate, Ryder gives the unobtanium shards to Victor Monroe, who then gives them to his scientists for installation into the Emulator, which will allow the RDA to control Eywa, the planetary "hive mind" of Pandora. Falco then orders Ryder to several other areas to obtain more unobtanium shards: the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area), Grave's Bog, and the Hanging Gardens (named after the rapidly growing plant life which overtook an earlier RDA Base). Through these missions, Trudy Chacón is tasked as Ryder's personal Samson pilot after the death of the previous pilot.

After several trips and more shard collection, Ryder has collected enough shards for RDA scientists to pinpoint the exact location of the dormant Well of Souls. During this time, Ryder helps the RDA establish firm control over many contested areas, such as the FEBA, which holds the dubious distinction of being the area responsible for the most RDA casualties. Ryder also kills many Na'vi leaders, such as Beyda'amo, the ferocious leader of the Tipani clan in the FEBA; Tan Jala, the most cunning and charismatic of the Tipani in Grave's Bog; and finally Harper and his two traitorous colleagues in the Hanging Gardens. However, when Ryder arrives back at Hell's Gate for the final missions, they discover from Kendra that Commander Falco has gone rogue, killed Monroe, stolen the Emulator, and is headed for the dormant Well of Souls himself. Ryder knows that configuring the Emulator requires an expert hand, and that Falco's eager tampering could result in the destruction of Pandora and the death of all living things on it. Thus, while Kendra contacts RDA High Command to notify them of Falco's desertion, Ryder heads to the Plains of Goliath, an area close to the dormant Well of Souls, where RDA and Na'vi forces are waging the final battle.

Quaritch game

Miles Quaritch at the Plains of Goliath

There, Ryder is contacted by Colonel Miles Quaritch, who orders them to eliminate the three nearby Na'vi leaders who are rallying their forces against the RDA offensive. The first leader, Swawta, attempts to persuade Ryder to join the Na'vi, which Ryder then "politely" declines by killing Swawta. Afterward, Ryder is shuttled back to Central Command and is ordered to kill another leader, a ferocious thanator rider, Hukato. After doing so, Ryder kills one more leader and is given a Dragon Assault Ship for the trek to Tantalus across the Hallelujah Mountains, where the Well of Souls is located.

Arriving at Tantalus, Ryder is greeted by Operations Specialist (Ops-Spec) Welles at a local RDA base. He orders Ryder to help clear the local area surrounding the Well of Souls so it is safe to journey there, and so RDA forces can force the "blues" out of the vital area. Ryder is then ordered to obtain heavy demolition charges from "Boom Boom" Batista in order to blast open a large rock wall that Na'vi forces are sheltering behind, as it serves as a natural defensive fortification for the Na'vi, and hazardously heavy electro-magnetic storms are preventing RDA gunships from simply flying over the rock wall and bombing them. After several intense battles with heavy Na'vi casualties, RDA ground reinforcements arrive and buy Ryder enough time to install the demo-charges and trigger them from a safe distance. Once the rock wall comes crumbling down, RDA Scorpion gunships fly in and bomb the Na'vi forces to oblivion, which eliminates the last major Na'vi stronghold in Tantalus. Ryder soon encounters Ops-Spec Welles again, standing beside an AMP suit amidst numerous Na'vi corpses in the smoldering ruins of a village. Welles excitedly tells Ryder that the area is now secure and that the RDA can "take it to the blues". Their military objectives completed, Ryder then boards the Dragon for a final confrontation with a rogue Falco.

As Ryder disembarks from the Dragon and comes upon the Well of Souls, they shout that Falco is insane and that the Emulator will kill everyone on Pandora if improperly handled. Falco simply shrugs off this warning and opens fire, forcing Ryder to kill him. As Ryder begins to configure the Emulator for its activation, Na'vi-mounted banshees attempt to attack Ryder. However, Ryder completes the Emulator's activation protocols and it immediately activates, severing the Na'vi from Eywa. The attacking banshees then violently force off their Na'vi riders and flee, causing the Na'vi to fall to their doom.

At last, Ryder receives a radio transmission from Quaritch who says that Na'vi all across Pandora have lost control of their war animals, and are retreating en-masse from every defensive position. Quaritch then congratulates Ryder for greatly helping RDA forces to win the day, and tells him that, "Your Dragon better be spotless when you get back". Before Ryder can leave, he is contacted by Dr. Grace Augustine, who tells him that the war isn't over and that Eywa is planning something; she also says that more humans are arriving on Pandora, and the RDA will have to be more vigilant than ever. With Grace's closing lines, the game ends as Ryder stands before the now active Well of Souls, with the Emulator pulsing in the background.

RDA playthrough, choosing to side with Na'vi at request of Swawta

When choosing to side with the Na'vi when given the choice by Swawta during the final stages of the game, the game continues similarly to choosing to side with the Na'vi at the initial stages of the game. Exceptions include the absence of a great leonopteryx to take the player to the Well of Souls and the player in his human form, not avatar. The Na'vi stop attacking Ryder while the RDA becomes hostile.

If the player chooses this ending, the same cutscene will play out as if Ryder defected to the Na'vi at the first opportunity. This includes the oversight of Tan Jala being present and speaking to Ryder, despite Ryder having killed him earlier in the story.

Characters[]

Humans[]

Kendra

Officer Kendra Midori

  • Able Ryder (male voice: Chris Edgerly, female voice: Audrey Wasilewski) - An RDA grunt brought from Earth to join the Avatar Program, and to track down a sacred site on Pandora. He or she is the main protagonist of the game.
  • Commander Karl Falco (voice: Paul Eiding) - A navy officer and the Head of Security for the RDA. He sees the Na'vi as nothing more than a threat to the mining operation on Pandora, a threat that must be wiped clean if the RDA objectives are to be achieved. He is the main antagonist of the game, even if the player allies with the RDA.
  • Kendra Midori (voice: Kimberly Brooks) - An officer who is your main contact for the RDA.
  • Victor Monroe (voice: Gregory Alan Williams) - A scientist who respects Ryder, but is uncomfortable with Falco.
  • Dr. René Harper (voice: Ron Orbach) - The head of the RDA's Avatar Program. Through all his years on Pandora, Harper has formed a close bond with many of the Na'vi. He understands their way of life and he sees the destructive nature of the RDA mining operations. He soon turns out to be a mole for the Na'vi, and attempts to convince the player to join them.
  • Grace Augustine (voice: Sigourney Weaver) - Grace is part of the Avatar Program. She assigns Ryder to Dr. Harper, and appears only three times throughout the entire game - her first appearance is at the very beginning of the game, the second is after choosing the RDA's side, when one can hear her message from Hell's Gate control room, and the last at the very end of the game if sided with the RDA.
  • Trudy Chacón (voice: Michelle Rodriguez) - Trudy is your personal chopper pilot throughout much of the game when fighting for the RDA.
  • Colonel Miles Quaritch (voice: Stephen Lang) - The commanding SecOps officer similar to the movie. He only appears near the end of game (if the player sides with the RDA), taking over from Commander Falco. He eventually goes on to lead SecOps troops to ultimate victory, provided the player remains allied with the RDA.
  • Winslow (voice: David Kaye) - The SecOps commander on the field.
  • Batista (voice: Bumper Robinson) - An elite explosives specialist of the RDA. Despite his extensive experience, he holds an almost cocky and laid-back attitude with Ryder.
  • Dalton (voice: Keith Ferguson) - A new SecOps recruit to Pandora, and is just shy of his first year. While eager to succeed, he has had some difficulties adapting to the dangerous environment.
  • Fulson (voice: Tara Sands) - A Navy officer and the head of Camp Zulu in the Grave's Bog sector. She arrived on Pandora over five years ago and moved quickly through the ranks.
  • Jerome Epstein (voice: David Lodge) - Since arriving as a xenobotanist in the Avatar Program five years ago, he has made great progress as one of the few avatars to find acceptance with the local Na'vi clan, the Tipani.
  • Anson Langley (voice: Wally Wingert) - A xenobotanist and one of the known avatar drivers. He has proven to be a valuable asset in Na'vi-human interaction.

Na'vi[]

  • Amanti (voice: Susanne Blakeslee) - A leader of the Tipani clan in Torukä Na'rìng. Though peaceful in nature, she has been wary of the RDA since they constructed a large complex in the center of the clan's hunting grounds.
  • Beyda'amo (voice: Emerson Brooks) - A Na'vi warrior who believes there is no room for peace with the RDA. He believes that the humans must be eliminated– simple as that and doubts Ryder's talents, but came to respect him near the end of the game.
  • Tan Jala (voice: André Sogliuzzo) - A Na'vi warrior who wants peace with the RDA. He believes in dialogue with an open palm, not a fist and makes friends with Able Ryder.
  • Marali - Beyda'amo's mate, and she shares his belief that the RDA presence represents a real danger to Pandora and its inhabitants, but unlike her mate she holds no dislike with the humans and seems to trust Ryder.
  • Swawta (voice: David Kaye) - A young Na'vi warrior who makes friends with Able Ryder, if he joins the Na'vi faction.
  • Tsahìk Sänume (voice: Jane Windsor) - The matriarch of the Tipani clan. She believes Able Ryder can help the Na'vi to stop the RDA assault.
  • Unipey (voice: Parisa Fakhri) - She is a warrior of the Tipani clan and its future Tsahìk. Although she struggles under the guidance of her mentor Lungoray, he has managed to teach her the importance of her environment.
  • Hukato (voice: Josh Robert Thompson) - A fearsome Na'vi hunter from the Tipani clan who proudly wears the scars of numerous thanator battles.
  • Lungoray - He is part of a long line of Na'vi who made it their lives' work to live in harmony with Eywa, foregoing any close relations with individual Na'vi. He is the only character who appears in this game as well as the Nintendo DS game.

Other voice actors[]

Na'vi voices provided by Kimberly Brooks, Kat Cressida, Robin Atkin Downes, Parisa Fakhri, Keith Ferguson, Gavin Hammon, Marcella Lentz-Pope, Mona Marshall, Enn Reitel, Keith Silverstein, Roger Craig Smith, André Sogliuzzo, Catherine Taber, and Josh Robert Thompson

RDA voices provided by Gregg Berger, Kimberly Brooks, Robin Atkin Downes, Parisa Fakhri, Keith Ferguson, Peter Giles, Anna Graves, James Horan, Neil Kaplan, David Kaye, David Lodge, Liam O'Brien, Ron Orbach, Peter Renaday, Bumper Robinson, Tara Sands, André Sogliuzzo, April Stewart, Josh Robert Thompson, James Urbaniak, and Wally Wingert

Gameplay[]

GameScreenshot2

The player can explore a portion of Hell's Gate seen in the film

The game takes place in and around the Pandoran rainforest. There are two major storylines, the RDA and the Na'vi, depending if the player sides with the RDA or Harper. The RDA gameplay is predominantly a shooter, while the Na'vi gameplay is more of a melee action game. The game also creates another autosave before the choice is made so the player does not have to replay the first hour of the game again to begin the other campaign. Hell's Gate is the hub for the RDA campaign. In the Na'vi campaign, Vayaha Village is the initial hub but it soon becomes the Tipani Hometree after.

AVATAR_Gameplay_Walkthrough_Part_1_FULL_GAME_1080p_HD_-_No_Commentary

AVATAR Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 FULL GAME 1080p HD - No Commentary

Because the game had development in 2008, much of the game's style resembles many games of this era. For example, there is no weather system, no weapon durability and no crafting system. NPCs lack daily schedules and they primarily either stand in the same spot or are bound to walking around a small circle. The game is only available in third person. There is a day/night cycle, but the player has to wait in an area for about 2 and a half hours, and because the levels are shorter than this, the player will not really be encountering night unless they wait a long time.

Avatar: The Game is primarily an action game where killing enemies is the primary method of interacting on Pandora, and there is something trying to kill the player nearly every minute or two. Players can expect its core structure to resemble the earlier Halo or Call of Duty games instead of Fallout or Harvest Moon, for example.

Although the game has quests, there are no major branching paths, with the exception of whether or not to side with the Na'vi or RDA during two places in the game. There is no advanced dialogue system so the player cannot choose what Ryder says, and apart from choosing Ryder's appearance/gender/species, there is essentially no role-playing otherwise. Armor and skills are only obtained based on how much EXP the player has, which means either by killing enemies or the amount of quests done. Players can not find armor or weapons scattered in the actual world itself.

The game's world has a somewhat open-world design, although it is in the form of a little over a dozen segmented large zones. Instead of having them all accessible from the beginning, the player must unlock zones one-by-one by completing the main story missions in each zone. Some of the level design is interconnected while other maps have a linear hallway design. The two campaigns have their own unique maps, with the exception of the first and final ones (Blue Lagoon and Plains of Goliath) which remain the same for both scenarios. The player must talk to an NPC to open a world map to travel between the zones.

James camerons avatar the game

The player driving through Pandora in a buggy.

The game features vehicles. During the RDA campaign, the player can use buggies, aerial Samsons and boats. As a Na'vi, the player can fly using a banshee and ride a direhorse.

Although the game has a lot of basic elements, the AI is advanced to the degree that it can really make the player feel they are engaged in an ongoing chaotic war between the humans and the Na'vi, and it is common to stumble upon the groups engaged in battle while exploring. The opposing faction can chase Ryder around the world and the player's faction will help in combat; for example, if the player is sided with the RDA and are being followed by Na'vi, they can lure the Na'vi to an RDA camp and instead of the soldiers doing nothing, they will fight the Na'vi to protect Ryder.

Combat is assisted by four possible skills, seen in the top right, and they have their own cooldown period to prevent overuse. Players can dodge, although the game lacks invisible walls and is realistic in the sense that if the player falls off any high ledge, they will die. There is also a slow-motion bullet time mode which lasts for a few second to help the player with aiming.

The Pandorapedia is an interactive encyclopedia where the player can collect information and learn about Pandora's fauna, flora, geography and inhabitants. Information can be unlocked by using a camera scan on the subject. Note that the Pandorapedia will automatically be 100% completed once both campaigns are completed, so the only real point to scanning is if the player wishes to learn information on a subject early.

Once the game is completed, a small area known as Echo Chasm will be unlocked where the player can easily grind EXP to get their remaining equipment. The game's replay value centers around trying to finish all the sector challenges in the previous zones.

There is no co-op during the main story campaign, although the game once featured multiplayer Xbox Live support in which up to 16 players could fight in team-based games in Pandora. Online support died in 2014, however.

There is also a conquest minigame in a cut down, Civilization-esque style.

On the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, the player can also earn trophies and achievements for completing various tasks. The game also features 3D support.

Development[]

Ubisoft was given carte blanche when developing the game. Anything was allowed to happen in regards to its story/lore.[1]

Reception[]

The game was released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. These three versions are all similar and have a Metacritic rating hovering in the low 60's. IGN gave it a 6.8/10 with an "okay" rating. Avatar: The Game sold over 2.7 million copies by the middle of 2010.[2]

With the normal expectations for movie tie-in games being generally poor, Avatar: The Game has surprisingly fared much better than many other licensed games, since it is not bound to the movie's plot and therefore can explore new ideas. However, this is also a drawback for those who wanted to learn more about the film characters such as Jake, Neytiri, Tsu'tey, etc. While Grace, Trudy and Quaritch are in The Game, they effectively serve as small cameos and the player learns extremely little about them.

Another point of contention is that the game arguably fundamentally misunderstands what many people who enjoy the film simply want from an Avatar game. While the game has direhorse and ikran riding, the gameplay is borderline nonstop combat, instead of being a Pandoran life simulator where players get to learn a lot about everyday Na'vi life, get to deeply role-play as them, and have meaningful conversations where they can tell characters their opinions and ask questions.

The game received praise for its graphics, lush jungle environments, some of its action elements, and its two different campaigns with unique styles. The Pandorapedia system which gives players the opportunity to learn about the lore via camera scanning was also praised.

GameScreenshot9

Only around 10 minutes of the game is set at night.

However, despite that Pandora is known for its stunning colorful vibrant bioluminescence, only around 10 minutes of the entire game is actually set at night, unless the player intentionally waits in an area for over two hours. Although it has never been stated why this is, and why so much effort was put into designing glowing plants that are barely seen, it is notable that playing as an extremely tall scantily-clad muscular blue cat-like man with a tail in a glowing beautiful forest full of colorful violet and pink plants would be seen as highly suspect and a hard sell with a lot of dominant demographics in 2009 (i.e. anything that could be seen as "gay" or "feminine"). The 2006-2010 era was known to be time where many video games often had drab color schemes such as Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gears of War and Assassins's Creed. This was due to media trying to associate serious and good storylines with reduced saturation.

The game was criticized for featuring "generic repetitive gameplay" and poor mission design. Destructoid commented, "Almost every other mission is a fetch quest. Some of them have no other objective than “Go here and collect five random things.” I’m willing to say that roughly 50% of the game is simply traveling to a location, picking up an arbitrary number of objects, and then bringing them back. In fact, if the Avatar movie is not about picking up random items and ferrying them back and forth across Pandora for no reason, then the game is a blatant misrepresentation. Again, the mission structure is something I’d expect to see from the mid-nineties. Objectives never get more inspired than the same things we’ve been doing for nearly twenty years. Go here, kill that, pick this up, escort this character. One mission had me walk from one area to another, talk to a character, and then walk back the way I came. That was it."

Destructoid also criticized the minimap, saying it gives no clue as to which path to take or whether the objective is in the treetops or on the ground: "It’s frequently easy to get lost and go down dead-end paths, or take the low road instead of the high road, realize one’s mistake, and backtrack all the way back to find a split in the path that will take you up where you need to be."

Some felt there is an unfair advantage given to the RDA because of their superior firepower and their exclusive use of devastating vehicles like AMP suits.

The game was praised for featuring vehicles; although the buggies were noted for having a tendency to feature awkward controls in which they would often get stuck in the environment, and it was only a matter of time before strange physics or lightly brushing a log would cause a vehicle to lose control and be sent flipping off a cliff.

The story was considered average with IGN going so far as to call it "middling". A criticism was that the story lacks the emotional component from the film, and that it has many bland NPCs that feel as if they exist for the sole purpose of dishing out quests with little to no characterization and depth beyond that. For example, Karl Falco, the main villain, spends less than 10 minutes with the player during brief conversations at his desk. The characters who die in the story (e.g. Harper, Monroe) also spend very limited time with the player which works against the emotional impact when they are killed off. When Monroe dies, his death and the fact that he was murdered is quickly forgotten half-a-minute later. The one exception is Lungoray if the player has finished the Nintendo DS game which is one potential reason why players may wish to finish the DS game first, as the DS game is a prequel to this prequel.

Canon and Lore Contradictions[]

This version of Avatar: The Game was considered canon to the Avatar franchise near its release, with a developer mentioning "it's canon" during a video interview.[3] However, Joshua Izzo stated that it is non-canon in 2023. This came as part of a massive overhaul of the Avatar brand, overseen by Izzo, that started around 2015 with Toruk - The First Flight. Also in Toruk - The First Flight, the primary clan seen in this version of The Game, the Tipani, received a visual and cultural overhaul and were re-canonized for the show.

There are some examples of lore contradictions that do not make much sense in terms of storytelling:

  • Playing the game makes it seem as if the Na'vi and RDA are currently engaged in a huge violent war. However, in the film, no one mentions the violent great war of two years ago, with Parker saying "We're on the brink of war" as if no war has happened in the past, although Grace at least says in the film, "That tends to happen when you use machine guns on them."
  • Grace Augustine, in the RDA route, congratulates Ryder on defeating the Na'vi which seems very out-character for her, rather than despising them for it.
  • The Na'vi can use a skill to briefly turn invisible which is never seen anywhere else.
  • Some of the flora in The Game contradicts the movies, such as their physical appearances. For example, Anemonids are called Lichens. The photo of what is supposed to be a Beanstalk Palm does not make sense.
  • It has been said that some of the Na'vi language is inaccurate.
  • The Na'vi can ride and control creatures, like the direhorse, ikran and thanator. However, the player does so without connecting to them physically, because the game does not display animated queues for the Na'vi characters. The in-game Na'vi characters, including the player, do have queues, but all are shown to be firmly fixed to their shoulders rather than the free-hanging braided queues visible in the movie. This may have been a technical decision at the time; the Dunia engine does support the relevant dynamics, but the system was unused.
  • Ryder ritual

    The consciousness transfer is portrayed differently.

    The Consciousness Transfer is portrayed very differently; the Tsahik seems to easily transfer Ryder's consciousness into their avatar using some unexplained blue spiritual-looking mist, giving it a more magical tone instead of one rooted in science. This contradicts the method in the film, which is implied to require an enormous amount of power at the Tree of Souls, having to channel all of Eywa's power using some sort of vine at the base of one's skull.
  • Near the end of the Na'vi campaign, Ryder discovers they are some vague figure known as the "Ni'awve Mokri" (First Voice) who can sing Eywa's song, which, somehow, can make objects float in the air in a magic-like manner and awaken the Well of Souls. Ryder is understandably confused about how any of this works logically and scientifically. Sanume handwaves this as, "It is not yours to understand". This can be seen as extremely at ends with the science fiction nature of the series.
  • In the film, taming a Great Leonopteryx is implied to be a very difficult task with only a handful of Na'vi ever doing so. To become Toruk Makto, Jake Sully has to risk his life jumping onto it from above. In the game, the creature simply flies and waits on a cliff; Ryder goes up to it, it hisses at them once, then it allows itself to be petted and ridden. This can be seen as pathetically easy and there is no explanation given for why it was so easy for Ryder.
    • It is worth noting that on the updated Pandorapedia site, it mentions, "It is said that whenever the Na’vi face seemingly insurmountable odds, a Toruk Makto will appear", It is unclear when this lore was added though so it may be seen as a retcon explaining a decade-old plot hole.
  • Neytiri also states that the fifth Toruk Makto was generations ago, despite Ryder became one two years ago. One possible explanation, however, is that no Na'vi saw Ryder riding Toruk and Ryder did not know the significance of the creature they briefly rode. Another possible explanation is that because Ryder did not tsaheylu with it, this may disqualify them as being Toruk Makto.
  • The Pandorapedia says that due to the moderating influence of oceans reduces extremes in temperature, there are no deserts on Pandora. Despite this, there was a region called the Archaeus Desert on its map, the game contradicting itself. Avatar 3 also has concept art of a desert, suggesting deserts are now canon.
  • In the Pandorapedia, the price of unobtanium is erroneously listed as 20 billion dollars rather than 20 million.
  • The dimensions of Hell's Gate's perimeter contradict two other sources.

Trivia[]

Wainfleet game

The scrapped Wainfleet

  • There is a lot of evidence suggesting this game was rushed, possibly in order to coincide with the film's release date, which may explain certain elements like why there is no final boss. There is also a lot of content in the game's data which is unused:
    • There is a model of a human Lyle Wainfleet
    • There is a model of Grace's avatar, despite it not being used in this version
    • There are lots of unused Pandorapedia images of plants that don't appear in the final game, like the Panopyra, Sháo Plant, etc.
    • There is a cut Pandorapedia entry for dinicthoid
  • There is a free demo for the game available to download here.
  • The PC version uses the Tagès DRM protection; each copy can be used for three activations. These activations replenish after 30 days and can be re-used.[4]
  • Obsidian Entertainment, well known for Fallout: New Vegas, were in the talks to make a sequel to the Avatar game but nothing became of it.[5]

External Links[]

References[]

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