James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

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James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Lightstorm Entertainment
Fox Digital Entertainment
Gameloft (iPhone, Mobile)
Composer(s) Chance Thomas[a]
Engine Dunia
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows[1]
PlayStation Portable
Nintendo DS
Java ME
Release Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & Wii
  • WW: December 1, 2009
PlayStation Portable
  • WW: December 7, 2009
  • WW: December 14, 2009[3]
  • WW: April 23, 2010[4]
  • WW: November 25, 2010[5]
Genre(s) Third-person shooter, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game is a 2009 third-person action video game based on James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii and Nintendo DS on December 1, 2009, with a PSP version released later on December 7, 2009.[6][7] It uses the same technology as the film to be displayed in stereoscopic 3D.[8] As of May 19, 2010, the game has sold nearly 2.7 million copies.[9]

The game, which acts as a prequel to the film, features Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Giovanni Ribisi reprise their roles from the film. The casting and voice production for Avatar: The Game was handled by Blindlight.

The online services for the game were shut down on August 8, 2014.[10]


Set in 2152, two years before the events of the film, Avatar: The Game starts out with a new signals specialist, named Able Ryder, arriving at Pandora, assigned to an area called Blue Lagoon, a large piece of jungle, fenced in to make sure no larger predators get inside. Their first mission is to save five marines from Viperwolves, with their CO, Kendra Midori, suggesting they use a turret to help fend off the wolves. After saving the marines, Ryder must go help another Sig Spec, Dalton, who is afraid of the Viperwolves and trapped outside the fence.

Helping out at another base, Ryder is told to go fix the fences and animal repulsors, which are attracting creatures rather than keeping them away. After fixing the fences, Ryder is told to enter his avatar. Ryder's first mission in his avatar body is to get cell samples from certain non-hostile plants. After getting the samples, a Na'vi, Tan Jala, tells Ryder to kill his infected animals. A RDA air strike is then seen being launched on the Na'vi village where Ryder had locked the signal. He/She finds out that there is a mole and that it is one of the avatar drivers. He/She must then follow Tan Jala, who will lead him to the mole. After finding who the mole is, a scientist named Rene Harper, who is sympathetic with the Na'vi plight, Ryder sees the Na'vi village destroyed in the air strike previously. Commander Falco and his soldiers arrive via helicopter and try to force Rene into surrender. Harper then tries to persuade Ryder to join the Na'vi and leave the RDA. When Falco hears this, he orders Ryder to shoot Rene Harper and keep his or her( If the player is Female) allegiance to the Corporation. Ryder must then make a game-altering decision of siding with the defensive Na'vi or siding with the more offensive, better- armed RDA.

If the player sides with the RDA, Ryder, Commander Falco, and his soldiers corner Rene Harper, and he jumps from a cliff rather than surrender to the RDA. As Rene falls, he shoots Ryder in the chest with a bow and arrow. His avatar is killed, but Ryder's human body survives.

As he returns to base on a Scorpion with Kendra, two banshees attack and force down the helicopter. No one is killed, but the pilot is hurt in the crash. Midori informs Ryder of a base near the Crash Site, and that he could use one of the aircraft. However, when he arrives, he finds the base is under constant attack by banshees, resulting in the destruction of many operational Scorpion and Samson helicopters, and causing many casualties. Ryder enters the control room, and the commander tells him to take a helicopter above and destroy the banshee nests, eradicating the banshee threat. When Ryder returns to retrieve missiles from the Crash Site, he/she learns that the pilot died from his injuries. He reequips the missiles to the helicopter and completes the task, and the player can see that aerial reinforcements are arriving and battling any remaining banshees in the area. Ryder is then ordered to collect three unobtainium shards so that with the help of them he could extract the harmonic from a Willow Tree which would help the RDA to find The Well Of Souls. Ryder collects the shards and then extracts the harmonic. He/She is again summoned at Hell's Gate and is given a new pilot as his previous pilot died from injuries. He/She then meets with Dr. Monroe who tells him to feed the harmonic into a device called the Emulator. He explains to him that the Na'vi access the planet from a place called the Tree Of Souls, but there is also another dormant site called the Well Of Souls and it could act like a back door entrance for them to cut the connection of the Na'vi from the planet. In order to pinpoint the location of the dormant site they needed enough harmonics.

Ryder is transported to a combat area known as the FEBA, where Na'vi warriors, under the powerful Beyda'mo (who, ironically, dislikes Ryder, even if he joins the Na'vi), are inflicting death and destruction to the RDA and slowing the advance to a halt. At this point his primary goal is to collect the shards and extract the harmonic. But in the process he has to kill Beyda'mo.

After that he is transported to Grave's Bog where along with collecting the shards and extracting the harmonic he/she also has to kill Tan jala in the process. He/she then goes to The Hanging Gardens where he discovers that Dr. Harper is still alive and works for the Na'vi with two other people. After killing them he comes to know that Commander Falco went rogue and has stolen the Emulator and has killed Dr. Monroe.

Ryder then travels to The Plains Of Goliath for his final missions. Upon arrival he/she is ordered to eliminate three Na'vi leaders and the first leader persuades him to join the Na'vi but the player can decline it and after killing the other leaders he is given a Dragon Ship to go to Tantalus and get some charges from Boom Boom Batista and blow up the stone wall and access the Dragon Ship to go to the Well Of Souls. After arriving there he finds that Falco is trying to activate the Emulator. After killing Falco Ryder activates the Emulator and cuts the connection of the Na'vi behind him from Ewya. This finishes the game. However, if the player chooses to accept Swawta's request he has to kill the RDA leaders instead.

If you choose to help Dr. Harper and join the Na'vi, you open fire at the RDA troops and injure Commander Falco, then escape with Harper to Iknimaya. René 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 Dr. Harper. Ryder destroys the Dragon by crippling the engines. The Dragon then nearly crashes into the link beds of both Ryder and Dr. Harper. Then 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 Commander 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.

Ryder is sent to Swotulu to find the first three (3) unobtanium shards and the harmonic with the aid of Lungoray. Lungoray cannot be found initially but through completing missions for his student, Unipey, Lungoray is found. After capturing the three shards and beginning to activate the willow tree, Lungoray is killed and Tan Jala, present at the time 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 he has succeeded where many Na'vi have failed. Ryder travels to other locations such as Toruk Na'ring, where he successfully captures the harmonic and assists destroying the RDA forces which were retreating from the area additionally travelling to Va'era 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 him 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 he is Ni'awve Mokri, the First Voice.

After traveling to another few locations, Ryder arrives on Tantalus and after a brief mission a great leonopteryx aides Ryder to get to the dormant Well of Souls. A cut scene begins with Commander 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 and fades to black.

The Wii and PSP versions have a different storyline, where the player character is a young Na'vi named Raiuk who engages in a personal vendetta against the RDA after they attack his village.


At first the player is allowed to choose the appearance of the character from a set of pre-defined faces, although not the name. On the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions, the player is able to choose a side - to fight for the Na'vis or for the RDA - each offering different gameplay, weapon set, skill set, and environment.

As a soldier, the player is equipped with firearms such as assault rifles, shotguns, grenade launchers, and flamethrowers. The soldier generally have to eliminate the enemies, which are fast and resilient and usually charging towards the player, from afar. Playing as an Avatar limits the player to only one Avatar-issued machine gun and various primitive weapons such as bows, crossbows and melee weapons. The Avatar player usually has to charge the enemies since ranged weapon are either weak (the machine gun), have slow rate of fire (bows and crossbows), or have limited ammunition; however, the human enemies are generally weak and the basic foot soldiers can die after getting hit once with one strike of a club. The environment also reacts differently to the character: many plants will attack the soldier, while the Avatar can walk past said plants unharmed. A variety of vehicles or mounts are also available to each race.

If the player's health is reduced to 0, they can use a recovery that instantly recovers to full health. Recoveries can be acquired by gathering cell samples left behind by killed creatures (including Humans or Na'vi) or plants, but only 5 Recoveries can be carried at any one time (excluding the PS3 version, which has a limit of 10). Avatar players can collect Cell Samples more easily from many plants without having to "kill" them. If the player falls to his death, however, he cannot use Recoveries and have to reload from a check point which is automatically saved. The game offers no way to manually save when playing the game (it is only saved when player reach certain points, completed an objective, or quit the game). A special case involves a separate checkpoint when the user decides which race to side with, which cannot be overwritten.

As the player completes mission objectives or eliminates opposition, the character gains experience points and levels up. The leveling up process is quite linear, with no way to customize the character. Each level rewards the character with better versions of the weapons, armor and skills they already have. The character can have only one armor (one type of combat gear at a time, though with higher levels, different types become available, which may be selected instead of the original), four skills and four weapons equipped into quick slot at any one time. The skills can be offensive (boost damage, summon air strikes / wild life), defensive (boost damage resistance, heal) or tactical purpose (boost speed, invisibility).

Experience points are converted to credits that is used in the Conquer minigame. It is a Risk-style strategy game in which the player captures territories from enemies. Credits are used to buy troops, which has three types: infantry, heavy ground unit and air unit, defenses or limited special attacks. Some territories captured reward player with passive enhancements such as damage boost, critical chance, armor, health to use in the main game, as long as they are in the player's possession. (PlayStation 3 and Windows version)[clarification needed]

The Wii version of the game uses the Wii Remote controller for combat, and the firing of bows. The Xbox version has a wider range of controls and allows the player to ride animals and drive vehicles.


On July 24, 2007, it was announced that Ubisoft would be developing Avatar: The Game in conjunction with director James Cameron as he filmed Avatar. According to Cameron, "For the movie Avatar we are creating a world rich in character, detail, conflict and cultural depth. It has the raw material for a game that the more demanding gamers of today will want to get their hands on - one that is rich in visuals and ideas, and challenging in play." While Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, and Stephen Lang reprised their voices for their characters, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana, leading roles in the film, did not. The game was developed as an adaptation of the movie of the same name, with an original storyline and similar features. The developers had carte blanche from the movie. The idea originally came from James Cameron's daughter Mary Cameron and she thought it would be a good idea to create a game for the movie.

On August 27, 2009, MovieScore Magazine reported that composer Chance Thomas had been hired to write the music for Avatar: The Game.[11] It was unclear at the time whether the score would contain pieces of the original score composed by James Horner for the movie.

3D capabilities[edit]

The game requires an HDMI video connection and a 120 Hz capable display in order to make use of the 3D effects.[12] Avatar: The Game has the option of outputting in most standard stereoscopic 3D formats used by today's "3D-enabled" screens with stereoscopic 3D.[13] The release of the PC demo has confirmed the PC version of the game supports 3D capabilities as well.[1]

According to Neil Schneider, executive director of the S-3D Gaming Alliance,[14] NVIDIA has developed a proprietary method for NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision that allows left and right images to be passed directly from the game engine to the PC display, in the form of quad buffers. Up until Avatar, this was a limitation criticized by the gaming industry because they were forced to use NVIDIA's stereoscopic 3D driver when they would prefer to have full control of the S-3D gaming experience. Alternate solutions like iZ3D monitors, interlaced displays, dual output projectors and 3D Checkerboard DLP do not require this enhancement because game developers have full output control.[15]


Aggregate scores
GameRankings(iOS) 81.14%[16]
(X360) 64.26%[17]
(PS3) 60.34%[18]
(DS) 58%[19]
(Wii) 57.42%[20]
(PC) 54.44%[21]
(PSP) 39%[22]
Metacritic(iOS) 78/100[23]
(X360) 61/100[24]
(PS3) 60/100[25]
(Wii) 60/100[26]
(PC) 59/100[27]
(DS) 55/100[28]
(PSP) 55/100[29]
Review scores
Game Informer6.5/10[33]
GamePro2/5 stars[34]
(PSP) 4/10[37]
GameSpy2/5 stars[38]
Giant Bomb2/5 stars[41]
IGN(iPhone) 7.8/10[42]
(Android) 7/10[43]
(PS3 & X360, AU) 6.8/10[45]
(iPad) 6/10[46]
(PS3 & X360, UK) 6/10[47]
(Wii) 5.9/10[48]
Nintendo Power5/10[49][50]
OXM (US)7.5/10[51]
PC Gamer (US)42%[52]
The A.V. Club(iOS) A−[53]
(X360) B−[54]

Avatar: The Game received mixed reception. Many critics criticized the game's linear gameplay and unintuitive controls, and the Wii version received mediocre scores as well, with many reviewers citing poor camera work, frame rate and story telling, but visuals and controls were regarded comparatively well.

GameRankings and Metacritic gave the game a score of 81.14% and 78 out of 100 for the iOS version;[16][23] 64.26% and 61 out of 100 for the Xbox 360 version;[17][24] 60.34% and 60 out of 100 for the PlayStation 3 version;[18][25] 58% and 55 out of 100 for the DS version;[19][28] 57.42% and 60 out of 100 for the Wii version;[20][26] 54.44% and 59 out of 100 for the PC version;[21][27] and 39% and 55 out of 100 for the PSP version.[22][29]

Commercial reception[edit]

Sales of the game had a slow start[55] but eventually performed ahead of expectations selling 2.7 million units across all platforms. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot called the game a "positive contribution for the company" citing the increased sales due to the film's success and its launch on DVD.[56]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Inon Zur composed the game for the Nintendo DS.


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  10. ^ "Online Services Update Masterlist". Ubisoft. Retrieved March 12, 2018. 
  11. ^ ‘Avatar’ game gets Chance Thomas score Archived 2009-10-18 at the Wayback Machine.
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  15. ^ MTBS-TV Broadcast, Resident Evil 5 Review, DDD Update!
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  32. ^ Bramwell, Tom (December 1, 2009). "James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (Xbox 360)". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  33. ^ Marchiafava, Jeff (February 2010). "Avatar: The Game: Mediocrity Invades The Planet Of Pandora". Game Informer (202). Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  34. ^ Mirkovich, Sean (December 1, 2009). "Avatar (PS3)". GamePro. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
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  55. ^ "Avatar The Video Game Is A Flop". Business Insider. 18 January 2010. 
  56. ^ "Avatar popularity pushes game sales to 2.7 million units". The Tech Herald. 

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