Megas MkII's James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Review
The story is good for both sides of the choice, and it's kind of cool that you can pick from twenty characters, though all have the same name. Ten male, ten female, but I don't think it matters.
There are plenty of weapons and armors to choose from, and there are a lot of ways to get around.
The graphics are good, and there's plenty of scenery to enjoy when you're not engaging a group of enemies.
A lot of side quests available in every area you go let you take time off to find absolutely every little thing to get all of the achievements.
While the story is good, it is a bit repetive after a while, because the missions aren't really that unique among the many other games I've played in the past. Thought the plot is very interesting, it's kind of thin. You don't really get the whole picture by the end of either story, even after beating both playthroughs, or all twenty if you're able to stomach it.
The characters are another issue. As I said, I don't really think it matters that they give you twenty choices. Ten guys, ten girls, each with their own unique Avatar body. At some point in the game, you can choose to side with the Na'vi or the RDA, and thus lose access to either your human form or your Avatar body and the weapons and armor that come with it. Overall, I think that if you're going to get a choice of a character, they should all come with unique weapons and unique skills each along with the stuff everyone gets.
The weapons are good, but there are problems there. The humans get only ranged weapons, but the Na'vi get melee weapons and bows and crossbows, plus the unique Avatar only M30 machine gun. The humans get only ranged, so that has a problem of being a pain because almost all enemies on that story get right up in your face, except for the plants that attack you. As the Avatar, you'll probably spend most of your time closing the distance to use your dual blades, as they're one hit kills on the infantry and animals you'll fight, but other than those blades, the only good weapons, you'll spend the rest of a fight using a bow.
Vehicles and animal mounts, RDA and Na'vi, all have their own problems that I personally don't like to deal with. The Buggy you drive, the most common vehicle, is a failed idea. Low traction where you need it the most, and no weapons or gunners. It's kind of slow as well, so you can't drive at ten miles an hour. The other wheeled vehicles are also slow, and the only one with weapons, you can't aim. On the other end of the spectrum, the Na'vi, you get a six legged horse, a bird that evolved from a fish, and a huge lizard that's 'the deadliest creature on Pandora', which is much weaker than is said to be when you're riding it. All these have one thing in common. When you're shooting them, they take half damage, but when you're riding or driving them, they don't last ten seconds.
The fights are yet another problem in and of themselves. When you're alone, you do a good deal of damage on the RDA side, but you're probably using the 'nail' gun, the M60 machine gun, or the shotgun or flamethrower. These four weapons are the only things useful at all on that side. The Nail Gun fires long range needle bullets I guess, and they're good, but damagewise it's a problem. No armor piercing. The M60, shorter range than the Nail Gun, but armor piercing. The shotgun does great damage, though shorter ranged than the M60, and it staggers enemies. This comes at the price the other two mentioned guns don't have: Reloading. The M60 and Nail Gun don't reload, but have one massive magazine to keep firing with. The shotgun does need periodic reloading, begging the question of why. The Flamethrower, no reload, massive damage to plants, useless otherwise. With the Na'vi, you get dual blades, the strongest damage in the whole game, a staff, with better range than the blades, a club, massive damage but slow, a crossbow that you'll probably never use, the M30, which is the same as the M60 but remade for a ten foot tall Avatar, and a regular hunting bow that looks to fire spear sized arrows. The dual blades are good for heavy combat since they strike fast and one hit kill anything but vehicles. The staff is wider sweeping, but takes two or three hits to kill anything, vehicle or not. The club is also one hit kill, but the odds of it connecting, you're better off with the blades. The crossbow is massively damaging but ammo is very limited in supply (A problem with all Na'vi weapons. Conserve your bullets in the M30, because you only get ammo once every fifty or so RDA kills, and it's ten to thirty bullets out of a four hundred round magazine. The RDA has ammo dispensers everywhere, so running out of ammo as RDA is nearly impossible.). The Bow has much more ammo and is much more accurate, for stealth first strikes. The M30, you'll want to save that for vehicles, and pray that every single shot hits and you never shoot more than one bullet too many.
Combat itself is troublesome at the best of times. Early on you do more than enough damage against the two or three enemies that attack, and you're always able to have at least nine or ten other people helping you. Once you get about a fifth of the way through though, just start spamming stealth attacks and healing powers, because otherwise you're dead in seconds. RDA enemies spam the sonic boom ability to throw you aside and then they use an ability that makes you do next to no damage with any of your weapons while theirs does more than double. When facing Na'vi, you're not any better off. They start off with using their dash ability, which makes them invincible while you dive away while praying to the heavens that you can make it through. As if that wasn't enough, they too love to use the defense power, making it take upwards of thirty seconds to drop him, and the seven others that used the same combination. Then sometimes they'll turn invisible and hit you. Speaking of invisibility, sometimes you might notice that when YOU use the stealth power, they still hit you, even if you snuck up on them and haven't attacked yet.
Onto armor, it gives you more health, it 'reduces damage' and it makes you faster or slower depending on what you have equipped. Well, by 'reduces damage' it means 'does not reduce damage at all, it just makes the strengthening attacks do exactly the same damage they did the level you just finished'. The health increase, I don't see it. I'd rather see it in numbers so I can know EXACTLY how much damage I'm taking to see whether or not the defense went up at all. If you're going to impliment armor and health increases, give a visibly larger health bar, and make the attacks do less damage if you're supposed to be getting tougher.
Speaking of tough, headshots. Now, I don't know about those of you that read this review, but I remember a time when a headshot meant a one hit kill in any shooter game. This game targets limbs and heads and the like, but no matter where you aim it all does the same damage. From two feet away, you could headshot an enemy with a shotgun and he'd walk away like you'd just spat on him. Now, if you can target in any game, rule one says 'shoot a target in the head, it goes down in that first shot, regardless of weapon unless otherwise stated.' This game, no headshot on any type of enemy results in a one hit kill. Shoot him in the chest, because that way you'll be more likely to hit him, and you'll do about the same damage.
Side quests, all the same really. 'Activate this many A-PODS (Ammo dispensers for RDA)', 'Kill this many of this enemy', and so on and so forth. Not really worth my time, so I doubt it's worth anyone's time.
Then they have the minigame 'conquest' which grants bonuses in the main game. You gain money based on how much EXP you have and you buy units, upgrades for areas of the map, and you take over more and more of the planet until you get double damage, health, speed, and experience, and you take half damage (Supposedly), and you can shoot twice as far (Supposedly). This is a novel idea, but really, what's the point? I might end up spending more time playing that than the actual game itself.
If you want to pick a game with a great plot, great combat, and amazing vehicles, then I suppose this game isn't what you're looking for.
Bad aiming mechanics, bad driving, cheap enemies that use the buff and debuff moves way too much, plants that attack, and faulty special abilities, this game has too many bad things to give it many saving graces.
But of the good, James Cameron's Avatar: The Game is exactly what most games based on a movie are. It was a good idea on paper, but maybe it should have stayed there. Or at least they should have had better testers so they could have maybe made a game that wasn't so repetitive. If you like this game, you've either just started playing it at a friend's house, you just started playing it after you rented it, or you just bought it and the fail has yet to fully sink in. Or maybe you actually enjoy it even after having unlocked all the achievements, seen everything, and you're loving the story and all the mechanics.
Regardless of why you may like it, I'm glad I just rented it, and I don't think I'll do so again for a very long time. I will say that the plot kept me in for a while, and I beat the game simply because I was mad at it. Constant frustrating enemies, spamming the powers of healing, quadruple defense, and stealth, while I find abilities and most of the weapons totally useless against them. Either they got the better stuff, or I got gypped. I think, that it was the latter, but at least tomorrow I'll be playing a game that isn't so cheap. Maybe with what you've read from me, you'll be smart and pick up something better than this. All I can say about this game, is that I hope the sequel is better for the cliffhanger it came with.
Megas MkII, signing off.