GC09; James Cameron’s Avatar is the game Haze should have been
With asymmetric forces, vehicles, lush environments and the ability to choose which faction you support, it reminded us of a similar, yet ill-fated project.
Based on the upcoming sci-fi movie, which will also be available in 3D at cinemas, this third-person shooter is based on the Far Cry 2 engine – something it immediately has going for it.
In the game preview, we were shown a raft of available weapons and vehicles, ranging from a helicopter to a mech-suit. The cut scenes and special effects enjoy that most ubiquitous of 3D effects – lots of objects flying in and out of the screen.
The Far Cry 2 engine offers the game instant access to effects such as fire propagation, a particularly useful thing when you not only have to battle the inhabitants of the new planet you find yourself trying to colonise, but also the plants which have a habit of going all ‘Day of the Triffids’ on you.
With a storyline that sees you choosing whether to stay part of your resource-hungry RDA compatriots, or choosing to switch sides, and with all the other similarities we’ve mentioned already, Avatar immediately reminds us of the ill-fated Haze. However, thanks to the underlying game engine it is fair to say that this early look at Avatar shows that this is the game Haze should have been.
The environments look real and react to your presence, instead of looking like 2D cardboard cut-outs. And the effects throughout the game scream ‘quality’, even when viewed in 2D.
Switching sides allows you to play the Nav’i, a race more suited to melee combat but who also have some very impressive arrows – they’re six feet long! As you can imagine, these warriors are somewhat bigger than your average human.
Since the RDA pack a lot of fire-power, when playing Avatar as a Nav’i you will need to access the power of the planet, working with the indigenous creatures to provide that all-important support.
James Cameron’s Avatar certainly looks the part thanks to the Far Cry 2 engine, especially when you see the effects of the full day cycle, and the full 3D support for those with TVs that can handle it brings that all important extra dimension to the game.