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James Cameron's Avatar Video Game

Updated on September 15, 2009

Twelve years ago, everyone knew who James Cameron was.  Not only was he the director of such classic films as The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, T2: Judgment Day, True Lies, but he changed movie history with The Titanic.  He declared himself “the king of the world” at the Academy Awards of 1997, but has not produced a hit movie since. 

As a movie spectator, I think that is odd.  After all, Spielberg has been cranking out movies since the early seventies.  Granted, some of them have been misses rather than hits, but I think most of us know it is not wise to take too much time off from what we do best.  Look what happened to George Lucas. 

It was announced several years ago that James Cameron was working on Avatar, a film that is apparently so complex that Cameron had to learn new technology in order to make this film.  It is predicted to be the hit film of the year, possibly even the decade.  I mean, it has been years since this man has made a hit. 

A trailer for Avatar was just released a month or so ago, and it does look like quite an  impressive film.  Most hit movies usually have an obligatory video game released along side of them for some extra publicity, and many of them do not stand out in any way. 

The Avatar video looks to be quite the opposite.  Granted, it does not follow the storyline of the film, but it will be one of the first to really take advantage of 3D.  This 3D effect won’t be seen on just any television.  In order to play Avatar, you will need to have a 3D enabled television as well as stereoscopic viewing glasses.  Fortunately, many major TV companies, including Panasonic and Samsung, are equipping newer models of their displays with this 3D option. 

I got a chance to see a preview of the Avatar video game at the Penny Arcade Expo this year.  They had to put me in a room with Panasonic’s 103 inch TV, I got the glasses, and I got to see what the game was all about. 

In the demonstration, the player began as a member of the RDA, an organization responsible for exploring alien worlds.  I saw a soldier in a very odd helicopter like contraption with huge missiles that can shoot down monolithic rock formations on the lush tropical world of Pandora.  From there, the soldier takes to the ground and then this huge suit of mecha-armor. 

The jungles of Pandora are full of hostile creatures, carnivorous plants, not to mention the Na’vi, the people indigenous to the planet.  Eventually, the player can play a Na’vi, and it will be up to him or her to choose what side he or she is on. 

The 3D element helped bring the game to life as the world of Pandora had depth.  In fact, the bioluminescent plant life made the background very beautiful.  The 3D effects did not including anything shooting out of the screen or other cheap thrills of 50’s and 60’s 3D flicks, and the game could be easily played without the 3D.  In fact, the user has to set it up at the very beginning. 

I suppose time will tell if the Avatar movie is the hit that it is predicted it will be.  If it is, then Avatar could be the first video game that is as great as the movie.  The 3D factor will probably help it succeed, that is for sure. 

Look for James Cameron’s Avatar movie and video game this Christmas. 

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