Avatar : The Game (Gameloft)
September 8, 2009 - Just as Ubisoft is creating a console game based on the upcoming Avatar movie, Gameloft is assembling an iPhone game as well. While Gameloft is not ready to release screens for the game as it is still very much a work-in-progress, I did get a chance to play the game this weekend at PAX in Seattle.
The game does not follow the plot of the movie. Instead, it tells an earlier story about the Avatar program. The US Army and Resources Development Administration (RDA), a military-industrial corporation that wants to exploit a rare element found on the planet Pandora. The only catch? Pandora is not an uninhabited planet. In addition to some incredible wildlife, a race of beings called the Na'vi -- the blue-skinned beings from the movie trailers -- occupy Pandora and do not exactly appreciate the presence of the RDA. Since this game acts as a prequel, it will fill in some of the backstory of the Avatar universe. Hey, maybe it will even put you ahead of the Avatar audience member without an iPhone…
You get to control one of the Na'vi resistance fighters. As a Na'vi armed with a staff, I jumped and twirled through the Pandora jungle. The Na'vi are not only strong but graceful, capable of gliding movement that lets them get the drop on not only human soldiers, but the unfriendly creatures that call Pandora home. Attacking is handled with on-screen virtual buttons. Movement is assigned to a virtual stick, which feels much like the virtual controls seen in other Gameloft action games like Assassin's Creed and Gangstar.
Though the Na'vi just had a staff in my demo, according Gameloft, the Na'vi will soon pick up both a bow-and-arrow weapon as well as special abilities that aren't magic, but definitely super-powered techniques. Weapon attacks and abilities can be mixed into combos.
Gameloft is aiming for a December 2009 release date for the game, which will put it a little after the November release of Avatar on consoles. Lightstorm, director James Cameron's production company, is working with Gameloft on the game to ensure authenticity. Look for more information on Avatar for iPhone soon on IGN. Hopefully, we'll even have a screen or two to share as well. Despite being early, the demo was quite attractive.