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James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

Platform(s): Nintendo DS, PC, PSP, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: Dec. 1, 2009 (US), Dec. 4, 2009 (EU)

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'James Cameron's Avatar: The Game' (ALL) - Developer Interview

by Rainier on Oct. 3, 2009 @ 9:20 a.m. PDT

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game takes you deep into the heart of Pandora, an alien planet that is beyond imagination. When conflict erupts between the RDA Corporation, a space-faring consortium in search of valuable resources, and the Na’'vi, Pandora’s indigenous people, gamers will find themselves thrust into a fight for the heart of a planet and the fate of a civilization.

"Avatar" is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. More than ten years in the making, Avatar marks Cameron's return to feature directing since helming 1997's Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars including Best Picture. The "Avatar" cast includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. Academy Award-winning visual effects house, WETA Digital, renowned for its work in "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy and "King Kong," will incorporate new intuitive CGI technologies to transform the environments and characters into photo realistic 3D imagery that will transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.

Q: Does the storyline follow that of the movie?

Kevin Shortt: The game story and the film story are two completely different adventures. The game timeline is two years before the movie covering a story that happens on a different part of the moon, Pandora. Our goal was to expand on the universe that James Cameron has created. We didn’t want a repeat of the movie adventure in a game format. Instead, we wanted an opportunity for fans to learn more about this beautiful world and the growing conflict between the RDA and the Na’vi.

Q: What is the storyline of the Next-Gen game?

KS: In the NG story, you play a character named Able Ryder, a signals specialist brought from Earth to help the RDA track down a sacred site on Pandora. If the RDA can find it, they can take control of the planet away from the Na’vi. This will allow the RDA to continue their mining of the planet’s resources that are desperately needed back on Earth. The Na’vi learn of the plan and start their own race to find the sacred site. You’re soon faced with a choice: do you want to help the Na’vi preserve their way of life? Or do you want to join the RDA and help to restore order to a mission quickly falling out of control?

Q: Who are the main characters?

KS: You play as Able Ryder, a Signals Specialist brought from Earth to join the Avatar Program, and to track down a sacred site on Pandora.

Kendra Midori is your main contact for the RDA. She believes in the RDA cause and reluctantly understands that war may be unavoidable between the Na’vi and the RDA.

Commander Falco is the Head of Security for the RDA. He sees the Na’vi as nothing more than a virus. A virus that has to be wiped clean if the RDA objectives are to be preserved.

Dr. Harper is Head of the RDA’s Avatar Program. Through all his years on Pandora, Harper has formed a close bond with many of the Na’vi. He understands their way of life and he sees the destructive nature of the RDA mining operations.

Tan Jala is a Na’vi warrior who wants peace with the RDA. He believes in dialogue with an open palm, not a fist.

Beyda’amo is a Na’vi warrior who believes there is no room for peace with the RDA. They must be eliminated – simple as that.

Tsahik Sänume is the matriarch of the Na’vi Tipani Clan. She believes Able Ryder can help the Na’vi to stop the RDA assault.

Q: Are  some of the characters from the movie also in the game?

Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) is the very first person you meet in the game. Grace is part of the Avatar Program. She assigns you to Dr. Harper. You meet her throughout the game.

Trudy Chacon (Michele Rodriguez) is your chopper pilot throughout much of the game when fighting for the RDA.

Commander Quaritch (Steven Lang) is an RDA commander who sets you on some critical missions during the game.

Q: Anything else we should know?

KS: The game asks players to do the right thing. The question for the player becomes ‘what is the right thing?’ We don’t give the player that answer. Instead the decision comes down to the type of person you are. How do you like to play the game, and what is your approach to this type of conflict? Philosophically and emotionally, you decide what is right.
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