687281_2Gameloft's Avatar was just released last night, and the early adopter response in our forums has been overwhelmingly positive. Avatar is an action adventure game based in the Avatar movie universe.

The game tells the tale of the events leading up to the movie as a sort of prequel to the film itself. Gameloft apparently had complete access to all of the assets behind the movie, as well as recording some original voicework by the cast for use within the game. Avatar appears to use an advanced version of the engine used in Hero of Sparta but with improved visuals and 3GS specific enhancements.

Avatar plays much like a 3D platformer throughout much of its course, but also manages to mix in other play elements. Platform jumping, swinging, climbing and basic fighting are represented throughout the early levels to a much greater degree than Hero of Sparta. Controls include a virtual joystick with on-screen buttons for attack, jump and special attack. Fighting, itself, remains rather shallow and is a matter of rapid fire attacking while maneuvering around enemies (at least on medium difficulty).

Later areas of the game offer a more open world in which you explore while performing quests for villagers, and even a segment where you are playing the back of a banshee avoiding obstacles and taking out enemies. Both these elements are shown in the second video below.

Total playtime is estimated at up to 7 and a half hours across 15 different chapters which is a sizable amount of play time for an iPhone game. One of our writers did run into some troubles with characters getting stuck in parts of the environment requiring a restart as well as some other bugs -- though as far as we can tell these issues don't seem widespread. There are moments where you feel like the camera view or controls aren't cooperating properly, resulting in difficulties during the platforming portion. Generous checkpoints, however, prevent this from becoming a major issue.

While each of the individual gameplay elements isn't particularly groundbreaking, Avatar's major achievement is the sense of immersion and scale that Gameloft has managed to create in an iPhone game. Movie tie-in or not, this seems to be one of the most ambitious iPhone games to date.

App Store Link: James Cameron's Avatar, $9.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • popejohn

    Awesome game, cant wait to see the movie

  • Buskape

    Nice looking game, i'm seeing the movie tommorow, if i like it, i'll be sure to buy this!

  • Trautman

    It has already been released with Japanese App Store.

  • araczynski

    the way i look at it, they're pricing it higher than the cost of going to see the movie, therefore they're implying its better than the movie... somehow i'm doubting this.... still, gotta strike as the iron is hot as they say...

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Well, at least it's longer than the movie...

  • momo

    i bought it (on ipod touch 2g) ... and i have to say : the grafik is still on the itouch very nice and the effects are great ... sometimes the camera is a little bit wrong(stupid) and the controls are not perfekt but i would say 4/5 stars !
    If you can you should wait untill it costs 4,99 ;) oder 7,99 ... there for its ok ! :)

  • Adams Immersive

    The movie looks really bad from the trailers (and I’m a sci-fi fan) but reviews have been great. So I won’t judge it by the trailers!

    And I won’t judge the game by the movie, either. It looks really good. I like the snowboard-style sliding in some of the clips.

    I’ll be interested to see specifically how it looks/performs pre-3GS.

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      Hmmm... I think the other way around! Movie looks awesome game looks...meh! But I might give it a try once it gets a price drop in a few months.

    • Kepesk

      Don't judge this movie by the trailers. I was wishy-washy about the movie after seeing trailers, but I saw it and have already gone again. It's one of my all-time favorite movies. The trailers in no way do it justice.

      I'll be buying the game too.

  • benj

    The narrator's voice is really annoying, other than that it seems great!

  • I approve

    This game is just great. Good graphics and the framerate is great even on my JB 3g. An instant purchase for me :)

  • http://www.vgreano.com Victor G.

    The graphics look pretty solid...I'd have to check out more vids, I dont know if I'm a big fan of the on-screen controls...I know the iPhone limits this, but I wonder if there is something more innovative you can do otherwise.

    I'll check out the game if the movie is a hit...which should be most likely.

  • Marcel

    "Movie tie-in or not, this seems to be one of the most ambitious iPhone games to date."

    Then wheres the Multiplayer mode?

  • Marcel

    "Movie tie-in or not, this seems to be one of the most ambitious iPhone games to date."

    And where is the Multiplayer mode then?

  • Sam

    May sound silly, does 3Gs improvements include iPod 3?

  • http://Google.com Pstrat1991

    Be game and best itouch game out there! All must play it! Five stars!!!!!!

  • http://Google.com Pstrat1991

    Best itouch game ever!!!!! All must play it!!!! Five stars!!!!!

  • Tiger tim

    --James Cameron is on board for the big One World Order
    push for techno ECO YOU-genocide.

    AVATAR is part of that proaganda program.

    Check out 'ENDGAME' doc on google video --esp. the second half.

    IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

  • Tiger tim

    --James Cameron is on board for the big One World Order
    push for techno ECO YOU-genocide.

    AVATAR is part of that proaganda program.

    Check out 'ENDGAME' doc on google video --esp. the second half.

    IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND