James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 24

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 24

Dante shows everyone how it's done. Plus: Army of Two, Avatar, Darksiders, Dark Void, Saboteur.

The arrival of 2010 brings us into year three of Eurogamer's cross-platform development coverage, and with it the arrival of a brand new release that defies analysis. It's full 720p. It's a rock-solid 60 frames per second. It's literally the same game on both platforms. A great way to kick off the New Year.

Joining this new title are five other releases subjected to the rigorous Digital Foundry analysis. As per the norm, this feature is accompanied by an enormous mountain of bonus assets for you to check out for yourself.

Shots derived from lossless 24-bit dumps of the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PS3, high-quality h264 videos, and of course our exclusive support for 1080p screengrabs (where the game offers it on PS3). In truth, I was close to binning this particular layer of support within the Face-Offs, but the fact that five of the six titles covered this month feature 1080p upscaling suggests the format might well be getting a second wind, so the coverage continues for now.

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James Cameron: Avatar didn't rip off Halo

Plus, he's considering more game ideas.

James Cameron has hit out at critics who claimed Avatar was reminiscent of Halo, joking that he invented the stuff Halo was ripping off in the first place.

UK charts: MW2 top, Tony Hawk tanks

FIFA 10 pushing hard.

Activision may beam as poster-child Modern Warfare 2 racks up a fourth winning week in the UK all-formats chart, but newcomer Tony Hawk: Ride landed face-first on the pavement.

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

Not to be confused with that game where you can run around and get 1000 gamerpoints in 60 seconds, James Cameron's Avatar is an adaptation of the Titanic director's upcoming and potentially rule-changing 3D adventure film, and the name on the box is more than a marketing ploy: he probably did spend more time selling the game concept in interviews than he spent debugging analogue deadzones in a corner of the Ubisoft Montreal office, but Cameron has put his stamp on this because he sees it as an important part of his Avatar vision. That alone is more promise than anyone typically associates with a game of a film.

The game itself is also immediately intriguing. Having picked between various male and female character models, you're thrown into the role of signal specialist "Able" Ryder, who is being sent to the planet Pandora to reinforce the RDA, a human military force locked in uneasy coexistence with the 10-foot-tall, indigenous purple Na'vi. The Na'vi live in simple villages, belying the harsh wildlife - harsh enough that the titchy humans have to surround their research camps with huge metal fences - and as you run around being introduced to the mechanics you have to fend off assaults from "viperwolves" in the jungle and catch only glimpses of the Na'vi themselves.

Before long all that changes, however, as on top of being put in an intriguing place, you're put in an intriguing position. Through the RDA's "Avatar" programme, your human consciousness is transported to a Na'vi body, and then you're confronted by a troubling accusation: all the evidence suggests the RDA is exterminating the Na'vi in order to plunder Pandora, and you have to choose between executing a human traitor or helping him to escape and siding with the Na'vi, and accepting all the complications that implies (not least of which is that your human body is stored in a sort of science-fiction coffin while you inhabit your avatar).

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James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

The game of the film of the decades-in-the-making vanity project.

Was that a Warthog? I could have sworn... Given Halo seems to have informed Big Mad Jim's upcoming scfi movie more than a little, it's unsurprising to see it making its presence known in the spin-off game. Pandora (confusingly, also the name of the planet in Borderlands) is a lush land of human soldiers in vehicles battling alien humanoids with a tribal bent - it's familiar, if rather more ornate, territory. But this isn't Halo, nor is it yer bog-standard made-in-eight-months movie adaptation. Avatar really wants to be its own world, and its own game.

Avatar shapes up for December

The game of James Cameron's latest.

Ubisoft has announced James Cameron's Avatar: The Game will get a UK release on 4th December - two weeks earlier than the film.

Games companies are notoriously protective of their hottest properties, but film companies are even worse. Prior to the behind-closed-doors demo of Avatar we're told to hand in all electronic devices - mobiles, laptops, dictaphones, PSPs, Taser guns, the lot. It's a direct order from the movie people, according to the games people. Luckily, though, I'm still able to take notes, having dug around in the bottom of my handbag to find a pen and a piece of paper left over from 1998.

Avatar game to feature 3D glasses?

Ubisoft has a "stereoscopic" version working.

Hollywood director James Cameron has revealed that Ubisoft already has a version of its Avatar movie tie-in game running in "stereoscopic" vision.

Ubisoft doing Avatar game

Cameron demands "best work".

Hollywood director James Cameron wants Ubisoft to pull out all the stops when creating the game to accompany his latest film Avatar.