LOS ANGELES — THQ’s "The Last Airbender" game, based on the M. Night Shyamalan film, comes out today.
The movie is based on a cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” To avoid confusion with James Cameron’s movie they dropped the Avatar part of the title. In the game, you play the characters of Aang the Air Bender, and Prince Zuko and a disguised Prince Zuko who lacks his supernatural abilities.
This is an action exploration game, where you can use the special abilities of the characters to fight your way through the levels. They also used the motion abilities of the Wii, to help add more special moves. This will include arrows showing up on the screen that you need to move the Wii Mote in the proper direction to execute a special move. If you are either Aang or Prince Zuko when he is not in disguise the special moves include that characters Elemental moves. Prince Zuko has special fighting moves when he’s disguised.
The game used the special moves to get past certain areas. Though it’s labeled as an exploration game, it seemed to be a fairly linear game to play.
The level we got to play at E3 did have spots where the enemies could sound an alarm to call in more reinforcements, if you can kill all the guards before they got to the giant gong, than you had less enemies to fight.
The game mechanics seemed fairly simple though, which I figure was to make it accessible to a younger crowd. Since the cartoon that the movie is based on is aimed at kids ages 6-11, it looks like they tried to make it so that age group would still be able to play the game. The game didn’t strike me as too repetitive to be boring for the older players though. Getting from one room to another did require jumping from ledges, or opening doors. Though the game looks like it relies heavily on the story of the Movie, so I’ll have to wait to see if that is any good when the movie , and the game is released.