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James Cameron's Avatar: The Game - just average

In James Cameron's Avatar: The Game a Na'vi

In James Cameron's Avatar: The Game a Na'vi stalks human intruders. Credit: AP

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game does nail the visuals, but it falls a bit short on game play as just an average third-person shooter.

The story line is a prequel to the movie, which is in theaters now.

Your character, "Able" Ryder, arrives on Pandora as a soldier working for the RDA Corp., which is mining the picturesque moon for rare minerals.

The corporation is engaged deep in a scientific experiment that allows Ryder and other soldiers to take the shape of their avatars - hybrid blends of human DNA and that of Pandora's indigenous species, the 10-foot-tall blue Na'vi.

Early in the quest, Ryder must choose to fight alongside the Na'vi to push back the military onslaught or lock and load as an RDA soldier battling the native inhabitants. This decision not only has moral implications, it also branches the player off on one of two completely different game experiences.

The military path offers Ryder a healthy arsenal of handguns, rifles and shotguns, and he can earn experience points throughout the quests to unlock upgrades, and new weapons and armor. There's no Gears of War-style cover system, so Ryder must move and target or charge in with guns blazing.

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

RATING T for Teen

PLOT See the movie, play the game

DETAILS Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $60; Wii and PC, $50

BOTTOM LINE The linear quests grow tedious.

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