Avatar, a film 15 years in the making, is finally out in theaters. From its US release on December 18th to the present day, it has broken a variety of box office records. Yes, despite a crazy blizzard in the Northeast part of the United States during opening weekend, the film was extremely successful. This comes as no surprise, what with all the advertising, and the almighty name James Cameron attached (Titanic, Terminator, et al).
The game based on the film, however, hasn’t fared as well. The PC version of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, played on a high-end PC that can pull off stereoscopic 3D display, demonstrates the future of high-end graphics in gaming. However, the console versions (particularly for Wii) don’t hold up as well graphically, and the gameplay itself has been described as “linear and clunky.”
The score for the film was written by James Horner, who has collaborated with Cameron before (Aliens, Titanic). The film also has a theme song from Leona Lewis called “I See You.” Lewis will also be featured on the non-Japanese release of Final Fantasy XIII with her song “My Hands.” Horner’s score has already seen the full gamut of praise and criticism. Some argue that he continues to write the same music over and over, yet others argue that his collaboration with an ethnomusicologist helped bring the fictional culture of the Na’vi to life.
The game adaptation of the film does not rely on Horner’s score, however. Ubisoft had Chance Thomas, who is no stranger to writing music for “licensed games” (see: King Kong, Lord of the Rings), write a sizable chunk of live orchestral music plus many more hours of tracked/sequenced music, and 35 minutes of that orchestral score is found on this disc.
Our thoughts on Chance Thomas’s newest score, after the jump. (more…)