Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth is an action game that follows the story of The Last Airbender TV show, or at least the second section of it which is focused on the second stage of Aang The Avatar’s journey.
Fans of the show (like myself) will be pleased with how much the game manages to do to stay true to story, plus there is a variety of characters to play as. Aang, Katara, Sokka, Zuko, Toph, Iroh, Momo and Jett are all playable, there are also on-rails Appa flying sections in the game.
The gameplay is surprisingly interesting for an old TV-tie-in game with a fair bit of combat interspersed with platforming and puzzle solving, mostly done from an isometric perspective. There was enough thinking to keep me engaged but never anything intense enough to stop the game being relaxing. A linear level structure that went through key series moments stopped there being any chance of getting lost so the game never becomes frustrating to play. The worst bit for me was a very short stealth section which wasn’t too terrible in the end. There was plenty of variety in pace too, from slowly pushing blocks around to sprinting through dynamic chase scenes, the game kept giving a little more.
Combat is simple. The player has a melee attack and a ranged attack with every usable character. There’s a sort of level up system that unlocks new combinations of button presses for attack chains but there’s nothing too complex to learn. Healing is done with potions that are found in chests but other than in boss fights I didn’t find myself needing many. The bosses themselves are just regular enemies with overpowered attacks and lots of health who look like key characters from the TV show such as Azula. Major boss fights ended with Aang entering the Avatar State for one big final hit which meant hitting the buttons displayed on screen for the player.
It’s worth mentioning that there are five Achievements on Xbox for this game, all achievable within the tutorial section of the game as they are all based on combat combo numbers, simply don’t get hit in a big fight (the Achievements can also be done in a certain boss fight or a few fights later in the game). This leaves the game playable without worrying about extra completion stuff. There are thirty-six in game collectibles that are easy enough to find but don’t really matter except for personal satisfaction.
I encountered no problems with the actual game that caused me any trouble, although the characters sometimes glitched into a running position in cutscenes.
Avatar: TLA: TBE is one of those games that’ll give a decent amount of fun and playtime to most players, being a tie-in game it’s quality it surprising but fans are bound to get more from it. Having said that, the game is nothing special, especially by modern standards. A good few hours of fun with levels that can be revisited after beating the game. Nice relaxing fun.