OK, OK I think you know where I would go with that title. Still, the joke holds some truth. I just kept thinking "Ryzom" while I watched this bloated movie. Granted, Avatar might have come before in production for all I know, but that doesn't it stop it from being a silly, over-the-top copycat of so many things from the past 20 years of film-making and science fiction.
Still, it was fun, but enough to warrant 50 gazillion dollars? Who knows. I love the fact that someone Twittered the other day "Why didn't James Cameron just spend the hundreds of millions of dollars on actually saving the rainforest?" I lol'ed.
The movie does represent what I hate about MMO's. Granted, there isn't much that I hate about MMO's but what there is was all over Avatar.
1) Unoriginal art design: Space Marines? AGAIN? Stop with the space marines. Stop with heavy armor wearing, scar-having, "hooyah!" type guys that stomp around in robot armor, PLEASE. It stopped being cool when I stopped playing Warhammer 40k 20 years ago. It stopped being cool right after Aliens did it better. The vehicle design ripped right out of Aliens, from the drop ships to the landing vehicle. Here's the main thing for me: in real life we are getting really damn close to actually using real-life lasers on the battlefield. Not only that, but combat is becoming more and more UN-manned in todays war. And yet we are to believe that in the future they not only have spacecraft, the ability to clone humanoids and to control them, but the need for BULLETS and MACHINE GUNS?
2) The throw away story: Out of those hundreds of millions, they couldn't afford a writer? Do I really need to go over this one? It bores me just to write about how poor the writing was. I will guarantee you that the director and the actors all knew "This movie will be a big-budget sci-fi special effects thrill! People will not give a crap about a story. Just throw one together." And you know what? They were right. But could you imagine if they had actually written a story?
Oh well, they got me and my wife's 20 bucks.
But the few moments of "OoooOOoo!" were the best in the movie, and remind me of those moments in MMO's. It's no wonder players that repeat content over and over and over (raiding, grinding) are so angry. They are performing a job, a boring "OooOOo"-less job. It's hard for a developer, writer, or director to come up with non-stop "OooOO!" moments I am sure, but dismissing story or original art design to stay on par with the lack of wonder in your game is no solution.
Like I said, there isn't much I hate about an MMO, and it's rare that I really hate an MMO.
But godamn, this movie sucked.