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Is Ghajini: The Game India's First 3D PC Game
First things first, Ghajini The Game isn’t India’s first 3-D PC game! The hype created by the developers gave a false impression that it‘s the only Indian 3D PC game. In fact, there have been few games around, including a 3D PC game based on Shaheed Bhagat Singh and a Ramayana-themed computer game, but all fared miserably in the Indian gaming market, courtesy of poor gameplay and graphics. Nevertheless, developers FX Labs took good advantage by labeling Ghajini as the first PC game from India with 3-D graphics as only few are aware about other PC games in the Indian video game market.
So, what’s so special about Ghajini The Game? Is it the game play, graphics or the concept? Well, one thing’s certain: this game will surely be remembered as India’s first major attempt in entering the competitive gaming market. However, it is far behind if compared with an EA , or say, a Bethesda Softworks PC game.
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Ghajini The Game is a third person action PC game based on the blockbuster Bollywood movie Ghajini. It borrows the movie’s storyline and weaves a cat-and-mouse type of a game. You will have to help the protagonist, Sanjay Singhania, seek and eliminate his girlfriend’s murderers. In your attempt to achieve the objective, you will have to take Sanjay to the streets of Mumbai, the heavily guarded CBI HQ, and other areas to search for clues. You will also encounter armed thugs and intense boss fights through five grueling levels. The levels are quite linear and involve a blend of stealth, object interaction and action elements.
The game’s initial level borrows stealth elements from Hitman. You will have to do a bit of searching and head to the CBI HQ to retrieve some important information. Stealth is not a consistently large part of the game: it quickly takes a back seat in the later levels, which are more inclined towards melee combat.
That is a good thing, as the stealth elements in the game are of no use due to the AI's very poor reaction time. Even in later levels, killing a dozen armed thugs won’t be difficult. They will not hesitate to charge towards you, but if you hit one, they will just remain motionless. All you have to do is keep on hitting them until they fall dead. Do not expect any counterattacks or aggressive defense from the AI!
The melee combats are quite unimpressive. You will have limited variety of punches and kicks to hit enemies. Moreover, the game’s control cannot be remapped, which might create more problems. To conclude, Ghajini The Game has got numerous issues and there’s lot of tweaking required to improve the game mechanics.
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Graphics and Sound
Developers tried very hard to ensure the game meets the standards of Hitman or Max Payne. Unfortunately, the animations need some attention. The way Sanjay runs is awkward as he just hops in the air. The NPCs walk in the same manner and seem to float in the air sometimes. However, the backgrounds look better. The building interiors and exteriors are rendered very nicely. The graphic novel-styled cut-scenes look great
The character modeling is excellent. The in-game facial characteristics of Sanjay resemble bollywood hero Aamir Hhan’s face accurately. But, you will need to meet higher system requirements, at least an Nvidia 7 series or ATI Radeon X800 graphic card with 256 MB video memory (which may not sound like that much, but remember we are in the Indian market), to make sure the models appear with a good frame rate.
The game is excellent in terms of sound effects. The music score is equally impressive and will reminiscent of any typical Bollywood movie. All voiceovers are done pretty well, except the protagonist’s. You will find the soft-spoken Aamir Khan’s voice absolutely unfitting for an action title like Ghajini. Overall, there’s nothing super-special in the sound department except the background score, which Bollywood fans will eat up.
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There’s no doubt that developers at FX Labs tried their best to offer an entertaining and engaging title. It will certainly appeal to fans of the movie, younger ones in particular. But, the gameplay and graphics need some improvement. In all fairness though, it sells for only $4 (INR 199), which is 8% of what a new AAA game release costs.
While there are some issues with gameplay and graphics, certain good features will surely inspire other video game developers in India to create even better titles. FX Labs has also got some new titles on the way, including a game based on Archie comics and one inspired by Dante’s Inferno. These games will certainly strengthen India’s contribution to the ever-competitive global video game industry.
Screenshots © FX Labs