Review: This new mobile game by the Pakistan Army lets you take part in a military operation in Swat
Video games have come a long way since the good ol' PlayStation days.
Today, all leading professional sectors use gaming in various applications. From science and education, to marketing and HR: you just need to be creative enough to use video games to your advantage.
The US Army has done a game from an HR perspective. It’s called the ‘American Army’, and its main objective is to give people an idea of what life would be like as an armed forces serviceman or woman.
The US Navy too, once launched a game just so that they could document strategies deployed by gamers which could later be integrated in the AI brain of their non-piloted submarine.
Following in these footsteps, the Pakistan Army recently launched their own game, called ‘Glorious Resolve’, which seems like it was created to give users an experience of how a successful military operation pans out.
I recently downloaded the game on my phone and gave it a shot. Here are some of my thoughts:
This is a BIG game! Don’t get me wrong: the story itself isn’t too long, and the campaign is pretty straight forward — but the map is massive, which takes a toll on the game’s performance.
The massive map is also pretty monotonous, which means each of the campaigns drags on for a bit too long. Right now, I am stuck on the second Peochar campaign.
As a huge FPS fan, I have literally grown up playing Counter Strike on LAN and gaming zones before finally settling for consoles.
The problem with Glorious Resolve is that it views mobile gaming as being similar to PC and console gaming. It lags on my Xiaomi Mi A1, and I had to exercise glorious patience during the first mission, where helicopter control was was so bad that it took a lot of extra effort to just have the helicopter focus its aim on the miscreants on the ground.
I like the overall concept of the first mission though. During active war zones, the helicopter troop transport is usually accompanied by an Apache helicopter, which makes sure the enemies on the ground don’t bring the troop helicopter down.
Graphics and story-telling
The game’s start up screen begins with an intense ISPR briefing, with live-action clips of soldiers. When you play for the first time, you are asked what rank you’d like to choose: General, Colonel etc., and then you are given a character to play.
There are many bugs that you'll notice as soon as you start playing, which shows that the game design is weak from a development standpoint. For example, during the second mission, instead of auto-aim, you get auto-fire. You have to bring the crosshair on the target within a certain range for it to start shooting. I don't think it is possible to shoot manually while aiming, because the control on the right is for cross-hair movement, with the shooting button right below it. The controls on the left are for movement.
Once you land, the map is quite huge and you have to run around a lot. You do get two pretty much useless supporting troops with you, who mostly just run up to the terrorists like they're doing ‘salam-dua’. So I did what any LAN gamer would do when friendly-fire is open: I shot them and went on the mission Shaan style — all solo and YOLO.
Annoyingly, during the game I realised I do not get any health packs, and as my SSG captain isn't invincible to bullets, I soon got him killed.
I haven’t managed to get past the second mission up until now, since I don’t have any health packs left. I tried to upgrade my guns to shoot my way through spartan style, but apparently while they did award me medals and money on hitting achievements, you can't use any of it to upgrade your guns.
On the other hand, the game keeps on telling me that I have to spend to upgrade to a new gun, and also shows me quite a bit of money on the top-right corner. It also feels like they included an in-game purchase function just for the sake of it.
A lot of people have reported similar errors and more on their Play Store page, and they have responded that they’re working on it. However, I have to say that this isn’t a game that would easily work on most average phones.
The reason why I didn’t push to complete the second mission and move to the final two missions is because my 2018 model Android phone would lag every 10 minutes during playing and also get hot, which is not a good sign.
Gaming technology has come really far, and while gameplay and game design are crucial in delivering the experience gamers want, what they really appreciate is an opportunity to immerse themselves in a gripping story.
Storytelling in games is far more advanced than what you see in movies these days. I reckon that is because games today want you to have a consequence for every action you, which is also why they aren't too easy to design.
The Swat ordeal is so full of beautiful stories and sacrifices that I would hope someone writes a better story and utilises the amazing landscape for an ultimate gameplay experience one day.
Glorious Resolve leaves a lot to be desired.
Do try it though, it is fun!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆