Having conquered the Asian underworld, Don now has his sights set on European domination. In his way are the bosses of the existing European underworld and all law enforcement agencies. The action shifts from Kuala Lumpur to Berlin as Don must avoid assassination or arrest, whichever comes first, in order for his plan to succeed.
Don 2 is a third person action adventure game where you will experience the breathtaking moments of the movie in an interactive space. Play as Shahrukh Khan, the Don, to complete 6 immersive, spine-tingling chapters.
What We Think:
If this game was made by two programmers in their basement, without access to an artist or game designer, I’d applaud the attempt. It wasn’t. It was made by Gameshastra, India’s largest game development company and a bit of a stretch to call indie. As such, it’s just awful. End of review. What? You want more? Sigh. OK, where do I begin?
The Least offender
Don 2 is built on the Unity Engine. Now I only have a passing familiarity with Unity, but you would think it would make the programming pipeline fairly easy. You’d think you would be able to devote more time to polishing the mechanics and getting the most out of the device to which you intend to deploy. Instead, Don 2 has mediocre controls, a polygon count that would have been pretty sad more than a decade ago, and animation that makes it look like everyone is running on wet glass.
In an attempt to reconcile the design issues in this Bollywood themed-game, I wondered whether the target audience may be presumed to use less bleeding edge mobile tech, in which case I could see these as acceptable compromises. However, take a look at Shadowgun by relatively small Czech developer Madfinger Games and tell me Gameshastra didn’t drop the ball. Now there’s a game that uses the Unity Engine to it’s fullest. And Shadowgun isn’t the exception to the rule. There are plenty of great games made using Unity.
The moderately offensive
So a little more on the presentation of the game: it uses live video from the movie to open the story which, while a little cheesy, looks pretty good, but then does most cut scenes in a faux comic book style with word ballons pasted over screenshots of staged in-game scenes. Not only is it often hard to get through reading them before they disappear, but they insist on needless camera tracking while you’re trying to do it.
I’ve already stated that everything has a low polygon count, but much can be done with good texture artists to breath life into the blockiest of settings (as anyone who’s played World of Warcraft can attest to). Don 2’s textures aren’t terrible, but I think it would be fair to call them of stock quality. They simply don’t impress.
Audio suffers similarly. Gun shots, car noises, and other effects sound very off-the-shelf and the music boils down to one grating three chord synth-rock sample played constantly throughout a level.
The Worst Offender
I don’t think Gameshastra employs a single game designer. I really don’t. If they did Don 2 couldn’t possibly have been made.
I can forgive a game a lot of things as long as the core gameplay is good, but this doesn’t have it. The trailer gives the false impression that it’s a GTA-style open world game, where in fact it’s a scripted “funnel you to the ending” style they actual employ, and there’s nothing wrong with that per se, except it’s very poorly thought out. When my only motivation for finishing a level is to get it over with, you’ve failed in your design.
Don 2 simply fails to engage; Why am I standing here while people slowly step out of buildings for me casually to shoot? Why am I driving around a maze-like city with a thousand dead ends and doing slow-mo jumps over nonsensically placed ramps? Why is the guard I’m sneaking up behind oblivious to the clog-like noise my shoes are making? Any game’s primary goal should be to excite, immerse and entertain and this does not achieve these fundamental ambitions.
I’m not sure I could even recommend playing the demo for Don 2; the game design is just that bad. It’s just one dull and listless moment after another. If my short period of research is correct, this is Gameshastra’s first real shot at a full 3D game and most of their previous efforts have been of the point and click variety, which don’t need serious level design. In the meantime skip Don 2: The Game unless you’re a big fan of the movie and want the fleeting experience of being Don.