Don 2: The Game – a review

Don 2: The Game – a review
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Platforms:

Android

Game Name:

Don 2: The Game

Publisher(s):

Gameshastra

Developer(s):

Gameshastra

Genre(s):

3rd Person shooter

Release Date:

Jan 22, 2012

Developer Summary:

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?

Don 2 Screenshot 1

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.

Don 2 Screenshot 2

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.

Don 2 Screenshot 3

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.

Don 2 Screenshot 4

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.

Don 2 Screenshot 5

Conclusion

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.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Patrick Bartholomew

Patrick is a freelance multimedia developer specializing in Flash development and animation. He has been programming and making games as a hobby since the age of 7 and has been an avid pen and paper role-player for at least as long.

5 thoughts on “Don 2: The Game – a review

  1. 🙂 won’t disagree on any point…

    🙁 2 bad same standards followed by Indian game companies year after year

    when will it ever change?

  2. Hey…. why u r critisizing it that much….??? Its Indian made 3D game……. They are learning to make games. . . . Kuch to ijjat karo yaar….. Hadd hai. Please…. Give little respect….

    1. Hello and thank you for your comment. We have great respect for all game developers, however we base every review on an equal standard. While I am not the reviewer of this game, I did feel it important to point out that we do not “go lightly” on a title dependent on its country of origin, nor would we give an advantage for the same reason.

    2. It’s an awful game. Who made it and where it was made is irrelevant to that fact. What would have been disrespectful is giving this a passing grade. I would have been doing a disservice to both potential purchasers and Gameshastra itself if I didn’t point out every flaw. A customer shouldn’t have to pay $1.99 for this and if Gameshastra takes even half of what I said to heart their next game will be a vast improvement.

      I refuse to pander to anyone.

    3. Indian Made or not, this game clearly shows this was a rushed cash-cow, meant to bring home money, nothing more. And you can only learn to use game making tools, nobody can teach you the vision required to make a game. You have to be a gamer and a creative visionary to KNOW how to create a proper video game concept.

      Just because there’s a movie by the name doesn’t mean it deserves a game.

      If you don’t know how to MAKE a great game, certainly DON’T sell it for money. This game is not even original. And the choice of engine for this genre of game is not just poor (Unity itself is good, but most AAA titles prefer to use engines like the UDK, idTech4, Cry engine or Source) it’s executed as cheaply as possible.

      This game does not only look designed piss poor, the game’s concept is terribly bad. It’s a streamlined shooter? Racer?

      All video game’s an art. There’s no love in this artwork. The devs simply threw in everything they could come up with in a hurry for the money.

      I guess it’s only normal Indian games be as bad as Indian Movies.

      And then they release it for the PS2 (and not PS3 which is the standard Sony console of the age), where PCs are far more affordable in India. And then they charge a fortune?

      And they want people to buy?

      What. A. Joke.

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