ISPR, short for Inter Services Public Relations, which is the media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces, has launched a game called The Glorious Resolve. It’s unclear who the developer is because in the play store description it claims the developer is Rockville studios without even mentioning ISPR. My efforts to contact Rockville Studios went unanswered.

The game features genuine military operations undertaken by the Pakistani military. The first level in the game is based on the attack on Peochar Valley in Swat, where the wider operation Black Thunderstorm took place. The second level focuses on Bajaur during operation Sherdil and the final one is about the defence of Ladha Fort in Waziristan. It was overrun in 2008 by the Taliban when the insurgency was at its peak and was converted into a hospital later on. Each of these three levels have a number of missions within them.

The first mission of the first level is a little confusing. I found it difficult to control the helicopter and kept crashing it. Though it probably wasn’t the games fault. I am horrible at android games so it is expected; though I keep trying. The helicopter also eats fuel so that is another way to fail this mission.

In the SSG missions (SSG is short for Special Services Group which is the elite arm of the Pakistan army, like the Seals or Delta Force of USA), which start with the second mission in the first level, you just have to aim at the target and your character automatically shoots. It’s fun killing terrorists but it’s even more fun in this game with the Pak Army. And there are missions with a Cobra helicopter and a tank as well, though these missions can be confusing. However it wasn’t mentioned what tank it was, possibly the Al Khalid or Al Zarrar.

The weapons are based on the material the Pakistani Army possesses, like the G3 rifle, which is the standard battle rifle of the Pakistan army. You can unlock new ones by expending medals or gold, which you earn as you play and are a way of rewarding the player for his time spent on this game. Alternatively you can buy these medals and gold for .99 $. Now compared to other modern android games where you have to buy to get an advanced start, this is not even half as harsh. It’s clearly for the Pakistani gamer who has a limited budget.

Though not to my taste, being an android game, Glorious Resolve is mostly for Pakistani users, though hunting terrorists is something all South Asians find palatable and at least the game isn’t promoting conflict in South Asia between the various nations. Still it does gives the Pakistanis, who have been the mainstay audience of this game, a feeling of patriotism and teaches us something about the Pakistani armies operations in the Tribal Areas in the process.

As you play you earn cash and medals which you can then expend to buy new guns and other war paraphernalia such as grenades and bulletproof vests. You also gain reality based awards like Sitara E Basalat for killing a large number of terrorists which gives players something to strive for. You also get bonuses for completing missions optimally, for example, losing no less than 50% of your health on a single mission.

The gameplay takes you from green valleys to dry deserts and still leaves room for added environments that can come with the package of more missions later on. This game would be unknown were it not for ISPR picking it up and a few articles in Pakistani publications. But we’re immensely glad that a Desi production has done well.

The game music is good and makes you feel like a very badass soldier, who does his country proud. The most entertaining missions are the ones where you are an SSG commando. It’s surprising this part of the game can be so interesting when there is no jump or sneak option for your character at all, nor are there PUBG style weapon and gear collectibles. There is also no way to sneak behind your enemy to take him down. Still the game is fun and red marks on the minimap show you where you have to go to find your next terrorist and take him down.

The mobile seems to overheat while playing this game and battery life doesn’t last long either. Something the game could improve are the land textures and the in-game graphics. The terrain feels strange (with graphics from Playstation 1), and is especially annoying when climbing a hill because you can’t see the elevation. The graphics could improve and this suggestion has been provided by many users of the game. But I feel the menu and loading screen graphics are up to the mark. Only the missions themselves have these texture problems and comparatively weaker graphics.

Some users think the difficulty is far too easy too and the game does not offer any challenge. I still have had trouble finding enemy positions in the first helicopter mission. Neither am I able to find an enemy RPG gunner before he kills me in the first Ladha fort mission. Despite the confusion on these missions the difficulty can be relatively simpler for the SSG missions.

Also in the Tribal areas there is a very distinct feature. Though there are mud houses there are a lot of houses built like forts. This is for protection. The reason I bring this up is because the game could show us the houses or the culture of the local people making the game more immersive for the Pakistani user.

Still Glorious Resolve replicates the tunnel networks and the weapon production areas the terrorists have used very well. And there are some walled houses in the first Peochar valley battle and in the final Ladha mission.

If you are a fan of the Pakistan Army you have to play this game. As a Desi writer I recommend this game as one of the best Desi games out there even though it lacks depth and cannot compete with modern Android titles. It has its flaws, yet for a Pakistani developer, with minimal resources, this is a massive effort. And which game doesn’t have flaws? And finally I await a more advanced PC version of The Glorious Resolve.

Review Platform: Android

Rating: 7

Pros:

  • The SSG missions are thoroughly entertaining.
  • Features real Pakistan army missions, so offers some learning as well.
  • You can unlock and select which weapon to use. You have a choice between shotguns, various rifles (like the AK47) and snipers. They are based on what material the Pakistan army actually has.
  • On the mission menu when starting a new level, there is a detailed information box that teaches us about that operation and gives a bit of background.
  • Cool loading screen.
  • Nice soundtrack.
  • Game isn’t extortive. Costs only $.99 for in-game medals and gold.

Cons:

  • Strange land textures and in game graphics. The terrain seems weird and even though the rest of the graphics are at least average, the land you travel across seems graphically outdated. Elevation doesn’t look like elevation and the only time you know you are close to it is when your character cannot move forward.
  • Some missions are thoroughly confusing. I found the first one (helicopter mission) difficult and crashed my helicopter multiple times. In the final level, featuring Ladha fort I can’t figure out where the enemies were. I had the same problem in the tank mission.
  • Not near as much polished as highly successful titles like PUBG in both the graphics and the depth sector.
  • Causes battery and over-heating problems on your android device or phone.

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