I tried the Raji demo: First impressions

by June 22, 2020 0 comments

There aren’t a lot of Video Games developed by Indian gaming studios and definitely none as much awaited as the upcoming game Raji: An Ancient Epic by Nodding Heads studios. Over the weekend, Raji’s Demo was available on Steam as a part of Steam’s summer game festival and I tried it out.

Just 40 minutes of a playable demo isn’t enough for a full review so this is going to be short, but it is enough to help create first impression. 

From the get go you will know the game is Indian. The prologue cutscene features Rajasthani art and folk music in the background. You get to know that Raji is an acrobatic performer whose brother is taken by Asuras (demons) during a fair where she is performing. The story is narrated by Goddess Durga and she and Vishnu engage in Dialogue throughout the game. 

Coming to the game itself, the absence of cluttered HUD is a breath of fresh air. It allows the users to take in the beautiful set pieces and backgrounds without any visual noise. Even the pause menu is positively simplistic.  

The combat mechanics are unique as well. While it features the regular left click and right click attacks, movement is given importance. The direction of the attack depends on the position of your cursor and that makes the combat more than just mindless clicking around, which might take a bit of getting used to, but keeps you on your toes. The music is one of the strongest features of the game. It is recorded using sitars and Rajasthani folk instruments and is a delight to hear. It also features some folk “Bhajans” which are played when you interact with murals which then makes Vishnu narrate stories from Indian Mythology but it seems like they were not recorded in the studio. They sound like they would if you were strolling down a market in Udaipur which and there was a temple nearby having an aarti underway. And I am not entirely sure that’s a bad thing and many might even like that vibe, but I would prefer a studio recorded version.  

Also, bugs. In the last level of the Demo, I encountered bugs, two times: Once Raji kept going in one direction and wouldn’t respond to commands and once she got stuck in a location where it shouldn’t have been possible for her to reach in the first place. I had to restart the game both the times. Which brings me to another problem; there is no option to restart from last saved checkpoint. If you wanna restart the game, you will have to exit it. 

The game does show a lot of promise. But it still requires polishing and if the bugs I mentioned aren’t taken care of by the time we see a full release, it’s going to be hella annoying to play. But if they are taken care of, this is one game I’d buy. 

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