The liberation war of 1971 is one of the most significant events in the history of Bangladesh and Bengali Nationalism. Beyond the ordeal of war, the oppression, repression, violation of human rights, and the atrocities committed by the Pakistani armed forces are something that still reverberates among the Bengalis.
50 years onward from the liberation war, there are attempts to preach the supreme sacrifices of the valiant heroes through video games. Several games have been developed to propagate the true history of the liberation war to the next generation.
Bangladesh’s Liberation War based Video Games
War 71: The First Defense
The story of the glorious liberation war started on the night of 25th March 1971. And this is precisely where the game is set up. The atrocities committed that night by the Pakistani Armed Forces are the premise of this game. Specifically, the defense was put up by the then police in the Rajarbagh Police Lines.
This game is the first open-world game developed in Bangladesh that too centered on the liberation war. The players will get to play as police members in Rajarbagh Police lines. There is not much exploring as expected from an open-world game. But considering the time and resources available, the game delivers on a unique and fun experience. There are a total of 16 different levels each with several objectives. The player has to complete all of them to level up. A player can use different weapons, cars, and vehicles to kill the enemy. The graphics are not over the top but it does make for a fun and engaging experience.
There is a VR version of the same game called VR War 71. It delivers a simulated experience and allows the player to get deeper into the gameplay. It is exclusively available on the Play Store and has been downloaded over 100,000 times since its initial release.
Heroes of 71
Heroes of 71 was a pioneer of liberation war games in Bangladesh. It was not the first game but it was the most comprehensive and detail-oriented game that captured the gamers and non-gamers alike. The immersive experience found in the game was unmatched for a long time since its release in 2015.
Heroes of 71
The game takes place in the fictional village of Barishal at the peak of the war in 1971. The player will get to play as a member of Mukti bahini trying to regain control of the village. Unlike War 71, this game offers a detailed and true open-world experience to the players.
The players will primarily be posted in an outpost defending a camp that was under Pakistani control. As Pakistani forces try to recapture the outpost, the player will have to resist with every means available.
Heroes of 71 offer visually appealing graphics combined with an exceptional game soundtrack. The calm and quiet rural landscape and the horror of the warzone have been beautifully captured in the game.
Thanks to the engaging gameplay and stunning graphics, the game became hugely popular after its release, and MindFisher games released two more sequels of the same.
Released in 2016, Heroes of 71: Retaliation picks up the fight from its previous iteration, Heroes of 71. The game was developed after the huge success of its prequel and the growing enthusiasm of people.
Heroes of 71: Retaliation
Heroes of 71: Retaliation follows similar gameplay with a wide range of operations. This is the first time female guerilla members were introduced to the game. Unlike the previous one where the sole mission was to defend an outpost, the retaliation takes place on several setups and different mission objectives.
Players will have to rescue civilians, engage in frontline battles, cut off enemy supplies, destroy bridges, and many more. The difficulty level increases as the player progress through the game.
The game plays on the same visual expertise of its prequel and only makes it better.
Mukti Camp is another strategy-based liberation war game developed by MindFisher games. The game is the third one after the hugely popular Heroes of 71 and Retaliation. Unlike its two predecessors, Mukti Camp is a story-based game that spans over the entire duration of the liberation war.
The game places the player as a commander of Muktibahini Camp in a remote area of Bangladesh. The place is already occupied by a hugely armed Pakistani military base. As a Mukti Camp commander, the player has to organize and manage resources for the guerilla fighters under their command.
Tasks include collecting and managing food and external resources, building the base buildings, creating obstacles for the enemy, and organizing attacks. Players will also have to build hospital and training camps for the Muktibahini. The ultimate goal is to accumulate enough resources and ammunition to topple the Pakistani base.
This open-world strategy game was a huge hit after its release. The game has been downloaded over 100,000 times in just three weeks of its release. The makers put special emphasis on the graphic with hand-painted surroundings to replicate the true rural Bengal of 71.
Bijoy 71 Hearts of Heroes
Bijoy 71 Hearts of Heroes is a 2D game developed by Naptech on the premise of the liberation war. The game is a first-person shooter game where the player will have to defend a line against the occupation forces.
The game primarily features a single-player option. The player will be at the front of the outpost defending it from an oncoming wave of enemies. The goal is to fight till death and kill as many enemies as possible.
The 2D graphics are well constructed for the gameplay. It is a simple game aimed to essentialize nationalism and propagate the values of sacrifice for the motherland. The game has been downloaded over 100,000 times on the Play store. Unfortunately, it is not available on the iOS platform.
Bangladesh is still in its nascent stage of gaming development. Considering the limited resources and technological expertise, the games developed on the premise of the Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war exceed expectations. However, there is still a long way to go.
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