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Electronic Arts Inc., one of world’s leading video game companies today announced the launch of Indian Edition of one of its most popular games ‘Road Rash’. Announcing the launch at New Delhi, Electronic Arts spokesman Jeff Brown said, “This is a part of our push to get a foothold in one of world’s fastest growing economies. Currently, the game will have only one course, ‘Delhi City’. We will be launching more courses soon.”
EA has made several customizations to the original edition to make it suitable for Indian video game enthusiasts. For instance, while the original edition has only cars, the ‘Delhi City’ course features auto rickshaws that will take riders by surprise by taking sudden crazy turns or by driving on the wrong side of the road. Should you crash your bike, the passing vehicles do not rush by like in the original edition. Instead, they slow down, gawk at you and then speed away. If you slow down too much, the vehicles behind you will honk incessantly until you move away or speed up. If you happen to get caught in traffic, the game can extend to several hours or go into a limbo.
Players can also choose the ‘Time of day’ setting at the start of the game. If you choose ‘Night’, you will have to contend with the haphazard driving of drunken bus drivers operating without permit. There is also an option ‘Choose Season’. If you choose ‘Monsoon’, then at places in the course, you get stuck in knee deep water in heavy traffic on pothole filled roads. Once in two games, your way might get abruptly blocked for several seconds because of a VVIP entourage.
Even the police behave rather differently in the Indian edition. Unlike the police on the Pacific Highway course who catch slow or crashed riders and say ‘You are Busted’, the police on the ‘Delhi City’ course accept bribes and let you go scot free. In this edition, the skill is not in hitting the cop with your closed fist but extending him your closed fist containing money. You may also choose, at the start of the race, a character who is politically connected, to discourage the cops from harassing you.
The real danger in the Indian edition of Road Rash is therefore, not the police, but the killer SUVs who may drive faster than the racers themselves and nonchalantly mow one or two down.
“Playing the course ‘Delhi City’ gives one such a homely feeling, unlike what you will get out of playing courses like Napa Valley or Pacific Highway. Particularly loved the maa-ben gaalis as I raced past pedestrians!” exulted Vivek Badoni, a Road Rash fan who was involved in the beta testing of the Indian edition. “Overall a fantastic game from Electronic Arts!”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Delhi police has petitioned the courts to ban the game but the courts cited their inability to do so as it is outside their jurisdiction.