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IAF chief launches 3D video game themed on missions; features Abhinandan-like character

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NEW DELHI (PTI): A new video game themed on various aerial combats and missions of the IAF, including airstrikes, and featuring a pilot character resembling Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was launched by Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Wednesday.

The game, 'Indian Air Force: A Cut Above', seeks to give the youth a "realistic feel of the Air Force" and motivate them to take up career in the IAF.

The game, available on both Android and iOS, aims to engage tech-savvy audience above the age of 14, and tell them that a career in the IAF is a "cut above the rest", a senior IAF officer said.

Dhanoa launched the 3D mobile video game, which has elements of augmented reality, at the National Bal Bhawan here, after inauguration of a facilitation-cum-publicity pavilion of the IAF, on the campus by Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

A teaser of the game was also played during the launch event.

The game also features a pilot character whose avatar resembles Varthaman sporting a characteristic gunslinger moustache with mutton chop beard.

Varthaman had shot to fame when footage of his captivity in Pakistan had emerged, showing him displaying a brave front, after his MiG-21 was shot down in a dogfight post the Balakot airstrike by the IAF.

The teaser, also had subtle messages with taglines like -- 'I am an air warrior', 'I put the honour and security of my motherland, first', 'I fly deep into enemy territory', 'And strike fear in the heart of enemy' and 'accomplish the mission'.

"This new facilitation-cum-publicity pavilion and the IAF-themed mobile game have been designed to raise awareness among the youth like you, about the IAF, and inspire them to take up career in the Air Force," he told a large gathering of students after the launch.

A senior IAF official said the game has a total of 10 missions and each of them has further three sub-missions.

"The various missions, include, airstrikes, air-to-air refuelling, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Also, career navigator, and augmented reality sections are available, which will give a realistic feel of the IAF's assets to the user," the official said.

The mobile game would highlight various missions and air combat scenarios undertaken by the IAF in an appealing manner, so as to help immerse the player in a game with a "having been there" sensation, the IAF said.

The first phase of the game (single player campaign) was launched on Wednesday and the second phase (multi-player campaign) will be launched during Air Force Day celebrations in October, officials said.

The IAF had earlier launched the game 'Guardians of the Skies' in 2014, which had got over a million downloads, the official said, adding, the new game is an upgraded platform, with new technology.

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