Earlier this year, India banned PUBG Mobile — the incredibly popular battle royale game — following border skirmishes with China. Soon after, FAU-G, a game that took more than a little inspiration from PUBG, started gaining momentum. The announcement for the shooter was backed on social media by popular Bollywood actors. It was positioned as the developer’s response to India’s ambitious call to increase local production.
FAU-G — or FAU-G: Fearless and United Guards to give it its full name — garnered over a million pre-registrations on the Play Store within 24 hours, the highest ever in India. To date, the game has managed over four million pre-registrations. Now, lined up with India’s Republic Day celebrations, FAU-G is finally going live.
I spent a bit of time with the game to cut through the chaff and find out if FAU-G delivers on the hype. Does it have what it takes to be a true competitor to PUBG? Let’s find out.
What is the gameplay like?
The developer nCore Games is taking a staggered approach with the launch of the game. FAU-G is launching with a short single-player campaign that takes inspiration from real-world incidents.
The game doesn’t have much in terms of options, however. While you can adjust the graphics settings, I didn’t see much of a difference in texture quality across settings.
Players start off with a single character option and are tossed right into the action following a short video sequence that sets the tone for the campaign. The control scheme here is very rudimentary. There is just a single tap to attack option, in addition to a defensive stance.
If you’ve played any smartphone game, you’ll be right at home with the movement controls. Just don’t go in expecting a very polished experience with responsive controls. There’s a certain weightlessness to movement, and combat sequences can be downright laughable in places.
Meanwhile, the map is very linear with little in terms of exploration. I played through most of the 25 minutes of gameplay (there’s a timer) and there’s not much variety here. The campaign is divided into four sections with a difficulty spike after each. These sections are also marked by bonfire checkpoints. You can restore your health fully there, similar to games like Dark Souls.
Ironically, for a military shooter, there are no real weapons here. Instead, you will have to make do with hand-to-hand combat mixed up with clubs and pickaxes. The game is seemingly leaning into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for its weapon durability element. Additionally, the only way to get weapons is to take them off enemy combatants.
Does FAU-G have in-app purchases?
A rudimentary in-app store lets you purchase a range of weapons. These are cosmetic additions, and I did not observe any difference in gameplay. Additionally, two-character skins are also available should you want to use a different character model.
Does FAU-G have a Battle Royale mode?
At launch, FAU-G does not have any multiplayer modes at all. In a recent interview, developers claimed that these will be added over time. Players can expect a robust multiplayer mode, including Battle Royale similar to PUBG a few months down the line.
Where can I download FAU-G?
If you pre-registered for the game, you should have received a pop-up notification. FAU-G is now available on the Google Play Store, with an iOS version expected to launch in the coming months.
So, there you have it. With the fast number of pre-registrations, FAUG has a lot of hype going for it. However, the limited feature set and single-player focus mean it is definitely not an alternative to PUBG just yet. With the popular battle royale game set to make a comeback in the country, it remains to be seen if FAUG will be able to retain its user base as it finishes development on its multiplayer modes.