Earlier this year, India banned PUBG Mobile — the trendy 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. Popular Bollywood actors backed the announcement on social media. 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 — garnered over a million pre-registrations on the Google Play Store within 24 hours, the highest India has seen. The game managed to get over four million pre-registrations about a month after these opened. Lined up with India’s Republic Day celebrations, FAU-G finally went live on January 26, 2021.
I spent a bit of time with the game to cut through the chaff and determine 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 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.
FAU-G doesn’t have much in terms of options, however. While you can adjust the graphics settings, I didn’t see much difference in texture quality across settings.
Players start 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 FAU-G movement controls. Just don’t go in expecting a very polished experience with responsive controls. There’s a 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 and each has a difficulty spike. Bonfire checkpoints also mark these sections. 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. These are planned to be added over time. Players can expect a robust multiplayer mode, including Battle Royale, similar to PUBG a few months down the line.
An official trailer teasing team deathmatch mode went live in April 2021, and it’s said the beta will release in June. We’ll have to wait a bit more to see what happens!
Where can I download FAU-G?
While the game was only open to those pre-registered at first, it’s now available for Android and iOS users. You can get it straight from the official app stores!
So, there you have it. With the fast number of pre-registrations, FAU-G 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 FAU-G will retain its user base as it finishes development on its multiplayer modes.