Earlier this year, India banned PUBG MobileÂ â€” the incredibly popular battle royale game â€” 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 developerâ€™s response to Indiaâ€™s ambitious call to increase local production.Â
FAU-G â€” or FAU-G: Fearless and United Guards to give it its full name â€” 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 Indiaâ€™s Republic Day celebrations, FAU-G is finally going live.Â
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? Letâ€™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 doesnâ€™t have much in terms of options, however. While you can adjust the graphics settings, I didnâ€™t see much of a difference in texture quality across settings.Â
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.Â
If youâ€™ve played any smartphone game, youâ€™ll be right at home with the movement controls. Just donâ€™t go in expecting a very polished experience with responsive controls. Thereâ€™s a certain weightlessness to movement, and combat sequences can be downright laughable in places.Â
Meanwhile, the map is very linear with little in terms of exploration. I played through most of the 25 minutes of gameplay (thereâ€™s a timer) and thereâ€™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.Â
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.Â
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.Â
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.Â
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.Â
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.Â