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‘FAU-G’ game review: Is this a battle royale, with added masala?

The absence of popular battle royale PUBG after its ban in India has prompted developer nCore Games to step into the arena to fill that void with their very own Make in India solution, FAU-G. Revealed by actor Akshay Kumar, the game has gained a lot of hype over the last few months. The Republic Day (January 26) launch of FAU-G is intended to be a small taste of things to come.

FAU-G : Fearless and United Guards
  • Developer & Publisher: nCore Games
  • Price: Free to Play on iOS & Android

Fearless and United Guards, styled as FAU-G is inspired by the real lives that guard our borders in the Galwan Valley, a sub-zero inhospitable place. nCore Games takes time to craft an interesting story around a surviving member of FAU-G, an elite unit of Indian soldiers who have been taken prisoner by Chinese forces. You play as this lone warrior, taking the fight against the enemy to save your squad against all odds.

Clearly, the story and setting does twang that patriotic bone pretty well. At this moment the Battle Royale mode as well as a Deathmatch Mode tantalise you from beneath their disabled states. The campaign itself is surprisingly well-narrated in Hindi and the cutscenes are well done with it is hand-drawn animated art style.

‘FAU-G’ game review: Is this a battle royale, with added masala?

What is interesting about FAU-G is that it is a brawler, or beat-’em-up at heart. Think Streets of Rage, but in 3D. Taking into consideration the ‘no open fire allowed’ agreement between India and China from November 1996, this is all about hand-to-hand combat with a lot of weapons thrown into the mix. The gameplay itself is very simple, with just your attack button and a block action to defend yourself, in addition to the D-pad. All you need to do is point your character in the direction of the enemy and smash that attack button.

Familiar, yet linear

While it is easy to get into, the game gets repetitive very fast. Your character has the same combo set, which varies a bit. Levels are linear and consisting of sections with enemies in them. Move forward, engage, move forward again in a simple arcade-y cadence. This is familiar gameplay that is very simple to grasp.

FAU-G is a pretty tough game, as you are swarmed with enemies that relentlessly assault you. The punch button was often unresponsive, leaving my character open to multiple attacks especially in between animations. Couple that with a healing mechanism that requires you to rest at a campfire (much like Dark Souls), the fights veer from intense to frustrating. Melee weapons are effective but they do break fast, and are in short supply. It is tough fighting an armed enemy soldier, while you are hanging on to your last drop of health. The challenge is great, but it would be great if some of these mechanics are balanced.

‘FAU-G’ game review: Is this a battle royale, with added masala?

What FAU-G does get right are the fluid movement controls, the smooth framerate and decent graphics. There are some nice detail in the levels, too. You can change the skins on your character as well as purchase weapons off the store. Twenty percent of your purchases goes to the Bharat ka Veer trust, which is a great incentive.

When Fortnite started, it was a rough deathmatch game. The same was with PUBG, No Man's Sky and Fallout 76, they did not become superstars overnight. There is a lot of effort that goes into building and getting the mechanics right. This is a great first step for FAU-G with its interesting formula. All it needs is a few tweaks and balances to its mechanics as well as its multi-player modes. The future of FAU-G is something to look forward to.

The writer is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his sci-fi novel

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 9:31:29 PM |

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