FAUG review: Is it worth the hype?

The much anticipated Fearless and United Guards or FAU-G Mobile game dropped on Google Play on India’s 72nd Republic day as per schedule but unfortunately failed to match up to our and many others’ expectations.

Post ban of PUBG Mobile, gamers enthusiastically waited for the launch with FAU-G which crossed over five million registrations on the Google Play Store. Earlier, nCore Games CEO and co-founder Vishal Gondal said that the first episode of the game is based on the Galway Valley incident in Ladakh.

 The initial interface of the game is similar to Call of Duty Mobile dashboard but with fewer elements added. It has a main character display with a store option and play option. Also, there was a settings option where you can choose the sensitivity of the touch panel followed by the quality of the graphics and the levels of the sound.

The store shows the array of weapons which doesn’t include guns or scopes, instead, it includes Club, Axe, Spear of different levels and three characters.
The graphics of the game is decent and the locations include the snow-covered paths, military base camps, mountains, and so on. The one gameplay option that opened, for now, is the Campaign mode and two other gameplays like the deathmatch which is going to be 5 Vs 5, and free to all are yet to open.

FAUG’s main campaign puts players in the shoes of an Army soldier in the Galwan Valley. As a result, the game doesn’t feature any guns and, instead, focuses on hand-to-hand combat owing to bilateral agreements formed in 1996 that prevent Indian or Chinese troops to use firearms within two kilometres from the actual line of control.

The Campaign mode opens with the storyline with comic art that adds authenticity to the game. Adding the Indian touch to the game is the narration and which is interesting and will attract players. Adding to that, the protagonist keeps the players immersed in the game by dishing out some quality insults to the opposition’s troops and you’ll often hear the soldier say things like, “Apne bhaiyon ko bachana mera farz hai, aur unhe pakadne valon ko maarna, maza!” (It’s my duty to protect my brothers and it’s fun to kill the one’s who caught them!)

Today mobile games are enjoyed by both children and grown-ups.  There are certain faulty parts of the gameplay which is not for grownups like myself:

  • The gameplay starts with the training which felt difficult as even after figuring out the direction, I ended up near the wall.
  • The actual gameplay lacks the gripping quality in combat moves with limited kicks and punches which becomes monotonous after some time. As you keep on going forward with random combats with enemies, your energy level keeps decreasing and to gain energy one needs to rest beside the bonfire to refuel the energy level which adds authentic value to the game.
  • Once you follow the route after some time where you feel five to six enemies are coming forward and are trying to attack you together. Here’s the plot twist. Only two to three enemies will attack you together and the rest will wait until their teammates are dead!
  • During the mission, there are no escape routes to dodge the fight and reach the destination. Literally, the game is about a fistfight, a rest by the fire and following the direction. No strategies involved. If they would have incorporated other routes like climbing the mountain and reaching the ultimate destination without combat and so on then it would have been much more exciting and thrilling for the players.
  • With that, the second question is why there is no map? The player actually doesn’t know where they are going or where the ultimate destination is.
  • The weapons are time-based which is also a turndown and you will not be able to carry more than two weapons at once.
  • There is a block button too which I didn’t press even once because it’s impossible to anticipate if or when an enemy is going to land a strike. Furthermore, you can’t counter an enemy’s incoming attack by pressing the block button, and rather, the protagonist will just absorb the blow.
  • There are no medkits available for players for a quick heal during combat, the only way a player can heal is by sitting near the bonfire on a particular stone which is practically not possible while you are in the midst of combat.
  • As a player, you can’t hide. The enemy will follow you the moment you step into their territory.
  • The enemy troops would murmur dialogues in English and I found the consequent communication amongst them hilarious.
  • The protagonist appears to be a Sikh soldier which is not similar to the game’s cutscenes. Also, you can’t switch to other characters unless you pay for it.
  • It is a single-player game till now where you play as a guest. Log-in and the multiplayer features are yet to be added.

Spoiler strategy: So far, there are only two strategies involved. One is if you lack in energy level, then,  you can try out these two strategies- Say for example, you are at point B killed the enemies and down in energy level then either you have to recharge yourself at the bonfire of point B before moving ahead to point C or if the bonfire is not available at point B then return back to point A, to regain energy and then come back to B point to move forward to point C. Secondly, if five people are attacking, first kill the one with Club or Axe or Spear, grab their weapons and use it to kill others.

Final Review: Overall, the game graphics and audio are decent. The developer needs to ace up the gameplay for the other two modes along with the up-gradation of weapons or else it will not be able to engage the players in the long run.