After months of teasing, nCore Studios finally took the wraps of FAUG, a game that was originally pegged to be a PUBG Mobile alternative. In the months following its launch announcement, FAUG (Fearless And United: Guards) game garnered a ton of hype and on the eve of Republic Day, the company finally opened the flood gates, allowing Android users to download and play the game. Much like most of you reading this, I too was constantly refreshing the pre-registration page, and having finished the preliminary campaign, I will admit, the FAUG gameplay does leave a lot to be desired. Don’t get me wrong, the game does have its high points but it could really benefit from a day one patch or an update. While my full review for the same will be up shortly, in the meantime, here are three things I liked about the FAUG gameplay and five things which could’ve been better.
FAUG: Things I liked
Okay, let’s get the good stuff out of the way first and here, I personally liked three things about the game from the get-go:
- Authenticity: 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 kilometers from the line of actual control.
- Powerful, witty dialogues: The devs at nCore have clearly spent a good chunk of time working on the game’s audio. To that note, 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!”.
- Accessibility: While most high-end games require a top-of-the-line smartphone to run smoothly, FAUG should run seamlessly on affordable Android handsets too. In fact, I tested the game on my Redmi K20, which employs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 730 processor, and I was quite satisfied with the gameplay on offer. What’s more, the game doesn’t require a lot of storage space either (download size is around 500MB); however, that could soon change should the developers launch the PvP and Battle Royale modes for the same.
FAUG: Things that could’ve been better
Unfortunately, FAUG leaves much to be desired and at launch, the game has a lot of chinks in its armour. Here are a few things which I didn’t fancy about the new title:
- Combat: I won’t beat around the bush at all — FAUG’s hand-to-hand combat shows immense promise, but as things stand, it’s extremely tedious and monotonous. In a nutshell, the game is a button-mashing, hack-and-slash with a limited set of moves. Consequently, you’ll notice that the protagonist will almost always circle back to a roundhouse kick after landing a speedy punch combo, and so on. What’s more, during my entire playtime, I didn’t press the block button even once and for good reason — 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.
- No inventory system: I’d also like to point out that the game lacks an inventory system and consequently, you will not be able to carry more than two weapons at once. What’s more, you will ONLY be able to replace a weapon should it break — so, say you have two pitchforks with 75 percent HP and you want to replace one with an Axe with 100 percent HP. Well, tough luck — the game won’t let you. Furthermore, you’d assume that a soldier in the Army will have some medkits on him, allowing the player to heal their character in the heat of a battle. Much to my dismay, FAUG only allows players to heal when they sit near a bonfire and, in doing so, accelerates the time allocated to finish a mission.
- Glitches galore: I also noticed a lot of glitches in the game. For instance, there were times when an enemy soldier would get stuck mid-air after I landed a couple of punches. Moreover, I couldn’t pick weapons that appeared pickable (highlighted in green) as my character couldn’t walk towards them.
- Inconsistent gameplay: FAUG’s overall gameplay is marred by a lot of inconsistencies too. As an example, the AI would basically lineup to get beaten up by the protagonist and, upon retreating from the area, the enemy soldiers wouldn’t pursue the player either — it’s as if the threat vanished mid-air. Also, at times, the enemy troops would utter dialogues in English and the consequent verbal back-and-forth sounded hilarious, to say the least. Not to mention, the protagonist appears to be a Sikh soldier but the same is not the case in the game’s cutscenes.
- Extremely short campaign: FAUG doesn’t offer a lot in terms of the main story either. In fact, I managed to finish the game in a matter of 25-30 minutes! And much to my dismay, the game’s campaign doesn’t offer any replay value either. Seeing how the game’s PvP modes are still ways away, no one will fault you for uninstalling the title once you’re done with the main story.