The wait is finally over. India’s action-packed smartphone game, FAU-G, makes a bold debut. We tried it and here’s what we think.
June was an emotionally tough month for smartphone gamers in India. The Battle Royale titan, PUBG got the axe from the Indian government as the aftermath of a political dispute with China. Since then, players switched over to Call of Duty: Mobile and were looking forward to a made-in-India solution to compensate for the loss. FAU-G, was finally announced in September and ever since, we and a million other Indian gamers have been eager waiting to experience this made-in-India outfit. As promised, the game made an official Android debut on Republic Day 2021. Wasting no time, we downloaded the game to see how the game would fare against its South Korean/Chinese nemesis.
FAU-G game review: We tried out the new made-in-India game
What you should know
Let’s start by establishing some premise first. The game is currently only available on Android which is a bummer for iPhone and other types of smartphone users. Sizing in at just under 450 MB, the game is evidently targeted towards mid and lower-spec smartphones. You don’t need a glorious screen and a hyper-fast Snapdragon to enjoy the game. While that being said, we thought we’d try the game on the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and we maxed out the graphics settings to see how good the game can get in that affair.
The Battle Royale game format is currently massive in India and at announcement, FAU-G was presumed to join the club. But well, turns out they’re not there yet. I actually expected to play a good ol’ fashioned BR game but FAU-G is about a completely different game format. There’s three modes – Campaign, Team Deathmatch and Free For All. While Campaign is story based, Team Deathmatch is something Call of Duty is famous for, which is a 5v5 battle. Finally, I think the last mode, Free For All is actually the BR experience everyone’s been waiting for.
Here we go, we selected Campaign, which is the only playable mode currently. The game begins with an intro animation of Indian soldiers clashing against a foreign force in the Galwan valley. Interestingly, the game’s storyline is almost taking after real-life events and encounters between India and China. It seems like the game’s plot is almost based on that. The animations get a solid 7/10, no compromise made on quality here and the comic-book like graphic aesthetics work well. Following this, a Sardar soldier appears as the protagonist. The player’s movements are actually very smooth however maneuvering sideways can sometimes get tricky. Just like PUBG, you use your left thumb to move and right thumb to aim.
Initially you fight some Chinese soldiers who appear to be patrolling the area or setting camp. The one thing that impresses me about this game, that neither COD or PUBG possesses, is having great close-combat mechanisms. The game, in both, graphic and mechanism, work brilliantly in this affair. Even the punches and kicks have great animations while the player locks onto a target, so you’re not throwing blind punches into the air, hoping it hits like the other games. The games graphics, even at max spec, look decent. They’re not as vibrant and detailed like COD or PUBG, but for a 450-MB package, it’s certainly well designed.
Indian gamers had extremely high expectations from the game, especially after how it was marketed and pitched as a homegrown rival to PYBG. It seemed like it could lock horns with the BR titans of the smartphone world. To our surprise, the game doesn’t even have a BR mode yet. I think the developers are waiting to build a larger user base before unlocking the the two online multiplayer modes, which is fair. I don’t think they would want us whiling away time killing bots. However, we, just like tons of other Indian gamers, actually came here expecting the action PUBG once delivered, which sadly, we didn’t get.
As the game is in its initial phases, it only has a single player Campaign mode, which could be fun to play sometimes but it’s leaving us expecting more. On the other hand, the graphics and mechanisms certainly match international standards of smartphone gaming, especially given the size. I’d say download FAU-G today and understand the game’s mechanisms. Know what to expect when you can finally play the online multiplayer modes.
All images: Courtesy brand