Fearless and United Guards (FAU-G) – a game fresh off the hype train! This game utilized political leanings to gain massive traction. With over four million pre-registered participants and celebrity backing, a game of this stature is bound to have high expectations. And in that regard, the game bangs in some aspects, but whimpers in some others. FAU- G is a close combat action game. Setting it apart from other popular shooter titles, it features hand-to-hand combat. Most of the action comes from punches, kicks, and handcrafted weapons. Shifting its emphasis on hand-to-hand combat helped it differentiate itself in the marketplace. Too many shooters are dominating as of right now.
The game may seem lackluster to some if online verdicts are anything to go by. After all, the gaming industry is consumer-driven. Where the audience ultimately reigns judge, jury, and executioner, the final say should be theirs. But where it falters in mechanics, the game delivers in visuals and impact. Regardless of its initial performance, we’re eager to see it stand the test of time. Though, it is undeniable the impact it has had on the Indian gaming scene. Here’s our review for the game.
FAU-G Review – Gameplay Mechanics – Almost there
nCore games, based in Bangalore announced the game in late September 2020. The developers were supported through word of mouth alone to drive their morale. The game itself had been endorsed by numerous Bollywood stars. The likes of Akshay Kumar had dolled in massive input in its development, sources say. The game was in alpha for quite a while and had faced multiple delays. It was initially supposed to launch in November and had been pushed back to December. Its launch ended up being in late January 2021 instead, though. The initial public response was that the game was hollow at best. However, it was a mere skeleton at worst.
The action title depicts scenarios that take from real life. The game revolves around the premise of the Indian border conflict. Incidents, from which the game took heavy insight, had occurred earlier in 2020. The political charge behind the game had proved most of its hype. In fact, featuring its in-game merchandise and a national anthem, for starters and launching on the 72nd Republic Day of India, it was bound by patriotic energy.
There’s a timer to keep your eyes on and at times multiple enemies. Though the NPCs tend to not be all that difficult. There are bonfire checkpoints to regenerate your health, but no dynamic progress. Though the health regen mechanic would be nostalgic for Tomb Raider fans.
What can prove to be very frustrating is that weapons have only a couple of strikes. It cannot be replaced with new weapons even if they are right in front of you. This is for multiple enemy combat. Instead, players will have to look for more enemies. Then use up the remaining strikes of that weapon, and return to pick up the replenished weapon. This consumes previous time from the timer top left.
FAU-G Review – Graphics – Where it shines, it sparkles
However, the visuals, where it shines immensely, have received widespread praise. With a file size of less than half a gigabyte, it is a rather polished game. They really have, in the graphics department, outshone themselves. The frame rate is consistently consistent with no clutter. FAU-G game characters have smooth vector movement. And the details with the VFX are smooth as butter. Though there are long cut scenes that show up frequently for the sake of the plot. These feel rather sudden and uncalled for at times. They can be skipped, however. There is often a sleuth of patriotic phrases that the characters spew. The cut scenes in FAU-G come in Hindi as default, though the subtitles are available in English.
FAU-G avails an in-game store. Players can purchase exclusive merchandise, in-game coins, player skins, and weapon skins. A disclaimer is presented that 20% of profits go to the “Bharat Ke Veer” foundation. But should you choose to watch ads to earn coins that work too.
The AI enemies can be rather stiff, and tend to line up for you quite frequently. Pounding them with the same fists and kicks or makeshift melee, gets old, quickly. It is pretty button-mashy at times. The only way it proves to up the ante is by presenting many NPCs in a short period. This rush creates more dull anxiety than an adrenaline rush which should be the priority in a combat game.
The lack of content paired with a merchandising attitude shows the developers have incorrect priorities. The developers at nCore Games could have made a much meatier game. Instead of releasing a half-baked one that rode mostly on nationalistic prides.
For now, the title features a single-player campaign mode with a bare-bones story. Although team deathmatch (online multiplayer) as well as a battle royale mode have been promised, the narrative is rather simple. Get from checkpoint A to B and fight the NPCs along the way. The gameplay is restricted to the mechanics of movement, striking, and defending. This can make the game quite repetitive as time goes on. A jumping or melee option would have been a much-needed touch. You can carry up to two handheld weapons at a time. But they are in themselves not all that unique.
FAU-G can be a rather hollow game at times, a mixed bag at best. Impressive visuals and animations are ultimately let down by its other features, or lack thereof. Poorly realized combat implementation and repetitive NPCs is just the tip of it. The game as it stands right now can be boring and rather lackluster. With much room to improve and future features to look forward to though, that may not be the case for long. We look forward to seeing the works that have been promised.