Nova 3 brings even better graphics and more intense first-person shooter fun, writes Himmat Singh
GAMELOFT, the French-based mobile game developer, has been at the forefront of the mobile gaming revolution, with successful franchises such as Nova (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance), Asphalt, and Modern Combat. So how does Nova 3, the latest addition to its huge arsenal of games, fare?
As with the first two instalments of this sci-fi FPS franchise, you play Kal Wardin, a senior Nova commander. He receives a distress signal from his colleagues who are besieged on planet Earth, and goes in to help them. Soon, he finds himself entangled in a huge mess and has to embark on an intergalactic mission to save the human race from oblivion.
The game comprises 10 chapters, each set in a different location and lasts roughly an hour, giving a total gameplay time of 10 hours, which is a lot for a mobile game. You have to complete numerous objectives in each chapter, and are aided by friends and enemies alike along the way.
There’s a wide variety of weapons to help you progress but you’ll have to be prudent in using them as there’s limited ammo. You can sprint, and there are special moves too such as force push and the ability to slow time down.
The game has a standard dual-stick control scheme, which works well. By default, the weapons are set to auto-aim. This doesn’t make the game any easier though, and is actually a good thing, as more often than not, you find yourself greatly out-numbered by the enemies.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
One of Nova 3’s strengths is its amazing graphics. The environments, which include a ruined Earth and alien planets among others, are vividly rendered.
The game also features advanced lighting effects, which is noticeable from the glare produced by firing the weapons. But all that eye candy comes at a cost, because the game requires a massive 2GB of free space to run!
To drive the story forward, Nova 3 features good voice-acting. The conversations between Kal and the other characters are often long-winded and laced with sarcasm. Sounds effects from explosions, gunfire and the surrounding are all top-notch, but where sound is concerned, my favourite is the game’s soundtrack, which to me is a masterpiece.
If the single-player campaign is not a big enough reason for you to buy this game, then the multiplayer, which features six game modes, should seal the deal. The Nova 3 multiplayer supports up to 12 players over local WiFi or online. It is played across six maps, most of which are really huge.
A cool addition is that you can use mechs and vehicles to annihilate your adversaries, which I believe is a first for a mobile game. It’s easy to join a game and there are many players online. Like all online games though, it suffers from the occasional lag, but nothing too severe. The game servers are stable as well.
I actually played the multiplayer before I even started the single-player campaign, and I found it hard to put down. Players earn XPs to level up, and along the way new stuff is unlocked. There are in-app purchases here, but one positive is that you can’t just spend loads of cash and buy the best stuff since you have to earn it first.
Nova 3 features brilliant graphics and commendable voice-acting, but where it sets itself apart from other similar mobile games is in the complex storyline and lengthy gameplay reminiscent of console games. Add to all that fully-functional and enjoyable multiplayer mode, and you have a game which is worth spending both your precious time and money on.
Overall Rating: HHHHH
Game: N.O.V.A. 3
Release: May 2012
Availability: Android & iOS
Price: US$6.99 (RM22.30)