Thankfully, N.O.V.A. 3 (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance the Third, to use its formal title) has come along, punched me in the face, and reminded me why I love Gameloft: Because they’re great at ripping off console games and bringing them to the smartphone world.
I’m sure you’ve all probably sampled N.O.V.A. and/or N.O.V.A. 2 at some point, and hence know exactly what to expect here. Essentially we’re controlling marine hero Kal Wardin, and saving humanity by shooting aliens in the face with massive guns.
Yes, N.O.V.A. 3 is more of the same, but it’s bigger and – more importantly - better. Minor touchscreen control gripes aside (it actually feels pretty sexy, for the most part), N.O.V.A. 3 is a real console quality FPS. At times I was reminded of the Gears of War series, Fallout 3, and of course Halo.
N.O.V.A. 3 looks and sounds great, and the weapons are a joy to use, whether you’re blasting aliens with a shotgun from two feet away, or using the sniper rifle to pick them off from afar.
There’s also some pretty decent voice work. Heck, I even found myself chuckling at N.O.V.A. 3’s dialogue a couple of times.
Throw in mech suits, vehicles, special moves (including slow motion and some sort of force push), a ton of grenades, upgrades, and a 10-level campaign, and N.O.V.A. 3 is one tasty package.
It’s not all plain sailing, however. Weapon selection could be slicker (you have to swipe through a list, and it’s easy to accidentally reload); using the same side of the screen to aim and shoot on the rail sections is insane (the left side is rendered redundant); and it’s not always clear where you’re supposed to go.
It’s also necessary to clear all the bad guys before progressing through locked doors, even the ones in adjacent rooms. If you miss a bad guy, you have to go back and finish him off before you can move on.
Incidentally, I had a problem where one door in particular didn’t open when it was supposed to. I’m assuming an enemy was stuck on some scenery off-screen. In any case, I had to load the previous checkpoint. Sob.
But those are all pretty minor gripes in an otherwise fantastic game. I heartily endorse N.O.V.A. 3. All 1.44GB of it.
- The weapons
- Looks great
- Lengthy solo campaign
- It’s £4.99
- It’s 1.44GB
- The technical gripes above
Summary: N.O.V.A. 3 is more N.O.V.A., ‘cept bigger and better. Love it.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Price: £4.99 @ App Store