Nova 3 Review

N.O.V.A 3 redefines the mobile shooter.


An innovative control scheme, beautiful graphics and top-drawer shooter gameplay make N.O.V.A 3 an essential title for the mobile gamer.

The iOS platform has a great big target in its sights. That target is to achieve apps on a par with console games. It’s a target a great many rounds of apps have been fired at, but none have come as close to the mark as this, Gameloft’s N.O.V.A 3.

A FPS from Gameloft, you might be forgiven for thinking that N.O.V.A 3 is just another killer-console-IP-rip-off. Rest assured, however, that despite somewhat typical sci-fi graphics, Gameloft hasn’t just cloned Halo, they’ve actually flexed their creative muscles with N.O.V.A 3 and laid a clean and fresh, palatable title on the table.

You play as Kal Wardin, an ex-officer of the Near Orbital Vanguard Alliance, a military force charged with the protection of the outer-residents of uninhabited Earth. As Kal Wardin, your mission is to clean up an intergalactic entanglement created after humanity stole an alien artefact in the hope of restoring Earth to its former glory. That’s the set-up, but of course, you’ll likely be more eager how N.O.V.A 3 handles FPS gameplay.

The answer, thanks to some creativity at Gameloft, is surprisingly positive. The inclusion of gyroscope—a mode here you tilt the device freely to aim—puts you comfortably in control of your gun. With gyroscope you’ll be picking of enemies like the most elite sniper and feeling pretty darn kickass as you do it. So solid a control scheme is gyroscope that it transcends N.O.V.A 3 to become a pivotal moment in mobile gaming. The days of shooting on the move have never looked so bright.


As for being bright, the beautiful graphics in N.O.V.A 3 are a treat to behold. Character models and weapons are realistic, solid and believable; the environments, which range from volcanic planets to the skyscrapers ofSan Francisco, are particularly eye pleasing, and despite the occasional texture problems that plague near any game, there’s so much eye candy in N.O.V.A 3 that you’ll be utterly hooked in the game world in no time.



Even the story in N.O.V.A 3 is decent; it’s portrayed through solid voice acting in cutscene that blend well with the gameplay. You’ll be surprised, too, to discover the depth of character in N.O.V.A 3. Of course it isn’t a masterful piece of dramaturgy, but it is a significant improvement over previous franchise outings and does pull you into the story and the characters, helping to create a sense of purpose and realism to your gaming.

With several hours of campaign gameplay and a solid multiplayer to boot, there’s plenty of bang for your buck here, and taken all in, with the innovative control scheme, the beautiful graphics and the top-drawer shooter action, quite frankly you’d be mad not to pick this one up immediately.


N.O.V.A 3 Overall: 9 / 10


Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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