N.O.V.A. 3 – This Is What Console Quality Means

4.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4/5
Design: 4.5/5
Duration: 4.5/5

Jam packed with action | Hours of engaging content | Gorgeous design | Console quality

Somewhat repetitive in nature | Online is a bit finicky | 1.57 GB

Gameloft has been going a number of directions on iOS, but they’ve gone back to their roots with N.O.V.A. 3. It’s the third game in the series, and provides another premium $6.99 first person shooter using Gameloft’s 3D engine. The game continues the storyline where you play as Commander Kal battling various Volterite force, and unlike the previous two, you now return to an abandoned Earth. The storyline is run of the mill, but the game isn’t interesting because of the storyline, it’s all about the FPS action.

The campaign mode features ten deluxe and intricate levels with each one filled with multiple checkpoints, and taking quite awhile to get through. The best aspect of the game is that there’s truly non-stop action so that there’s constantly something to shoot at, and usually multiple targets. N.O.V.A. 3 is far superior to the first two, especially since N.O.V.A. 2 wasn’t very different than the original which was ground breaking way back in December of 2009. A lot has changed in the App Store since then, and N.O.V.A. 3 feels like a brand new iOS FPS experience.

You can’t help, but compare the game to Gameloft’s realistic shooter, Modern Combat 3, which was our second best game of 2011. N.O.V.A. 3 uses the same engine, but applies it to the Sci-Fi theme, and the results are outstanding. You’re always moving to new areas, and there’s so much to appreciate in the background on top of all the action in the foreground. The game design is simply superb, and it’s the closest game to console quality yet when playing on the new iPad. The enemy design is plenty intricate, and the killing animations with ragdoll physics and shadowing effects are great to witness as well. Gameloft has built high expectations for the N.O.V.A. series, and it definitely delivers on all accounts.

The game isn’t for everyone as you’re blasting away enemies, and there isn’t the most variety for the same reason. Even console games like Halo, Crysis, and Resistance suffer from these problems, but N.O.V.A. is delivering it on portable devices. The best thing to say about the game is that it grabs you from the very beginning, and you don’t want to stop playing. The action and objectives flow together so well that you can put hours into it, and be engaged throughout. The enemy AI is a little bit on the easy side, but it won’t prevent you from thoroughly enjoying blasting away everyone. There are also some nice change of pace sequences with special weaponry and objectives involving sniper, RPG, and Mechs. Gameloft delivers the best single player shooter campaign in the App Store, and the online multiplayer continues the high quality action from Modern Combat 3.

N.O.V.A. 3 ($6.99, Universal) is the best shooter in the App Store, and one of the most deluxe game experiences on the platform. The most amazing aspect is that Gameloft has delivered so much, and yet it’s only $7. N.O.V.A. 3 is a must buy that is such an engaging Sci-Fi adventure which will provide so much more than the purchase price. N.O.V.A. 3 is the new standard that future games will be judged by, and is one of the few iOS games that can be associated with console quality.


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