Before N.O.V.A 3 (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance) was released,
people were already drooling over the visuals. The storyline,
though, is your usual Aliens versus Humans fare. Humans have stolen
an ancient terraforming device that could restore destroyed Earth
back to its former glory. The Volterites, an alien race, are
anxious to get their claws on this. Thrust into this is Kal Wardin,
the protagonist from the previous games, who crash lands on Earth
after following a distress signal. Learning that the artefact was
built by the Judgers, a species well known to him, Kal vows to
prevent it being captured by the Volterites.
trailers and the screenshots looked amazing and I eagerly awaited
installing this game on the iPad. That is if I had enough space.
The game is well over one and a half gig and requires a lot more to
be able to download and then install it. Once installed though, it
is impressive what NOVA 3 has done with the limited hardware. The
graphics are drool worthy, with loads of details on the environs and
character models. Animations are fluid without any noticeable
slowdown that I could see. Combine this with the booming sound if
you have a pair of headphones, the game is a treat to see and hear.
The controls are reasonable, though precision is always a problem
with these types of games on this platform.
Luckily, you have an amazingly helpful (perhaps a little too
helpful) zoom-auto aim. With a touch of the button, the aim zooms
in, scope-like, directly centred onto any enemies that your
crosshairs were even remotely near. This makes it laughably easy to
pick off several enemies using this technique. Enemies also
sometimes exhibit inadequate AI - several times, after ending up
behind them at close range, they continually fire at distant targets
even after being shot several times in the back. Also, some game
level triggers seemed to not trigger correctly due to bugs, meaning
I was wandering around a level trying to trigger the next sequence,
which proved futile and required a restart from the last checkpoint.
Suffice to say, the game could do with some patching to fix these
level design is intelligent, with varied levels and locations and
challenging enemy placings. A reasonable assortment of missions
exist and the story progression is well-paced and well-told. All in
all, a seriously good example of FPS on the iPad. My only gripe is
still with the controls, and the lack of precision. Without the
auto-aiming, it could have been a totally different experience, as
swiping to get your crosshairs over a moving enemy was sometimes an
exercise in frustration. Despite this, NOVA 3 would still appeal to
all FPS gamers who have been wishing for a decent mobile experience.