Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 for Android Review

June 1, 2012
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It's finally here. The third installment of Gameloft's popular mobile first person shooter N.O.V.A has finally arrived for Android late yesterday. With improved graphics, stunning visuals, huge multiplayer maps and more can Gameloft deliver? For $6.99 many are expecting a quality game that is worth their dollar. Read on for full details, video, and our thoughts.

While N.O.V.A (Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance) has always pushed the boundaries on graphics, gameplay and looked great, this time around I couldn't help but feel they were taking strong hints from not only Halo, but also the popular PC shooter Crysis. Why not though? They are both impressive games and hugely successful. The futuristic body suite, multiplayer modes with "warthog" looking vehicles, top mounted turrets for multiplayer, and even jetpacks this game has it all. Add all that into a mobile device and this is what you get -- N.O.V.A 3.

Below we have a few videos, both of single player and their multiplayer. We tried to keep em short but there's a lot to see, and a lot you'll want to see before spending the $6.99 asking price. First off let me just say this game has it all. Like we said above the visuals are awesome, but the gameplay is too. With hours of gaming, top notch graphics, multiple weapons, power-ups, and add-ons, an excellent soundtrack and sound effects this is a complete package.

I didn't take too many in-game screenshots as I figured you'd like to see it on video instead. Below is a look at the single player Campaign mode a few levels deep. Single Player has 10 immersive levels that will surely eat up your entire weekend. Defend the ruins of Earth against all types of enemies in underground parking lots, the streets of New York and various other locations.

The single player mode is worth the price alone. The sound effects, voice-overs, and overall story line all completes the picture. This is by far the best N.O.V.A yet, and it should be. Honestly I feel like a few changes could be made to the game in general, not just SP. The controls are a bit wonky and hard to grasp, but that has always been the case. The reload button is at the top right, while the shoot and controls are on bottom making those fast reload or switch to pistol during a firefight moments extremely hard. I died multiple times trying to quickly reload or change weapons while in need.

Then the controls in general could use some work. Obviously being a touchscreen device our options are limited (use a gamepad) but the on-screen joystick needs some serious help in N.O.V.A 3. The first two it was good but this time around it's way too sensitive and turning sensitivity down didn't help. This will vary by device because on my Galaxy Nexus I was able to control and aim with extreme precision with the virtual joystick. Use it on my tablet though and it was off the charts and uncontrollable. For tablet players I'd recommend the entire right side of the screen for aim/looking around, and have the virtual joystick be the fire button. Again the reload is still too high, but there's only so much room.

Multiplayer
Now for multiplayer. This is what will hopefully carry this game forward as it has tons of upside, and a lot of promise. Obviously this isn't Halo on Xbox but it's close. With 6 multiplayer maps, 6 game modes, and 12 player battles you'll have plenty to enjoy. Signing up takes about 30 seconds, joining a game takes about a minute and you're ready to go. You can be playing multiplayer extremely quick with Gameloft, although loading can sometimes take a minute.

They offer online as well as local wifi as shown above. Local WiFi I was unable to get to work and joining with friends was near impossible. Maybe I was doing something wrong. For online however it was a breeze and incredibly simple. You can get into the instant action with quick play, or select the level by selecting the "join" option. From there you could pick a game with the amount of players you'd like, or even search for a friends live game and join in. I was able to find my buddy's game once out of about 3 tries, but it was still a blast either way.

This morning while playing there was about 800 people online. While that isn't a large number it's pretty impressive for a multiplayer first person shooter game for mobile devices that was just released yesterday. Again the controls are exactly the same for multiplayer, and I mentioned what I didn't like about those above. Playing on my 4.65-inch Samsung Galaxy Nexus I felt I had much more control, better aim, and my kills to death ratio was much higher. This might vary by user but I was severely struggling on the tablet, and there's a lot of finger sliding and movement needed. The smaller screen wasn't as exhausting and my aim steadily improved to where I had more kills than deaths haha.

With mulitplayer you have tons of options, power-ups, weapon choices, and game modes. Play team capture the flag and fly around with a jetpack and rocket launcher, or hang out in the vehicles running fools over and letting your teammates man the top-mounted turret. I played 5 rounds and spent well over 2 hours gaming last night and I only experienced one network connection where we lost our game. I was on WiFi so those playing on a mobile connection might have different results. In the end the mutiplayer is the cream of the crop for N.O.V.A. 3 and if you hone your skills you'll be rocking people all day.

Wrap-Up
If you are an avid gamer you'll love this game. You don't have to be a big FPS player, or used to mobile gaming as the controls are dead simple once you get used to the sensitivity and placement. With enough content to last for hours on single player, and endless fun on multiplayer N.O.V.A. 3 really delivers the complete mobile gaming experience.

The price you ask? Gameloft's N.O.V.A. 3 is $6.99 in the Google Play Store and supports a wide array of phones and tablets. If you can get over the price tag, and the 30+ minutes you'll have to devote to download the additional 1.7 GB of game content this game is a must buy. That 1.7 GB download gets you some of the best graphics I've seen on mobile, one of the most complete gaming experiences to date, hours of fun, a great soundtrack, and stunning visuals you can use to show off to friends and family. Hit the link below and get started today. Good luck and aim for the head!

N.O.V.A. 3 Play Store link


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  • http://twitter.com/rdlf2048 Rodolfo Ferreira

    you got that running on your tablet? I guess this is a tegra 3 game since it’s not available for the transformer tf101 and you said gameloft made the game look astonishing, that could be why. Poor tegra 2-based devices owners…

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      Yup. Works on my Prime, TF300, and also compatible with Acer A500, A501 (T2), Huawei Springboard, and a few others. Didn’t work with my Galaxy Tab 2 (10) or the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE sadly.

      Interesting compatibility.

      • spex360

        Thats weird, it works on my Electrify which is the Tegra 2 chipset.

  • Jiraya

    htc one x out! wtf gameloft?

  • Mouhsine bakhich

    let me say one thing ,tablet FPS sucks ,i need a physical joystick with dual analog sticks

  • AceET

    I played this on Sony Tablet S,running smooth without any problem, so I don’t think this is a game specific for Tegra 3 devices. Anyway,the visual is good, but FPS on tablet is just so difficult to control.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      Much easier on a phone screen for some reason

  • ian patterson

    Can anyone who owns this game tell me if it will allow you to use a controller?

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      I no longer have a game pad but I’ll find out. I know there isn’t that selection under options>controls but it still could work like other games do.

  • ARC

    great game. I am a nova 2 veteran, but I cant get the hang of the multiplayer. There are guys that pay $99 for a jet pack or a plasma rifle can kill you in 2 seconds. But so far, the campaign is great.

  • Broski

    Anyone know what is the difference with keeping auto-leveling on as opposed to off? And do you keep the exp and creds you earned in a match after you leave? Thank you very much.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UTGJURO2EB744VOGKE737ZK6XM Leola

    my friend’s sister makes $79/hr on the internet. She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her check was

    $16267 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site lazycash42.c()m

  • Miguel Menendez

    can someone tell me what tablet is that? brand and size? thanks

  • Elias Haddad

    Does N.O.V.A 3 multiplayer online works : android vs ios? or there is unique server for each os?

  • habib

    does any know if it requires in app purchases?

  • BATMAN

    Can you Take OFF BLOOD IN NOVA 3???? Reply

  • Unverified User

    what is yall’s problem? stop being dumb and torturing yourselves, buy a PC, play some REAL games.