Nowadays, we have been accustomed to see mobile games that achieve high levels of quality and performance that almost resemble in various aspects to what we can play in our home consoles. Game studios and developers are always trying to achieve ways to keep us entertained in whichever genre we prefer. What can be considered as a more astonishing fact is that FPS have become one of the most preferred genres in mobile gaming, even considering the control limitations (the accuracy and precision mostly) you can experience while playing a game of this genre on a mobile device.
However Gameloft have always been able to figure out ways to thin out the difference between the two mentioned paradigms mentioned earlier, as they have recently released the third major instalment of their FPS saga N.O.V.A . Although the plot may be similar to other game franchises, N.O.V.A has some unique elements that can provide quite an interesting experience and gameplay, but can it make a stance in this constantly growing market? Continue on reading to find out.
In N.O.V.A 3 FE, you play as Kal Wardin, a high ranking commander that after a long during mission in a distant place, he has comeback to his home planet, our beloved Earth and head straight to his team’s mother-base to provide support, but as he’s trying to enter the planet, breeching to its atmosphere, something goes terribly wrong and is it turns out, a riot from a rebellious faction Volterites is in full effect and it is up to a bunch of soldiers alongside Kal to regain control and reach Actual – the headquarters.
In order to stand out in this major turmoil, you’ll have at your disposal a set of weapons guaranteed to make some damage as well as some special powers such as force fields and paralysing rays so you can better tackle more ferocious fiends. The weaponry is easily controlled in the top right of the screen with a swipe to choose a specific weapon and a tap to reload the weapon that you have chosen, and at the bottom left of the screen you are able to control Kal’s movement, which runs and responds to your inputs quite smoothly , however, I found the right bottom control set to be a bit cluttered.
At the center of it you have the main control that is to shoot the enemies with your weapon, but right beside and around it, you have several buttons with the remaining actions, which in an intense moment of the game, you’ll find yourself to get quite frustrated because you never seem to tap the right button at the right moment. On top of that, in a small area above this control set is where you’re able to rotate the character in order for you to get a better view at the target you’re focusing on. It is quite usual to this control schematic being used since it does not provide the best experience possible to the gamer and I think this should be addressed in further updates.
In N.O.V.A 3 FE, you’ll have access to the Campaign mode in has 10 levels with tons of objectives to complete but, where you’ll get more hours to play is in the multiplayer area (which you’re able to play online with friends or locally as long as you share the same Wi-Fi connection) as you can experience quite immersive missions in which you can access cool features such as voice chat.
Battery and Performance
As mentioned earlier on, N.O.V.A 3 achieves quite high standards with home console type features, graphics and overall experience and that comes out with a price, as you’ll notice some glitches throughout the game such as robots being stranded or stuck at buildings or even you’ll notice that your character has a “special ability” to see through some walls but it can also be stuck, but since this reviewed has started, an update was released that fixed several issues making things more stable and enjoyable. As far as battery goes, be prepared to see a slight drop as the amount of resources used to run this game probably are quite a few, not to mention that, while in multiplayer, be aware of the on-going active Wi-Fi connection.
Graphics and Sound
A lot of the resources mentioned above are noticeable when you’re playing as you witness the highly detailed sceneries (in cutscenes and during your gameplay) that N.O.V.A 3 FE has to offer which leaves no one indifferent to them as well as the amount of thought given and put into the characters, from their “over-the-top” armour suits to the amazing cast that lent their voices to each character, bringing more depth and emotion to the experience. The overall soundtrack does not stand out in the same way, but it does deliver a certain ambience to the plot of the game.
Ads and in-app purchases
N.O.V.A 3 does come with ads (several at various times actually), as well as, in any freemium game, two types of currency, the normal and the special credits, in which the latter one is obtained through in-app purchases and it will give you access to special content.
The N.O.V.A saga is indeed a reference in the FPS genre regarding mobile gaming and this latest instalment does not disappoint. With an overall well conceived experience (although the controls need some improvement) stunning graphics, amazing voice over and a promise of tons of hours of gameplay divided between the campaign and the multiplayer mode, N.O.V.A 3 Freedom Edition may well be one of the “games to go” if you’re in the FPS genre. Enjoy it and help Kal saving Earth!