N.O.V.A 3 review for the BlackBerry Z10: It's about to get messy

By Zach Gilbert on 7 Apr 2013 11:06 am EDT
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Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, try and say that three times fast, it’s almost a tongue twister. Well at least Gameloft was nice enough to shorten it down to N.O.V.A in their latest title on the BlackBerry Z10, Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3 or N.O.V.A 3 for short. N.O.V.A 3 is a first person shooter that takes you to a time in the future to when the people of earth are no longer fighting their own, they are battling species from outer space.

If you’re in to first person, HD, action packed games on your smartphone, then you’ll want to continue reading our full review on N.O.V.A 3 for the BlackBerry Z10.

Game Trailer

Gaming on mobile devices has, over time, taken a chunk out of the sales of traditional consoles. Some people say it’s due to the casual gaming that gamers can find on their mobile devices. While I agree with that, I also feel that the increasing graphics quality on mobile devices has a huge effect. While playing through N.O.V.A 3 on the BlackBerry Z10 I thought to myself, crap these graphics are probably better then the late PlayStation 2.

The Story

In N.O.V.A 3 you play the role of commander Kal Wardin. The game starts off with you dodging bullets and jumping from buildings, all while on a mission to regroup with your team mates who have come back to a once abandoned planet earth. The start game takes place mainly in the California area, including San Francisco.

After you’ve met up with the Echo One squad your first mission is to re-activate the communications, and get the heck back to the N.O.V.A base. Once you’ve gotten yourself and the squad back to the base you quickly find out that things aren’t what they seem to be. Here, you think you are on a mission to reactivate communications, but really this is a reconnaissance mission. 

Once back at the N.O.V.A base your artificial intelligence agent, Yelana, informs you that the Judger’s artifact has been misplaced. The artifact that had been misplaced, is one that was stolen by the N.O.V.A team, from the most notorious group of creatures called the Judger’s. The artifact was stolen in hopes to use it to restore earth to it’s prior glory of rich, inhabitable land. Getting the artifact back will not be a simple task.

Once the mission has been understood, Kal is approached by Prometheus, who is a rogue level 5 AI (artificial intelligence) from the Marine Special ops AI group. Prometheus instantly begins to argue with Kal on how humans are not worth saving, and that they cause more issues then they are worth. Prometheus informs Kal that he is aware of the location of the one artifact in question, but also aware of other artifacts that the Volterites are attempting to use as a weapon.

If you have yet to play any of the other N.O.V.A games and aren't quite sure who the Volterites are, i’ll give you a little debrief. The Volterites are an alliance of human rebels and Volterites aliens. This alliance is very strong. The alliance has both earth and space covered and are ready for war at any given moment, and they will make your life a living hell while playing the N.O.V.A series of games.

Once you have been debriefed you are transported to the Judger’s space ship. This is where the action begins. Once on the ship you are almost instantaneously killed by the sheer heat of the sun, but you are saved by a rebel Psycher named Maz’ Rah. Fear not, as Maz’ Rah is on your side and ready to help you... as long as you help him, that is. Maz’ Rah is the leader of the rebel psychers and needs help getting his ship in working order.

The next leg of N.O.V.A 3 is all about you assisting Maz’ Rah in getting his ship back up and running. In exchange for a working space craft, Maz’ Rah is prepared to give you the first artifact you are on the hunt for.

While assisting Maz’ Rah in turning on the reactors of his ship, you’ll notice that he doesn’t seem to feel the need in assisting you as you are bombarded with floods of aliens. If you are curious to why he wouldn't help you, you’re not alone. But the reason for Maz’ Rah inability to assist you is due to the fact that he was holding on to the artifact the whole time. SO while he could have given you the artifact right away, he needed you to do your part of the bargain first.

Once you have the artifact in hand, your good friend Prometheus is there to transport you to the location of the second artifact, the prison planet. While on the prison planet Kal is face to face with prisoners who are on one mission, to kill him. Luckily Kal’s old friend, Rufus finds him before he is set to his grave. After the slight altercation of Kal almost dying, him and Rufus go on the hunt for the second artifact. 

After some intense battles and cinematic cut scenes Kal and Rufus discover that the Volterites already have the artifact. Now Kal must go on to the next leg of his journey and go to the planet Volteron to recover it.

The rest of the game is as intense, if not more then the first half. You continue the hunt for the rest of the artifacts you need in order to essentially restart the planet earth. Along the way you’ll realize that creatures who you though were friends, are no longer the individuals you thought they were. Keep your guard up, and battle through the HD, cinematic gameplay of N.O.V.A 3 from the BlackBerry Z10

Online Multiplayer

On top of the action packed single player mode in N.O.V.A 3 users are also able to take the action online. People looking for the added thrill of playing against real humans can opt-in to play online via local wifi, or across the web. While I found the online game play smooth as well as entertaining, the lack of people actually online was a hindrance. I’m not sure if the online game was cross device, or just on the BlackBerry platform, but when I went online there were only 94 people playing. Now, I’m not saying 94 people isn’t decent. If you are trying to play teams and not just free play, then 94 people online leads to a lengthy ‘searching for players’ process. All in all the addition of an online option expands the replay value of N.O.V.A 3 on the BlackBerry Z10.

Gameplay Gallery

 

Reader comments

N.O.V.A 3 review for the BlackBerry Z10: It's about to get messy

30 Comments

Good review. I have one of the N.O.V.A. Games on my PlayBook and after reading this review I might try N3 on my Z10

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed10

Nova 3 is also available for the PLAYBOOK so if you have one I'd recommend getting it on the PLAYBOOK because of the screen real estate.

I hook this bad boy up to the TV and go crazy. Multi player mode is awesome too.

Very good game...just waiting for the bluetooth controller, on screen controls are hard to get use to

Posted via CB10

If you downloaded the free version a couple of weeks ago don't uninstall it, you can't reload it

Posted via CB10

Great.... i lake this game. I hope blackberry can be serious to made applications.to be gets better from Android or ios.... :)

Posted via CB10

Glad I got it free when they had it for free great game great graphics and if you don't know the whole story, check the older versions out.

Posted via CB10

The 6.99 price tag is a bit high considering that the PlayBook version was only 99 cents... :/ Still a beautiful game though.

Posted via CB10

How does it handle on the phone, does it lag, are the controllers easy to use on the Z10 screen, I wish you guys would have included things like these in the review.

Posted via CB10

ZERO LAG. I was fraggin people within minutes.(after i got used to the controls and set them up in a custom way.) Highly recommend.

Wanted to download it, but the file is soo huge! Who knew that 16GB in a phone is too little of a memory... I know that I can have an external card... but it is obviously not the same...

Posted via CB10

I tried to download this for my PlayBook and was unable to install due to a 0008 error. If anyone knows how to fix this please respond, I have this game for my Z10 but would love to play on the bigger screen.

Posted via CB10

To bad the game crashes when playing the seeds portion of the game on playbook, piss me right off no way to finish it now.

I hope dev fixes this BS fast.

Does anyone know how much data it will use of u play online over ur network? Say if u played for 30 minutes how many megabytes would it use?

Posted via CB10