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Xperia Play  header logo

N.O.V.A. 3

Third time’s a charm?

Product: N.O.V.A. 3 | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Xperia Play | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
N.O.V.A. 3 Xperia Play, thumbnail 1
Kal Wardin - otherwise known as Gameloft's very own Master Chief - has already starred in two incredibly successful mobile FPS titles.

The fact that this third entry has been made should be a shock to absolutely no one - Gameloft is a company that knows how to get the most out of a winning formula.

That’s not to say that N.O.V.A. 3 is in any way dull or boring - quite the opposite, in fact. Kal traverses ruined cities and abandoned spaceships, exchanging fire with a wide range of foes and even getting the chance to hop into a mech every once in a while for some high-grade destruction.

Wearing a Halo

Gameloft has wisely decided to keep the action fast and furious, but it's ramped up the visuals in N.O.V.A. 3 to give the game even more impact.

The Xperia Play's aging hardware can't quite match the iPhone 4S and iPad 3 when it comes to graphics, but the pared-down aesthetics displayed here are still impressive. At times you really have to remind yourself that you're playing this title on a pocket-sized phone and not a traditional games console.

While the Xperia Play version of N.O.V.A. 3 may be lagging behind in terms of presentation, its physical controls offer the perfect interface.

Space, man

The iPhone edition of the game suffered from a cramped screen - there were simply too many icons clouding your view, and it was too easy to touch the wrong one during a heated gun battle.

On the Xperia Play, that ceases to be an issue. Movement and aiming are handled by the twin touchpads, while other actions are mapped to the various buttons that festoon Sony Ericsson's handset.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the best way to experience N.O.V.A. 3, even if the graphics aren’t as good as they could be.

The single-player mode is gripping and entertaining, and once you've seen the end credits you can use your newly acquired battle experience to face human players in the game’s robust online mode.

Although the storyline is generic and the gameplay is hardly likely to win any awards for originality, N.O.V.A. 3 on the Xperia Play is immense fun. It remains to be seen if Gameloft will keep the saga going, but for now this is Kal Wardin's most intense adventure.
N.O.V.A. 3
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 20 July 2012
The visuals take a hit due to the Xperia Play's aging processor, but support for the phone's physical controls means that this is arguably the best version of the game available
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