Update: Gameloft could not confirm the May 8th release date and the game hasn't shown up, so our source looks to have been incorrect. Sorry for getting everybody's hopes up. Ubisoft's Monster Burner is this week's actual Xbox release.
Gameloft announced 12 killer Xbox games for Windows Phone 8 back in October of last year (and later amended the list). Those titles starting rolling out with Asphalt 7 in February. With Ice Age Village appearing at the end of April, we’re up to seven out of 12 games so far. Not a bad two months of releases, but the most anticipated game (among our readers, anyway), N.O.V.A. 3 had yet to appear.
That changes this Wednesday when Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 finally debuts. A first-person shooter based on the Halo series. N.O.V.A. 3 is the closest thing Windows Phone will have to a proper Halo title unless Microsoft ever has a change of heart. Like Modern Combat 4, this one will require 1 GB of RAM and lots of storage space, so some devices like the Lumia 520 and 620 won’t be able to run it.
Fighting for the future
N.O.V.A. 3 draws on both Halo for and Crysis for inspiration. The beginning of the game takes place on a future earth that is entirely desolate and uninhabitable. Players control Kal Warden, a commander in the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance or NOVA for short. Kal’s mission is to recover an alien artifact that could make the earth livable once more while also battling the evil Volterite army. The 10-level campaign spans not only earth but two more alien planets as well.
On top of the single-player game, N.O.V.A. 3 will also include multiplayer via local Wi-Fi and online. A variety of game modes are supported, though it remains to be seen whether the matchmaking will discourage players from trying those modes as it does in Modern Combat 4. The addition of vehicles and mechs should certainly make for a more dynamic experience, at any rate.
The Windows Phone 8 version of N.O.V.A. 3 utilizes the same graphical engine as Modern Combat 4, so it should easily be one of the prettiest games on our platform when it releases. Its touch-screen controls will work similarly as well, with the player’s left thumb controlling movement and the right thumb handling firing, grenades, and other functions.
For players who dislike using their right thumbs to both look and shoot, gyroscope looking will again be an option. As I’ve said before, spend enough time with the game and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
N.O.V.A. 3 will cost $6.99 and clock in somewhere around 1 GB in download size. We’ll have the download link for you on Wednesday!
More on the way
Once N.O.V.A. 3 debuts, four of the 12 announced Gameloft titles will remain:
- Kingdoms & Lords: An easy-to-learn strategy game with a fantasy setting.
- Order & Chaos Online: The first mobile MMO with Xbox features! Let’s just hope it won’t be too buggy…
- Six Guns: A third-person game set in the wild west and based on the phenomenal console hit Red Dead Redemption.
- Uno & Friends: An Uno game with online multiplayer and Windows 8 connectivity!
Of course, Gameloft will likely support Windows Phone 8 with more releases in the future as well – stay tuned for future announcements.