Yesterday Windows Phone Central posted exclusive first footage of Gameloft’s N.O.V.A. 3 for Windows Phone 8 in action. We showed you just how the game plays, but we couldn’t talk about the release date. Well, thanks to a little marketplace slip up on Microsoft’s end, it quickly became apparent that N.O.V.A. 3 would be coming out very soon indeed. In fact, it released in India ahead of the rest of the world!
Now we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that N.O.V.A. 3 is this week’s Xbox Windows Phone release. All Windows Phone 8 users with 1 GB RAM devices (cue complaints from 512 MB phone owners and insensitive complaints about the original complaints) can now purchase the game for $6.99 or the regional equivalent thereof.
That early Indian release creates a most unusual situation, however. You see, in India and ONLY India, N.O.V.A. 3 is a Nokia exclusive game. Not only that, but those Indian Nokia users get the game for free! The Indian release doesn't seem to be set up properly for Xbox Live yet, so multiplayer doesn't work - among other things. If you live outside of the Republic of India, we suggest you buy the international release and support Gameloft for continuing to bring high-quality titles like N.O.V.A. 3 to Windows Phone.
The N.O.V.A. series is Gameloft’s take on the Halo series. After all, there has never been an official mobile Halo game until this year. But Halo: Spartan Assault is a third-person shooter and thus looks and plays a bit differently than mainline Halo games. Gamers who are looking for something closer to the first-person shooter style they’ve come to know and love will feel right at home with N.O.V.A. 3.
The N.O.V.A. 3 demo allows you to play the entire first level that we showed in yesterday’s video completely free so you can make an informed purchase decision. You’ll play as Kal Warden, a futuristic war hero on a mission to rescue an important McGuffin from enemy aliens. The game starts out in the ruins of San Francisco – which also happen to look a whole lot like modern day San Francisco. I kid!
N.O.V.A. 3 plays just the world’s most popular sci-fi console shooting series. The protagonist can run, gun, jump, and throw grenades. You won’t see it in the section of the first level we played, but before long Kal even gets to pilot vehicles – including mechs. Take that, Titanfall! And the campaign itself is extremely cinematic in nature, filled with fully voiced cut scenes that bring the story to life.
On top of an epic single-player campaign, N.O.V.A. 3 also comes with a fully-featured multiplayer mode. It works via local Wi-Fi or online. Up to 12-players can join a game and participate in 7 different modes, including Free for all, Capture the Flag, Capture the Point, and more. 10 of the game’s Xbox live Achievements (which we posted here) are dedicated to multiplayer mode, so you’ll definitely want to hop online if you want the full Gamerscore.
Update: We now have the international store link and QR code!
Update 2: The Indian version has been removed from the Store, presumably due to its broken Xbox live features. We'll let you know if and when it comes back.
N.O.V.A. 3 – Windows Phone 8 – 1017 MB
- Store Link - $6.99 - All regions except India
- Indian Store Link - Free - Nokia exclusive in India (delisted)
Gameloft E3 update
The big G didn’t have any Windows Phone titles to show off during E3 other than N.O.V.A. 3, but we do expect to see more from them during Casual Connect next month. On the E3 show floor they have a number of new iOS titles including Modern Combat 5 (video here) and Asphalt 8, both slated to launch later this year.
Let’s hope they come to Windows Phone 8 too, and sooner rather than later! All gamers can do to help that happen is buy the Windows Phone 8 games they’re selling in order to convince them that this market is one they should continue to support.
Thanks to everyone who tipped us about the Indian release, starting with Prodigy Hero and ending with Mark "Strudel" Tepper!