Exclusive first look at N.O.V.A. 3 for Xbox Windows Phone 8

Yesterday’s E3 2013 press conferences gave us lots of juicy console news and game announcements, but our gaming readers who don’t play consoles didn’t get much to chew on from the conferences. Hey, we haven’t forgotten you guys (or me since I love gaming on my phone). We squeezed in a few meetings yesterday and came away with…

Exclusive first footage of N.O.V.A. 3 in action! That’s right, we played Gameloft’s sci-fi First-Person Shooter for Windows Phone 8 and lived to tell the tale. I actually had a little more time to play than usual, and so we can show you lots of highlights of the first level. Head past the break for the video and more details!

Mobile combat evolved

N.O.V.A. 3 stars an officer in the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance (not the most meaningful acronym) named Kal Warden. Kal is the hero of previous games in the series and therefor many of the soldiers he meets will be impressed by his exploits. Kal’s mission in the new game is to recover an alien artifact that could make the earth livable once more while also battling the equally alien but evil Volterite army.

The game starts with our hero’s arrival in the ruins of San Francisco. After learning the ropes of shooting and using his Force-like powers, Val quickly joins a squad of soldiers already battling the Volterite forces. You’ll experience fully voiced cut-scenes throughout each level, giving the game a very cinematic feel.

Since this title has less of a real world focus than Modern Combat 4, it allows the player to jump about like a rabbit. Buttons for jumping, zooming, sprinting, and using Kal’s powers can be found near the virtual stick and primary fire buttons at the bottom of the screen. I really like the virtual stick; it shows up wherever you place your left thumb and relocates when you put your thumb in a different position.

N.O.V.A. 3 generally controls just like Modern Combat 4, so if you can handle those controls, you’ll do fine with this game. I found them easy to jump right into, but some players will require more of an adjustment period. With a game this beautiful and fully featured, the learning curve is worth braving.


Want to know N.O.V.A. 3’s Achievements early? Well, here you go.

  • Lightning Fast: Complete Level 2 in under 20 minutes
  • Flawless: Complete a campaign level without ever retrying
  • Close Call: Have your hP reduced to less than 10%, avoid dying and recover to full HP
  • Lone Ranger: Complete a level using only the pistol
  • Versatile Warrior: Kill at least one enemy with each weapon in the game in the same level
  • Headhunter: Get 10 headshots with the sniper rifle in a Campaign level
  • Blind Shot: Kill one enemy with the sniper rifle without using the aim
  • Bullseye: Finish a level with accuracy higher than 60%
  • Collector: Buy all the upgrades available in the Campaign mode
  • Humanity Saved: Complete the Campaign mode


  • Full Armory: Wield 7 weapons in a match
  • Stress Relief: Kill a sniper with a melee weapon
  • Against All Odds: Kill 5 enemies in a match while under 25% energy
  • Fly Swatter: Kill a flying enemy
  • Star Player: Be the best player during a match
  • Slick: Capture 3 flags without dying during a match
  • Make it count: Kill an enemy with your last bullet
  • Five in a row: Win 5 consecutive matches
  • Hijacked: Hijack a vehicle after killing its driver
  • Ghost in the Machine: Kill 10 enemies with the Mech

The fight starts soon

We can’t say when N.O.V.A. 3 will launch, but it will have been worth the wait. It features one of the most robust single-player campaigns around AND local Wi-Fi and online multiplayer, so FPS fans won’t want to miss it.

N.O.V.A. 3 requires a Windows Phone 8 handset with 1 GB of RAM and plenty of storage space. It will cost $6.99.

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!