N.O.V.A. 2 - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance Review

By , on December 16, 2010

N.O.V.A. 2 - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
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5 out of 5


  • Luscious environments and crisp 3D visuals.
  • Career-based online multiplayer; 5v5 modes and lots of customization.
  • AI responds semi-intelligently to combat situations.
  • Bonuses for owners of the original title.


  • Shield-power ability button poorly placed for most configurations.
  • Voice acting falls on the bad side of 'cheesy' more often than not.


N.O.V.A. 2 is a great sequel to what was a great game last year; the inclusion of a career-based online multiplayer gives the game a life well beyond the single-player, but don't rush in to the online matches because the single-player is definitely worth finishing first.

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A year ago the first title in the N.O.V.A. series managed to stun audiences with its incredibly sharp visuals, paired with excellent near-console quality gameplay that may have felt slavish to its inspirations, but still managed to impress regardless of this. The sequel is much the same, though the inclusion of a larger campaign; career-based online multiplay; and smarter AI opponents shows that Gameloft are serious about taking this game to the next level.

Those who have played Gameloft's other recent FPS title (Modern Combat 2) will already be familiar with the basic control options available, however the addition of special abilities means that you'll need to consider a setup that gives you quick access to them. I stress the point only because of how useful the abilities are in controlling the combat you're engaged in as units constantly try to flank or out-position you throughout the game's campaign. And when you're not shooting enemies with your guns you'll get to pilot some vehicles to add some variety to the gameplay.

Despite the larger size of each level, the campaign won't take much longer than the original to finish, however this only means you can jump in to the multiplayer that much sooner. Maps from the first title have made it over to the sequel (along with an appropriate amount of polishing) and engaging in 5v5 multiplayer modes is a blast, especially as players can make use of a career system to level up for access to perks to specialize the way you play. Killing your opponents is also a snap thanks to the amazingly smooth and detailed visuals that help to highlight players even at great distances, making online combat extremely competitive for those who have mastered the game's controls.

N.O.V.A. 2 is just what fans of the original ordered and then some; a definite must buy for fans of the original and sci-fi first person shooters.


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