Escape Velocity Nova

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
July 28, 2003
Views
23063
Two things that PC people never thought would happen: A Mac game would be good, and wouldn't be ported to the PC. The wait is now over, EV Nova comes to the PC. It is everything that a space shooter should be and much, much more!
Tags Games

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<B>Intro</B>:

<center>EV Nova</center>

I have long been a fan of 4X games, but the current generation of 3D spacy games sadly don't break out of the mold. I'm sure most of you Windows only users won't even recognize the name <a href="http://www.ambrosiasw.com">Ambrosia Software</a>, but for MAC people, this software developer is one of the best there is. Move over space shooting and explorationish games, Escape Velocity Nova is on the PC, and the game play is amazing! Now don't skip to the end, you have to read the entire thing.

<B>Background</B>:

<center>Titlescreen</center>

A bit of background to ease you into the story. Escape Velocity started as a simple 2D space shooter game (and it still is) around 1996. Since then, EV has became an amazing genre in itself on the MAC with every PC person that played it wanted it to be ported over. Fast forward to 2003, and here it is!

<B>Start up</B>:

<center>Shuttle</center>

When you start EV Nova, you get a Sigma shipyard's Alpha class shuttle. This ship is much better than what you would have started in previous games (a shuttle with nothing). New to this game, you are given a tutorial that takes you throughout the aspects of the game including trade, missions, combat, and exploring.

<B>Game Play</B>:

This game is a 2D space shooter, but the game play is where it is at. Once you start this game up, you won't want to stop.

<center>Planets</center>

The game really takes place in space, but in the time your not in space, you are grounded on a station or a planet. When you do land, the game auto saves, so make sure you want to save it.

There are many things to do when you are docked. Just like if this was in real life (in the future), you'll be able to buy different ships, hire escorts, upgrade your current ship, get missions, trade, and visit the bar.

<center>Outfits</center>

Upgrades are the thing that makes this game great. There are so many outfits, that you'll have a tough time fitting them all, and remembering them even. You have the basic array of missiles and blasters, but beam cannons make an appearance in this game. Beam cannons are so much fun to shoot, some are even turreted. By far the best weapon in the game is the winter tempest.

<center>Winter Tempest</center>

The winter tempest is a non-purchasable beam weapon, you can only get it by doing a specific string (there are six main strings).

<center>Shipyard</center>

Outfits only go so far on a ship. The shipyard is the place to buy all the fancy new (or used) ships. Each ship have some variants that are better than others. Just because a ship is used doesn't mean it is worse than a new ship. The prices are adjusted accordingly. If a used ship is more expensive than a new ship, it means that that variant is a better version. You're able to see all the ship stats before buying the ship, but don't think about it too long, the inventory on planets and stations does vary (slightly).

<center>Random Missions</center>

When you visit the bar or other areas of the station, you might have the pleasure of taking a random mission. Before you deny a random mission, be warned that accepting or denying might start a mission, so be cautious of what you accept and deny.

<center>Mission BBS</center>

If you want to take normal missions, just click the mission bbs on the planet or station (if there is one). There are many mission types. Missions can include things like trade, passenger, deliveries, bounties, and more.

All these missions don't even take into account some random missions that you'll get in space. You'll get escort missions and passenger type missions on the fly. Pretty amazing.

<center>Ships</center>

There are a variety of ships you'll see in the game, and everyone of them is flyable. You'll see nothing you can try for yourself.

<center>Capture</center>

There are actually two different ways of getting escorts or a new ship. You can disable a ship and board it, and if you're successful, you can use it, or make it an escort. You get a max of six escorts. Those escorts REALLY help.

<center>Vellos Ship</center>

Now here is a very interesting ship, this one is a Vellos ship. The largest ship of its race. The Javelin is pretty impressive. The ship is made from psychic energy and there are no standard weapons on it, you need to use your mind for this one.

<center>Battle 1</center>

The battles are equally impressive. Even with a very powerful ship, you are still very vulnerable to attacks, in the above shot, I'm using one of the best ships in the game and I'm getting pretty raped by about twenty smaller ships.

<center>Battle 2</center>

Like I said before, you get a load of weapons. In the above shot, this is the Polaron multi-torpedo salvo. It is hell to encounter, and if you're at the wrong end of it, run away.

<center>Battle 3</center>

When you have good escorts, they can handle the brunt of the work for you. In this shot, you can see that my escorts are making short work of that Fed Carrier.

<center>Death</center>

Whoa, trouble comes in when they call for backup. Like I said, you'll always have a problem with other ships, don't go picking a fight just because you have a damn good ship.
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<B>Sound, Performance</B>:

The sound of the game is very good, but there aren't enough sounds. Thankfully, there are enough to not notice the repetitive sounds of weapon impacts and escort commands. The performance is very strange, the recommended minimum is 500 mhz, but I suggest at least a 1Ghz CPU. It ran with no problems on my P4 1.6Ghz, and I'm sure if you turned down the graphics, you'll have no problem on a slower system.

There was no bugs or errors that I seen, a pretty good port in my opinion.

<B>Conclusion</B>:

This game is a winner, I have no problems giving it an editor's choice award. This is what game play should be in current games. Don't believe me? You can download this game for FREE to try out (it is shareware). Other games should look at the EV series to see how to make a good space game. You want my conclusion? Go and download it right now.

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<img src="http://www.aselabs.com/images/awards/1.gif">
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I'd like to thank Tom from <a href="http://www.ambrosiasw.com">Ambrosia Software</a> for allowing me the pleasure of reviewing this game.

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