For the past three years, a problem has existed within the Macintosh gaming industry. Despite the best efforts of dozens of game companies, hundreds of game modification fans and the creation of games so complex that it takes days to master even the basic controls, Mac gamers have been getting the sleep their bodies demand. A game has been missing that once addicted us, made us consume massive amounts of caffeine and almost flee under our desks in terror as sunlight poured through the window after long nights of gameplay. Yes, Escape Velocity (a video game variant of post-gateway drugs) has been missing.
Ambrosia Software and ATMOS have heard the cries of the Escape Velocity hordes from the mid and late 90’s and have responded by rebuilding a classic from the ground up as well as raising the stakes. Escape Velocity: Nova is the third installment of the Escape Velocity series and features an entirely new plot line, game engine,
advanced graphics, 16-bit color, Classic/OS X compatibility and the same addictive gameplay that formed the calluses that would serve many a Mac gamer.
Like its predecessors, the basic theme of Escape Velocity: Nova remains the same. Players begin with a small space ship, a few thousands credits, light armor, almost no weaponry and must survive in a galaxy filled with political turmoil. There are several ways to do this, depending on what style the player chooses to follow. Players can follow the safer, more obedient route of delivering goods and ferrying passengers between planets or put things to chance by exploring other alternatives.
Another great way to make money within the game is to buy and sell supplies between worlds, a cheap item in one system selling for exorbitant amounts just a few system jumps away. If a player wants high risks and higher payouts, they might consider taking sides in one of the numerous conflicts throughout the game. Simply talk to the right people, help them out a few times and watch as new alliances form and dissolve almost instantaneously...
Like the original Escape Velocity and its sequel (Escape Velocity: Override), Escape Velocity: Nova is a game that continues to wrap itself around the player. After the application launches, players can form their own identity by choosing a pilot name, ship name and pilot gender. Configure the controls and sound volume to your desired settings and you’re off to make a difference within the universe.
From this point on, the game is all up to the player. Like its predecessors, Escape Velocity: Nova keeps track of almost everything the player does within the game. The game uses a “big brother”-esque system that remembers the player’s movements. For example, if a player fires on a rebel ship in a section of space that allies itself with the rebellion, that player will be considered a criminal within that system and subject to rebel forces harassment any time they reenter that system. Like the horrors of high school social politics, everything you do can and will have a consequence throughout the rest of the game.