By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor) OnRPG Journalist
In this Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy (MMORTS) game you will have to take over the commander role of the fleet and grow your invincible space army to take control of the solar system. Light of Nova is yet another game that takes a shot at pulling in RTS fans just like me with a fascinating story line and exciting battles. But with thousands of other players and multiple available servers there’s plenty of competition waiting to keep your intergalactic imperialistic fantasies nothing more than a dream.
When you are making your first character you can choose between four different ‘Arms.’ These Arms are different forces with a different view on life and the events leading up to this point. Each Arms has its own piece of the solar system held out, though they’re intent on expanding to capture the rest in time. There aren’t any benefits to joining one of these so it is purely based on whether you like the background story or not. As usual once you are started you get a thorough tutorial to teach you the basics of this game. Just like in any other RTS browser game you be focused on earning money to upgrade and build anything you need in this game. The best route to a booming economy comes from mining asteroids and running missions for rewards.
Once you are shown the ropes of the game and you are done with the tutorial you are let free. Everything is purely based on what you want; I decided to start off with the quests and missions. You get a few newbie guide quests to help you expand even more; these are all pretty basic like upgrading buildings and building other facilities that can help you grow your fleet even more. These quests reward you with a lot of minerals that can help you expand even more, so doing these are a win-win for new players. Unfortunately upgrading and building these production or resources facilities take real life time. So sometimes you will have to wait in order to complete even the newbie quests. As you can imagine this problem becomes more apparent in the later stages of the game as you attempt to acquire the higher end buildings and upgrades, making this game more ideal for killing downtime than playing hardcore for hours at a time.
Luckily beyond the tutorial quests there are still a series of missions you can participate in. These are more advanced and a lot more fun to do. In these missions you basically get to kill something such as crossing forces with space pirates! The combat is probably the highlight of Light of Nova so I was more than happy to jump into these missions. Plus the resources you earn from them substantially speed up your ability to upgrade and build on your empire. I also commend the devs for tying these missions into an overarching storyline rather than random encounters so lore fanatics can appreciate that there is purpose behind their warfare. Another side note to mention is by upgrading your facilities and doing missions you will earn experience. All the members of your fleet such as your commander or the governor are able to level up. If you level up you are given skill points that each one of your member can use in order to get extra stat bonuses to give you an edge over your opponents.
Light of Nova is a free-to-play browser MMORTS game. You get exactly what you’d expect out of this but at a level of quality a bit above what the competition has on offer. It doesn’t really ask anything out of your computer at all and thus is playable just about anywhere on any machine even while multi-tasking. I have played many MMORTS browser games and Light of Nova’s art is top notch. Unfortunately though there isn’t a ton of features to check out and you can get burned out fast doing the same missions over and over. But if you are a big fan of real time strategy games then this shouldn’t bother you. The game is updated frequently and offers a large competitive alliance scene that is certainly worth checking out.