Within last month’s annual EVE Online event, CCP Games finally shared the first details about their upcoming shooter game for fans and followers, Project Nova. Nova, as in the name, shares the same universe with EVE. The game itself is still in its early alpha test but already displays prospective sights.

The successful predecessor

Project Nova is definitely not the first attempt from CCP to create a game of the action genre in the EVE world. The previous game, Dust 514, was a huge, complicated multiplayer FPS. The game shared real-time cross-platform integration with EVE, which allows its players to call for devastating air assaults from EVE's space crafts. However, it was very unlucky that they published Dust 514 for PS3 just 6 months prior to the release of PS4. CCP Games must then eventually shut down the servers for Dust in May 2016 due to old hardware and a dwindling player base. Up until now, a small yet dedicated number of players has been crossing their fingers for an opportunity to witness their War Clone super soldiers fighting in combats once again.

Dust 514
A poster of Dust 514.

A spiritual successor was born

CCP Games did not ignore fans' hope and wishes: they announced Project Nova in April 2016. The developer introduced the game as a spiritual successor to Dust 514. This time, it is coming to PC. Fans at the EVE Vegas convention last month was shown a playable alpha demo, brought up by CCP Games.

War Clones, or in other words cybernetically-enhanced super soldiers, was carried over to Project Nova from Dust. The characters are essentially immortal and were risen from their graves in the form of a newly cloned body. In the demo, there was a cooperative mode for 4 players. They teamed up and together attempted to challenge AI enemies. At the beginning, players launched themselves into outer space with a boarding torpedo. After the launching phase, they found themselves landing on a huge battleship straight out of EVE Online. Shortly after that players soon discovered that there are slave-pirates attacking them as well as the ship. The only way to protect the craft was to get a chain of capture points powered up. Instinctively, the level’s objective was quite easy to understand and act upon.

A sneak peek of Project Nova.

Further explore the gameplay

4 players divided themselves into focusing on 3 different capture points. At the same time, they had to handle many enemies and try not to be overrun by the AI “director”. Few minutes was the duration of these so-called PVE sessions. Throughout the whole period, players tried to control points and fought back the endless horde while taking on various kinds of enemies thrown at their faces. Once players succeeded in holding all 3 victory points for a certain amount of them, victory is theirs. However, there is more than one way to win. The first one is to gain the necessary scores that the game requires to finish the stage. The second quicker alternative towards victory is to activate the guns on the battleships and watch the invaders and their Sansha’s ship get destroyed in the sky from a far distance.

Project Nova
A closer look into Project Nova's in-game atmosphere.

Rewards and multiplayer system

At the show, representatives from CCP pointed out that players will eventually have their rewards customized. This means that players in the same party playing with each other will receive loots in different forms to progress further in the game. However, the alpha build at the event didn’t have this feature available for the players there. There was also no PVP gameplay in the demo. Despite that, the developers did talk about their projected gameplay and plans with the attended audience. A group of 4 players shall join the PvP, either as solo players or a party of friends. Then, that group of 4 will join 3 other ones to make a complete team of 16, battling against another 16 players.

The default option of PvP mode requires each team to try to deliver their own payload around the field. Teams will have to handle multiple objectives at once in order to win. They will need to guard and push their own payload, attempt to assault and delay their rivalries as well as roaming around scouting for enemies, all together.

Project Nova
A sneak peek of Project Nova.

A few words from the production team

As indicated by Paul Wright, the lead designer from Project Nova, the ultimate aim is to design a game that concentrated around “team tactics”. In Project Nova, players must set up their plans, work towards the team’s goal and adjust to any emerged problems when required. Wright made it very clear from the beginning, the team doesn’t need another game where the best strategy is simply to run around and attempt to take down everything in the way. Wright has his crews wanted to put more strategies and tactical features into Project Nova.“We’re not trying to make a game of Run-N-Gun,” Wright said.

Project Nova
A sneak peek of Project Nova.

Since Project Nova’s alpha build is still in its early development phase, there was not much going on and of course, being very unrefined as many would expect. But already, the foundation is solid enough to improve upon, take the shooting and general movement for example. The game’s director, Snorri Árnason, expressed a few times over the course of a few days that their team wants to build Nova alongside its community, instead of building it for the community. Speaking of the community and followers, EVE Vegas participants are likely to receive their Alpha invites within this month, according to CCP. Through the alpha stages, the publisher will be very much beneficial by collecting feedback from the community. These precious responses will help the game develop further and faster in the future, as well as to make better decisions for the game building.

At the same time, Dust 514 players should be checking their inbox for emails right now, since they can reclaim their names used in Dust 514 for Project Nova.

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