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Dated cyberpunk action RPG
The cool part of the game is in the story and setting. Back in the early 90s most RPGs were set in Forgotten Realms like settings, as fantasy settings were king! But no, Hard Nova doesn't want to go down that road, it tries something different. It offers the player an alien infested world, slaps a side kick to spike up the game with intense action portions and then serves a rather interesting but not too diverse story. By today's standards, of course, the story would feel rather like a sketch, but back in the day it must have been something rather compelling. At any rate, the game plays nicely; it has ok graphics, within the bounds of a 256 color palette scheme. So, if you want to experience an ok RPG with shooting sequences for a change of pace and style, Hard Nova sure has what it takes. Don't expect, however, a too intense or moving experience, though there's nothing in the game that's particularly flawed. But the game is simply just dated, as it is the kind of game that just doesn't age that well.
Linear role playing game
Hard Nova is still as good as it gets in 1990. It is a linear story RPG that has you recruiting other mercenaries and killing for hire in the various planets of the four systems that are tied together with stargates. By today standards the graphics are poor, but it is still playable and funny. The game combined a RPG game with a shoot em up arcade action as a byplay activity (shooting down Ariel fighters while smuggling for money or later in the game shooting down Typhons). If you like cyberpunk fiction, and can deal with a 20 year old game interface then you will really enjoy it. Non spoiler hint: you will find some armour/weapons on the abandoned bases on the same planet as you mercenary base.