The main floor of a gaming convention like PAX East is always a bit chaotic with everyone trying to catch your attention and lure you into a demo and hopefully a purchase. There are huge video screens, massive dioramas, banners multiple stories tall and sounds blasting at you from every direction. In the midst of all this wonderful chaos, I was drawn to a smaller booth that had some of the most beautiful artwork I saw all weekend—and an amazing soundtrack to match. That booth belonged to the massively multiplayer science fiction RTS called Novus Aeterno.
Novus Aeterno, designed by Taitale Studios, takes you into space in a way that other MMOs have neglected. Sure, there’s Star Wars: The Old Republic which is science fiction, but it happens on the ground with you playing a character on a planet as you complete predefined missions. Space battles are optional and are very much on rails. EVE Online focuses on space ships, but only one ship at a time. Not so with Novus Aeterno which focuses on fleet battles. You are the commander on a capital ship and it’s your job to create a fleet and maintain control of planets within your empire. Players familiar with games like Homeworld and Sins of a Solar Empire will immediately be at home with this MMO.
You design your ships starting with a selection of hulls and then adding weapons, armor and even cargo bays in order to optimize the fleet. Once your fleet is finished you find yourself dropped off in the middle of the galaxy with just a core planet and your neighbors. The entire game is hosted on one server, so everyone is able to interact with everyone else in what the designers hope will be one of the few truly persistent worlds that continues even after you’ve logged off.