“Fighting a constant and bitter battle with our own overblown egos.”
At a time where nostalgia as a selling point is exercised more regularly than actual gameplay, it’s only fair to revisit what they intend to invoke for the player. Sure, DUSK might be the best thing since bread that’s been sliced for you by a harem of women who think “No really, Anon, you have such a great taste in arthouse films”, but what about the inspirations, like Quake or Half–Life, or DOOM? You gotta find out what it was that made those games click, and in the case of Ion Fury, these sentiments seemed like an after-thought in the name of fanboys worldwide.
This is the sophomore title from American-based studio Voidpoint, along with the long-stagnant corpse of 3D Realms, and my oh my, hasn’t this game had the most riveting of journeys? From its first inception to a throwback that the boomer-shooter crowd would revel in eternally, it all started with a lawsuit from boomer-metal kingpins Iron Maiden due to Ion Fury’s previous name, Ion Maiden. Content for a while, the game saw further controversy for a rather unfunny, but nonetheless harmless, joke, which saw a flare of outrage from people accusing the studio of homophobia. It could’ve potentially sunk the studio, but the flame that burns twice as bright, so on and so forth.
You play as Shelly I-Never-Caught-Her-Last-Name, fresh off her pixie performance in the 2016 release Bombshell and catching up on some R ‘n’ R in her local cyberpunk bar. However, her vacation is quickly cut short by the intrusion of Dr. Heskel and his ragtag but limitless army of cyborg cultists. With a shattered glass and a triple-barrel revolver, Shelly plans to take down Heskel for ruining some well-deserved beauty sleep, with the added bonus of taking down Heskel’s newly-formed cyber cult.
If certain names and clues are simply bouncing off your receptors, then let it be declared here: Ion Fury is more than just a tribute to a bygone age of pseudo-3D FPS malarkey. It sees itself as more of a logical next step, with Ken Silverman’s Build engine being pushed to the limits. What 3D Realms, Monolith, and Action Forms did in the past falters in paralyzed awe at what Voidpoint can do with 20 years of hindsight. Move over, Randy Pitchford; the true rectifier of outdated game design is here!
Be aghast at the graphical qualities! Look at these textures! Valiant voxels! Oh yeah, this is a true testament to what ‘90s hardware can do and has to be the first thing that you unavoidably talk about when it comes to Ion Fury. What Voidpoint has done with the Build engine is a marvel, a technical achievement in and of itself, and you do have to drink it in. The first level is the ‘90s FPS equivalent of Citizen Kane, and it’s nothing but breathtaking to see what’s in store.
Despite having a lot in common with Duke Nukem 3D, first and foremost, Ion Fury still eyes the other two parts of the Build engine Tri-Force, starting with Shadow Warrior‘s tight combat design, …