About Ion Fury
- Developer: Voidpoint
- Publisher: 3D Realms
- Platforms: PC
- Release Date: August 15th, 2019
- Price: $24.99
- Review Code Provided: Yes, by Voidpoint
- Reviewed On: PC
Ion Fury is the first commercial game to use it’s engine in about 20 years. Running a modified version of the build engine, this game feels like a shooter out of the 90’s, running on modern day hardware. Combine that with the help from 3D Realms and you get a great game that feels like a true successor to Duke Nukem 3D.
In Ion Fury you play as Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, the leader of the GDF’s Domestic Task Force. It’s been six months since you’ve assumed the position and now evil trans humanist mastermind Dr. Jadus Heskel has unleashed the members of his cybernetic cult onto Neo DC and it’s up to you to stop him. Now while the premise is simple it does what it needs to so the player can get straight into the action. It works as a way of guiding you from level to level as you blast through cybernetic cult members. Bombshell is a great protagonist filled with character. She has a variety of quips she’ll say in certain situations and when idle for a while, she’ll start doing things to pass the time. Even though she is a one note character that doesn’t mean she’s not fun to play as and that’s all that matters. The villain Heskel is voiced by Jon St. John (the titular voice of Duke Nukem) and he does a great job. He delivers so many one liners perfectly and it’s honestly a delight to hear him every time he speaks. Well that’s enough of the story and characters, let’s get to what’s really important.
Ion Fury is a blast to play. From it’s weapon variety, to it’s level design, this game is just fun to play. The game play feels like an evolution of shooters from the 90’s but with some modern caveats. Head shots are a thing and may I add they feel great to land. There are also more physics and interactivity then you would expect in a game like this. Not to mention just simple quality of life improvements like widescreen support and auto saves. But what’s most important is that core game play and let me tell you, it feels so good to play this game. The level design is so open that you can play this game how you want. Do you wanna go in guns blazing, going for every head shot you can, or do you just wanna blow everything up cause you can. All the weapons feel great as well, from the gun you start off with, to heavy hitter you get later like the chain gun. Not to mention every gun has it’s own different strengths. There is no zoom in with this game, instead holding down the right mouse button will do something with your specific weapon. Do you want a guaranteed shot then use the Loverboy, do you want a never ending barrage of arrows then the crossbow is for you. Each weapon feels great and no matter how you tackle the levels you’re gonna have fun.
The levels compliment the game play very well. They are so open and interconnected that each one feels like its own little world. The levels feel so alive and part of that is the amazing pixel art. All the textures are hand crafted and feel so alive. Everything is a level is it’s own thing and not just part of the background. It makes it all feel so good to walk around it and play. One downside I found to the level design is it can get a bit too open. This game is far from linear in it’s level design at moment and normally I really like that, but sometime it felt like there was no real structure. You really need to pay attention to everything in this game cause it isn’t hard to get lost when you reach a point where you have to backtrack. Not to mention sometimes you’ll take a wrong turn and end up not knowing what you have to do next. As much fun as I had exploring the levels I will admit I got lost more times than I would’ve like too. I will say I didn’t mind getting lost too many times because the music is great. The soundtrack in this game is so much fun to listen to and I’ll probably download it so I can listen to it everywhere. The sound design is great too. All the guns and environments sound great, making this game feel more fun to play.
At the end of the day Ion Fury is a not only a love letter to shooter of the 90’s, but a successor to them as well. If you love games like Duke Nukem 3D and Blood then I’d recommend giving Ion Fury a shot. From it’s great game play and levels, there is a lot to enjoy in this game. So get some Surge, listen to some Pearl Jam, rent Pulp Fiction, and enjoy this send off to the 90’s.