Ion Fury is not a lot a blast from the previous as a gunshot straight by way of it, carving its method alongside time’s back-alley and punching a gap in historical past’s cranium. Coming at you from the enterprise finish of 1996, Ion Fury is a model new 2.5d shooter printed by 3D Realms,(the publishers of Duke Nukem 3D) and created within the Build Engine (the engine used to design Duke Nukem 3D).
Ion Fury assessment
- Developer: Voidpoint
- Publisher: 3D Realms
- Availability: Out August 15th on PC and Mac, coming to PS4, Switch and Xbox One later this 12 months
Let’s cease for a second and take that in. For a fan of traditional shooters, that is like discovering out John Romero has created a fifth episode to the unique Doom. Oh wait, that occurred as nicely. Somebody pinch me, I should be asleep.
In fact, I have been dwelling in FPS dream-world for the perfect a part of a 12 months. The final 9 months have seen the beginning of two knockout retro shooters – the magnificent Dusk and the scintillating Amid Evil. Ion Fury, nonetheless, is the primary one to come back at me toting not only a shotgun however pedigree as nicely. Ion Fury is right here to remind us what it was prefer to kick ass and never chew bubblegum, within the days earlier than Duke fell without end into decline.
Ion Fury’s premise is usually slight. Players assume the function of Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb-disposal skilled on a one-woman quest to rid Neo D.C of the evil Dr Heskel and his cybernetic military. This is not Shelly’s first rodeo as a online game protagonist – Ion Fury is technically a prequel to the mediocre top-down shooter Bombshell. You do not actually need to learn about it. I am simply getting forward of the feedback.
Anyway, that is all of the story Ion Fury must knock collectively 8-10 hours of relentless, bloody, synth-buzzing motion. What makes Ion Fury so fascinating, nonetheless is its distinctive mix of know-how and aesthetic. Or ought to that be know-how as aesthetic? See, Ion Fury is not only a shooter created within the Build Engine, it is an ode to that tiny transitional slice of gaming historical past when shooters have been neither 3D nor 2D.
The developer, Voidpoint Interactive, is assembled from veteran Build Engine modders, whose designers and artists have used each trick within the e book to supply among the finest and most distinctive-looking video games this 12 months. Far from being a darkish and dingy assemblage of corridors, Neo D.C. is a smoky, neon-drenched cityscape bursting with color and element. Its towering skyscrapers are fronted by glittering animated billboards whereas needle-like searchlights pierce the cloudy sky past. Up shut, you possibly can see the painstaking pixel-work in each enemy, weapon, and surroundings texture. I am particularly keen on Ion Fury’s use of color as lighting, splashing of purple and orange textures throughout the bottom that “illuminate” enemies who step onto them.
It’s a unbelievable use of decades-old tech, taking what was in 1996 a necessity and elevating it into a method. But Ion Fury is way over a creative curiosity – it is a formidable FPS in its personal proper. Across the sport’s size you will decide up a complete of 9 weapons, ranging out of your trusty ‘Loverboy’ revolver to the ferociously highly effective chaingun. My private favorite is the Disperser. Its default mode fires a compacted cluster of shotgun pellets that makes a noise just like the satan slamming a door in Hell. Later on, these shotgun shells could be switched out for bouncing grenades that flip any close by adversary right into a scarlet puddle.
Crucially, all weapons stay helpful all through the sport’s size, and in reality evolve of their usefulness as you encounter new forms of enemies. All opponents in Ion Fury are merchandise of Dr. Heskel’s good, evil thoughts, from the usual grunts who conceal their robotic types beneath a tan shroud, to the horrific scuttling headspiders which leap from the bottom to chew at your face. As you progress deeper into the sport, you will do battle with large, rocket-spitting mechs and skinless superhumans who’ve a nasty tendency to show invisible after which reappear proper in entrance of you.
All of this comes collectively to type a ferociously succesful first-person shooters. The tempo is breakneck, the extent design advanced, and the soundtrack an electrifying neo-noir pulse. But if you happen to can convey your self to face nonetheless for a second, you will discover that Ion Fury can also be a surprisingly literate shooter, filled with references to motion movies and different first-person shooters. Its fizzing neon world is influenced by movies starting from The Terminator to Judge Dredd. Game-wise, there is a robust emphasis on interactive environments, an enormous focus of Duke 3D. There’s even a satisfying nod to Quake within the type of flesh-throwing zombies that prefer to ambush you from waist-deep water.
Unfortunately, whereas Ion Fury is clearly educated about FPS historical past, it does not deploy this data in any significant vogue. This is most evident within the character of Shelly herself. Like Duke, she’s primarily a grab-bag of quotes from motion movies just like the Matrix and Die-Hard, alongside the occasional witless insult. Not solely do these quips turn into tiresome method earlier than the end line, I additionally really feel prefer it’s a missed alternative. With the exception of No One Lives Forever’s Cate Archer, good feminine shooter protagonists are few and much between. There was an opportunity right here to do greater than merely learn historical past again to us, but in addition to replicate on it, and even perhaps write-in what was missed the primary time round. Sadly, Voidpoint accept “Duke however feminine”, which is ok, however not that attention-grabbing.
This subject can also be current on the recreation’s broader scale. Ion Fury is an outstanding embodiment of first-person shooter conference, however not like Dusk and Amid Evil, it hardly ever makes an attempt to problem or evolve upon these conventions. If something, Ion Fury turns into much less formidable because it goes alongside, beginning out in that remarkably designed cityscape earlier than descending right into a extra typical tour of first-person shooter areas. There’s your prepare degree, your sewer degree, your secret lab degree. They’re all nicely designed – I notably loved the creepy mansion degree that pays its dues to Monolith’s Blood – however they nonetheless really feel like locations I’ve explored earlier than.
Ion Fury could not elevate the first-person shooter to new heights, however in its defence that was by no means the aim. It simply so occurs to have launched at a time when different nostalgic first-person shooters have additionally pushed the style ahead in methods we could not have anticipated. Regardless, Voidpoint’s personal work stays a completely entertaining first-person shooter, and the way in which it pulls the Build Engine up by its bootstraps makes it well worth the value of entry alone.