Ion Fury is a cyberpunk-themed first-person shooter, developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms in 2019. It is a prequel to the 2016 game, Bombshell.
Ion Fury runs on a modified version of Ken Silverman‘s Build Engine and is the first original commercial game to use the Build Engine in twenty years.
In Ion Fury you play as Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb disposal expert and member of the Global Defence Force. Dr. Jadus Heskel, a “trans-humanist” cult leader, unleashes an army of cybernetically-enhanced soldiers upon the futuristic dystopian city of Neo D.C., which Shelly is tasked with fighting through. There are three separate episodes in the game, each with multiple levels. There are also bonus missions and cheats that can be accessed from the main menu, but there’s no multiplayer component.
The game is fast, frenetic and fun to play, but it isn’t brilliant. Firstly: climbing ladders is very clunky – especially going down them (you often just fall, taking unnecessary damage) and there are a few other minor movement issues and glitches too. Swimming is also clunky; rather than facing where you want to swim and pushing forward (like you do in most other modern shooters) you have to push up and down to swim up and down.
Ion Fury probably won’t appeal to those who prefer more modern shooters. The flat sprites, when viewed from certain angles, look ridiculous. The humour is puerile. Headshots are at least satisfying. Levels are complex and reasonably interesting and there are plenty of secrets to discover although I found that finding secret areas was often too difficult for the game’s own good.
The music is relatively generic electronic ‘muzak’ and didn’t do much for me. Graphically, Ion Fury is colourful and atmospheric – especially the lighting effects.
The GOG.com (no DRM) version doesn’t have achievements to unlock, which is a bit lame, but the Steam version does.
Overall Ion Fury is disappointing. I expected it to be better and although I bought it in a sale I still think I paid too much for it.
A new DLC, called Ion Fury: Aftershock, is due out some time in 2022.
Note: the game’s original title was Ion Maiden, but when the band Iron Maiden sued 3D Realms for trademark infringement they changed it.