Ion Fury brings the build engine back and everything is bigger and better than ever before. Old-school style first-person shooters are on the rise again.
The goal of the game is to control a one-line spouting bad-ass chick through a series of intricate levels filled to the brim with secrets, enemies, and things going boom. Ion Fury expects me to figure out pretty much everything on my own and there is no automatic health recovery and practically no hand-holding.
Then again the game setup is simple. I move, I aim and I squeeze the trigger and sometimes I have to jump over various objects or crawl under. Ion Fury is a labyrinth, where the way forwards can be quite hard to see, where I have to hunt for keys and backtrack a lot. If this deters you from playing a game, then this is not the title for you.
The huge sprawling levels look very good and have a lot of details all over and are clearly designed to look like a real location, where actual people used to live before the mad scientist turned everyone into murder cyborgs to take over the world. Yes, the game is very, very cheese, and being a spiritual successor to Duke Nukem it brings a lot of fun to the table.
Naturally, this means I can punt the heads of dead enemies around like a football, they die in a pool of blood and viscera and scream out in pain when dying. The level themselves might be 3d, but the enemies themselves are 2d sprites walking around doing their best to inflict pain on me the player. Needless to say, the graphical presentation is top-notch, unless you loathe pixels.
The sound quality in Ion Fury however is a mixed bag to me for sure.
The music is very good, extremely well-fitting, and sounds fantastic and it can be bought separately from the game That however can not be said for the very boring sounding muffled, and repetitive enemy voice lines.
Enemies sound terrible and could use a lot more over-the-top voices. One of the fun things about both Doom and Blood is how bloody satisfying the interaction with enemies is. Being the kind of game this is there is no shortage of profanity and innuendo.
Due to the nature of the build engine itself, collisions in Ion Fury can and will be a bit wonky at the best of times, some enemies have an uncanny ability to hit me regardless of how swiftly I move. This also makes the few bosses that exist in the game a real pain to deal with. Especially on the higher difficulty levels. Also do not trust explosives to actually hit everything in range, those hitboxes are weird.
Despite the number of weapons, I can lug around, I’m always irritated by how low the ammo cap is. The AI is also very primitive, but that is to be expected, sure the enemies move around and speak a lot of lines over and over, they’re not very bright, yet very dangerous.
For anyone aiming to farm achievements, this is not the game for you. Sure there are a lot of them and the huge levels have a plethora of secrets and hidden places, but they are very hard to find and can be anywhere.
However Ion Fury has the common courtesy of warning when I’m about to exit the current level and how many secrets I have left to find, so the signposting is more than welcome in that regard. Unlike the games of yore, each level is clearly connected by a loading screen, instead of each place being a separate entity with an end screen.
I had the unfortunate experience of having the game crash on me at least two points, however, due to the nature of the engine a restart is very fast, and save scumming is a valid strategy. On top of that, there is a level and episode selection as well, so progress is never completely lost. On the topic of not finding the right direction to go, personally, I had only some minor issues finding my way about the levels, but each place Is unique and crafted in a way that makes logical sense to me at least.
Since Ion Fury is a first-person shooter, their heroine is packing quite the arsenal of deadly weapons that feels very satisfying to use and very distinct from each other. Combine this with an alternate fire and at least I had tons of fun.
The fact that enemies are not bullet sponges helps a lot. The only thing difficulty settings seem to add to the experience is how accurate enemies are and how much damage they dish out and their movement speed. A chest shot with the basic revolver kills basic baddies in two shots regardless.
Ion Fury is sold on Steam, The Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and even Play Station 4 along with the soundtrack.
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