Back in the 90s before the days of High-Speed Internet, 3D Graphics Cards, and other gaming technologies that we take for granted was Duke Nukem 3D. The game was developed by Voidpoint, in association with 3D Realms and 1C Publishing on the Build Engine and became a big hit in large part to the action, character, and interactive features of the game which were fairly new at the time.

Other games such as Shadow Warrior and Blood followed which were powered by this technology but it soon became a thing of the past as games such as Quake set the new standards for graphics and online play and with the advent of 3D acceleration; pixelated graphics became a thing of the past.

What was once old is now new again as 3D Realms have returned with a new game called Ion Fury. While Duke and Shadow Warrior have spawned sequels and remakes using modern gaming features and graphics Ion Fury takes a step back by giving gamers the look, sound, and feel of a game from the 90s.

Playing as Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison; players must take on the evil Dr. Jadus Heskel and his army of Cyber-Cultists.

While the look of the game may be retro there are many features that were not possible back in the day such as auto saves, improved physics, headshots, and more; the game is a fast-paced and action-packed shooter that more than holds its own with any of the recent entries into the genre.

While I had played the preview mission about a year ago, the full game did take a bit of adjustment as some things simply do not play like a modern game would. There can be some clipping issues, and enemy A.I. can be erratic. But the awesome array of weapons from your Loverboy pistol to Shotguns, Machine Guns, Chain Guns, and Grenade Launchers are more than enough to cut enemies down to size. You will need this and more such as your Seeking Grenades and Mines as the game throws lots of enemies at you and as you progress they become more abundant, varied, and dangerous.

Ion Fury is filled with numerous secret areas and Pop Culture references from the lines your character says to all sorts of locales and situations that arise. There are also some clever call backs to earlier games as I noticed the Bloody Handprint from BLOOD, the Ying/Yang Symbol from Shadow Warrior, and Duke’s Atomic symbol at various times.

The game mixes indoor and outdoor locales well including an Academy, Subway, Mansion, and of course the secret lab filled with all sorts of evil experiments.

The game is also filled with several puzzles as well as a few very annoying times jumps that had me cursing at their difficulty on more than one occasion. There were also plenty of long levels where you had to find alternate ways into rooms to obtain Key Cards to unlock other areas and keep the action moving. There was a decent supply of health and Body Armor along the way and it never was unappreciated as enemies would either swarm or attack from hiding frequently.

As I played the game I moved past the nostalgia and became really focused on the story and the action. I was able to look past the older graphics and gameplay and remember just how fun this type of game was and how we would spend hours online playing games like this.

Sadly this is not an option in Ion Fury at the time as the game is missing a Multiplay segment. We had done an interview for the game over a year ago; and we were of the understanding that this would be a part of the final release but sadly it is not. I had hoped to relive some of classic Deathmatch games of old.

The game is affordable as it is set to sell at $19.99 and considering I have over 14 hours of gameplay to complete the game; it more than delivers and I did not even find all of the secret areas each level offers.

In the end if you are in the mood for some retro action; then Ion Fury is one that you will not want to miss.

4 stars out of 5

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