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Ion Fury Review

*The Geek Getaway Received A Review Copy For This Game*

Ion Fury, Previously known as Ion Maiden, is a 2019 first-person 2.5d shooter video game developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms. It is a prequel to the 2016 video game Bombshell and it released on August 15th, 2019 on PC at a price of $24.99 through Steam and GOG. It is slated to be released on the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

You take on the role of the games female protagonist Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a sexy and witty bomb disposal expert who tasks herself with protecting Washington D.C. The city had a cybernetic army unleashed on it by an unrelenting Scientist named Professor Jadus Heskel. This is the same man that caused The Washington Incident in Bombshell which caused Shelly to lose her team. The game is very light on the story though and leans heavily on the bright aesthetic and the fast gameplay. The story plays out through an average of 10 hours featuring 4 difficulties ranging from Easy to Relentless.
You have a full arsenal of high powered weaponry featuring 8 playable unique weapons. Even though there are different categories such as melee weapons, ranged weapons, and explosives there is nothing unique about the weapons lineup. They all feel very generic to other games such as Duke Nukem and I was very disappointed to learn that there is no ultimate weapon. If there was an over the top weapon with minimum ammo, I feel it would have added to the experience immensely. I did enjoy the combat itself, it never felt clunky or slow. The movement in the game is VERY fast, I even think it could be slowed down just a bit, though it's a step in the right direction compared to the titles it draws inspiration from.

If you are looking for a unique, nostalgia filled title this may be your best bet. This game brings back the famous Build Engine, which was created by Ken Silverman for 3D Realms back in 1995. This is the same engine that powered many 90's hits such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Witchaven and many others. This games' connections to these titles is exactly why I was drawn to it. Ion Fury visually is phenomenal for the technology they are using. The color palette is flamboyant in a classic 80's fashion and throughout the campaign you will notice MANY subtle references to movies, music, literature and even the history of pop culture as we know it. I was especially excited when you step into Flynn's Arcade because I have, since I was a child, always loved the Tron franchise. It was also fascinating to see the 3D Realms titles such as Bio Menace and Blake Stone Aliens of Gold on the Arcade Machines. 
In terms of sound design, they nailed it! The weapons sound sharp, soda cans crack open crisply, and the MIDI rock and roll adds to the experience. Jarkko Rotsten is the composer and his expertise payed off as he did an amazing job at creating an evocative yet unique set of tracks. Valerie Arem, reprising her role from Bombshell, voices Shelly. Another fun Easter Egg in the game is that the voice actor of Dr. Jadus Heskel is none other then Jon St. John, the voice actor of Duke Nukem. The bits of voice acting that are in the game sound good and definitely fit with the characters. Nothing sounded out of place or bizarre which is something that tends to happen with neo-retro games.

There was only one glaring problem I had with the game and that was that it doesn't take the genre to another level. I think they played it too safe with the combat. It didn't introduce any unique aspects despite having a great opportunity to push boundaries. This is a game that is filled with intense action, nostalgia, and with 4 different difficulty levels, it has great replayability value.

Final Verdict: Recommended

"Hey! Does the game sound like something you might want to play? Well, you're in luck because we are giving away 1 free copy of Ion Fury on Steam. All you need to do is follow the official @TheGeekGetaway twitter account and retweet the Ion Fury giveaway tweet. Entries will be taken until 11:59PM of August 31th with a winner announced September 1st!"

*Vara Dark can be found on YouTube doing gaming live streams as well as talking about games. You can also find her on Twitter doing much of the same.

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