Ion Fury – Review
Follow Genre: FPS, Arcade
Developer: Voidpoint, LLC
Publisher: 3D Realms
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Ion Fury – Review

Site Score
Good: Just like 1996, Graphics, Gameplay, Sound, Everything is just perfect
Bad: Missing the old days
User Score
(4 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Videogames and nostalgia are two things that go hand in hand, from the simpler times to the epic awesomeness of those fast-paced shooters. Games like Doom, Wolfenstein, and Duke Nukem 3D are gems that have a special place in one’s heart and collection. Developers these days try to play on the nostalgia of gamers by making titles look retro using all kinds of modern techniques and voxel art. This is where Ion Fury is a whole different game as this game looks like it has been made in the 90s but plays on modern computers. Take a seat and take note developers, 3D Realms launches their sick title that once was called Ion Maiden, but due to some popular band and a lawsuit, it is now called Ion Fury.


Like in true old-school fashion, you get the story by a separate screen in the main menu. This tells you about the current situation in the shithole Neo D.C., where you are Major Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, head of the unit at the GDF task force. Although you have only been working there for six months, you are already the highest in command, meaning that the turnover rate here is extremely high due to the severe violence that is happening in the city. Enforcing martial law upon the thugs and criminals isn’t always that easy, but with your trusty LOVERBOY, you will make those scum your bitch. There is no real story flow throughout the game, just going from level to level to finally reach your goal in the end. It’s not necessary for this kind of game to have a story that holds your hand as you will be busy with murdering hundreds of enemies anyway.


With nostalgia at an all-time high, many developers will try to play on your good memories of those old days by using modern techniques to make the games look retro. In response to those trends, developer 3D Realms said “hold my beer”, dusted off their old computers and made a game just like in the 90s. If you compare Ion Fury to any FPS title of those days, you would almost say that this game came out at the same time. Naturally, Ion Fury has a few more polished sides left and right but for the largest part, you will think that you have to run this game in MS-DOS. Animations are simple yet efficient. There is only love for the graphics as they not only look authentic but play fluently at a high frame rate.


Just like the graphics, the sound is as authentically created like its visuals. The game is filled with cheesy one-liners like there were in the Duke Nukem series that will put a smile on your face when mowing down hordes of enemies. Ok, it might not be as funny as Duke or Serious Sam, but it’s still greatly appreciated. The soundtrack of the game has been made in the FastTracker 2 format to ensure the midi goodness sounds like back in the day.


Ion Fury is a First Person Shooter in a retro jacket. With the genre becoming slower paced due to realism, sometimes all we really want is some high octane arcade shooting to release some steam. Back when games like Unreal Tournament and Quake were all the craze, it was normal to be running around maps, hosing down enemies with all the artillery you could get your hands on and leave one big bloody mess. Most developers will also try to bring us back to those days but in a fake sense. This means that while there are so many modern mechanics in place, it is mostly just the music and graphics that have been adjusted to call out on those good thoughts from when we were kids. Some might forget how it really was but when directly comparing Ion Fury to the old titles, it’s just like this game has been created by the craftsmanship of those days.

The game starts with you being under siege by an army of thugs and bandits, it’s not the regular crime like always, but this day they launched an all-out terrorist attack. When taking down the suspects in a ‘let those alien bastards pay for what they did to my ship’ fashion, a large smile will appear and you will laugh the second that Shelly starts blaring out cheesy one-liners. Like the female action hero she is, there will be many enemies that start out strong but will get compiled to a pile of blood and remains. Your opponents are in different classes and for that reason, you will find a wide range of weapons and ammo types scattered on the map. Curiosity was always rewarded in those old games, therefore when exploring all the hidden parts, you will find weapons of mass destruction way earlier than you should have or get a rare piece of armor to protect you from harm.

As there is a healthy amount of guns in the game, it feels that each one has its own purpose for selected scenarios. While ammunition is plentiful, it gets spent as fast as you can find it. Having to rely on your LOVERBOY isn’t that bad since it has a little trick up its sleeve. Those who know Red Dead Redemption will remember the deadeye move. Well, this revolver has a similar mechanic that allows you to lock on to one enemy and end him with two shots. Some might say that this is overpowered, but as this is Shelly’s most trusted sidearm, it’s only logical to have it possess such power.

During gunfights, you will eventually receive a hit or two and you won’t regenerate any health, so be on the lookout for medic kits and armor pieces. Remember it’s 1996 and health regeneration is for pussies! True to 90s gameplay, your character responds very quickly and smoothly while still having the twitchy and sliding movement of those days. Shooting enemies is pretty straightforward but firefights can end really quickly when being overpowered by a horde or simply when a surprise attack happens. The most noticeable new aspect is the instantaneous transitioning between levels, which is not like back in the days with a status screen in-between to hide the loading time.


Ion Fury is the game that we all want but don’t deserve. With true craftsmanship, every element of the game has been created like it would have been in the 90s. It’s almost as if the developers dusted off their old computers, booted up Windows 95 and started creating this gem. Everything is periodically correct from the graphics to the gameplay, to the sounds. It’s such a lovely title and thanks to its tried-and-true formula, it’s ensured that if you like the old games, you will love this one. If you can’t afford a Delorean to fly back to the past, get this game instead.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Ion Fury – Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

1 Comment

  1. | Anodyne 2: Return to Dust – Review
    August 21, 2019, 12:01 am

    […] to the better days and some developers excel in doing exactly that (look at 3D Realms with their Ion Fury), while others want to combine certain elements and create something truly unique. Anodyne 2: […]

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