Ion Fury — An Old-School First-Person Shooter

Brace yourselves for a game that is not only a first-person shooter with a theme from the ‘90s, but it also runs on an engine that is almost 25 years old. Ion Fury makes its way to Xbox One, which was initially released for PC last year, and after a year of restless wait, Voidpoint has brought the old-school shooter to the consoles.

The game will spawn you in the shoes of Shelly Harrison, who happens to be an operative at Global Defensive Force. The antagonists that you will have to fight will be cyborgs, but where did they originate? The mastermind behind these cyborgs is Dr Jadus Heskel, creating mischief from somewhere underground. Getting to him is the only way to save the city of Neo DC. But getting to him is not that easy, and the game will have you crying for mercy through 7 chapters and 30 levels.

Not going to lie, the game did me dirty even on the most basic difficulty. This is partly because every passing second you are being stormed by cyborgs. Dying and respawning becomes more of a weekend hobby as you proceed through the game. AI cuts you a little slack with some of the cyborgs who are easier to defeat. Anyways, hold your horses for the cyborgs that are more difficult to defeat as they will be hidden in a way that you can’t spot them unless they decide to take you down. This makes an already difficult game even more difficult to play. However, once you spawn again, those cyborgs will be at the exact same location where you left them and you can take them out pretty easy the second time around.

The game provides you with a wide range of deadly weapons, beginning with your trusty pistol as you take your footings into the city. Other weapons are all classic weapons you would have experienced in other first-person shooter games, and you will be able to pick them up as you proceed through the levels. There are SMGs and shotguns, but the ion bow has my respect. Ion bow is used to take down enemies at a distance by electrifying them so you can have the satisfaction of watching your enemies go down a painful grave. However, to my disappointment, the game did not have any weapon wheel for the console version. This made the gameplay even more difficult and dangerous as I stood there with a horde of enemies approaching me trying to switch to the perfect weapon.

Weapons are not the only arsenal that you would be picking up throughout the game. This is where the developers have brought in the old school elements. You will have to be on a lookout for health packs and armors since they will not heal on their own. This becomes a problem when you have a quarter of a health remaining and the game decides to put you up against a boss. The boss fights are often preceded by some regular fights with other cyborgs, hence recovering health is a very crucial aspect of the game.

Moving towards the boss fight, there is no particular trend in the difficulty as you level up through the chapters. The moves of the first boss I faced were entirely unpredictable throughout the entire duration of the battle, however, the bosses I had to fight later on were comparatively predictable and easier to defeat.

Well, I get that the purpose of the game is to trigger nostalgia for the battles from the nineties and it is running on an engine that used to run Duke Nukem 3D back in the old days. But what I don’t understand is the number of glitches the game has. Even when compared to the PC version of the game, the one that made it to Xbox One had more glitches. This makes the gameplay pretty annoying if it doesn’t add on to a useless difficulty. You will often find yourself staring at the console main screen after attempting to save your life by jumping into a swimming pool. If you make it past that, you will definitely experience your camera angles going nut after you try and take down a horde of enemies with a big burst of an SMG. Given that the game doesn’t crash, you will come across several moments where you would try and aim down a cyborg only to watch it run through a wall and disappear.

The graphics of the game were not meant to compete with all the modern era games, but there are a few graphic-based limitations to the game. for instance, you cannot differentiate between a locked door and an unlocked, accessible door. Hence, keep a keen eye for that one so you don’t have to reach out for ice later on.

Even the gameplay is a bit vague and confusing. As you proceed through corridors picking up cards and keys that will help you through locked doors, you will often find yourself stranded and taking backsteps to make sure that you are following the right path. This drags on the game unnecessarily.

Shooting down cyborgs, walking through dark corridors, running through neon-lit alleys, and fighting the boss battles is all that there is to the game. Even with such an old engine, the developers have done a pretty good job with the graphics. They are not the selling point of the game, but they aren’t out of whack either. Talking of the guns, that happens to be the most important aspect of the game, there are games that are running on similar engines with far better shooting mechanics. Still, had it not been for all the glitches it had; I would have been drooling all over this game!

If you have a soft spot for classic shooting games and a gameplay from the nineties, and all of that topped by a nostalgic storyline, then head over to the stores to get your copy of the game. However, if you happen to have a PC lying around, I might suggest getting a PC version of the game, since it has far minimal glitches that the recent console version.

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