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Some more thoughts on Ion Fury, the FPS from Voidpoint and 3D Realms

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Ion Fury (previously Ion Maiden) is true example of how you really don’t need to push graphics ever closer to realism to achieve something ridiculously good.

Developed by Voidpoint and 3D Realms, using the Build game engine which powered some other classics like Duke Nukem 3D, Blood and Shadow Warrior it released recently with same-day Linux support showing others how it’s done. While it’s retro in many ways, there is of course a vast amount of modern touches like improved physics and map interactions, auto-saves, being able to actually do a headshot, higher resolution support and so on.

Here’s the thing, I grew up with games like Duke and I’ve seen gaming progress from the Amiga to where we are now. There came a point, where I grew massively tired of retro-inspired flashbacks and in some ways I am still tired of it. However, Ion Fury is a very different sort of brew. The best thing about Ion Fury is that it might seem like other classics but it has a different and refreshing feel to it.

Much like the inspirations it’s fast, in your face loud and explosive and a ride that just doesn’t stop at any moment to let you get off. Rushing through it probably isn’t a great idea though, Ion Fury does reward those who do a little exploration with more health, ammo, armour and some fun little secrets.

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The trouble is, while I just mentioned not to rush, it's damn hard not to just run around blasting everything in sight.

Each weapon feels like it actually has a purpose, unlike some shooters where you just constantly look for ammo for one particular piece. Get in close with the shotgun and do some serious in your face damage for a brute that requires it, use Loverboy’s alternative fire when faced with those pesky jumping spider-faces or toss a couple of grenades when you get them to group up to create a hilarious meat grinder. I'm completely torn on what weapon is my favourite! Although the double SMG is quite satisfying, especially when it sets enemies on fire.

It honestly has some of the most satisfying run and gun action I’ve seen for a long time. Despite the retro look, the weapons really do feel amazing. There's also some fantastic music, some amusing one-liners although they don't always work and enemies that will keep you on your toes.

As far as I am concerned, the game is fantastic. It’s so ridiculously entertaining it’s crazy. For a throwback, it's close to perfection in my eyes. If you’re a fan of first-person shooters, you need this. If we can get more developers making games like this again on Linux, I will be extremely happy.

What's really missing though is multiplayer, it would have been an incredibly fun addition to the game. It's planned but they're not giving out dates on when we can expect it to arrive.

You can pick it up on GOG and Steam.


However, it’s pretty unfortunate that I have to mention this and I feel I need to so you’re fully informed: Voidpoint have been embroiled in some controversy recently, after ResetEra dug up some old statements members of their team made in Discord, plus an issue in the game itself. I was sent the statement Voidpoint made, which I will quote in full below:

"Members of Voidpoint’s Ion Fury team have made sexist and transphobic comments, and included homophobic language in Ion Fury.

We recognize these statements are insensitive, unacceptable, and counterproductive to causes of equality. We unequivocally apologize both for these comments and language as well as for any pain they have caused the gaming community, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ community. We take full responsibility for any damage that has been done to the relationships we've worked so hard to build.

Moving forward, we at Voidpoint will institute a zero-tolerance policy for this type of language and all employees and contractors will undergo mandatory sensitivity training. As part of our efforts to contribute to the work that must be done to further support these communities, we are donating $10,000 from Ion Fury's release day proceeds to The Trevor Project. We are also patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language."

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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73 comments
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robvv 23 August 2019 at 12:26 pm UTC
QuoteWe are also patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language.

I've played through the EA release, though I haven't yet fired up the completed game. Makes me wonder what the above statement refers to as I wasn't aware of any particularly insensitive language within the game?
sub 23 August 2019 at 12:35 pm UTC
I had even more fun with Ion Fury than I had with Duke Nukem more than 20 years ago. #TrueStory

The AI, despite maybe arguing that this is part of the retro experience, could have been a tiny bit more clever.
Enemies not dodging at all and not opening doors is ... well.
Why not providing at least an optional AI profile?

I hope sales do not suffer from the review bombing on Steam.
Guess it won't. Maybe it even helps.
Do we have some sales stats over time?
heidi.wenger 23 August 2019 at 12:36 pm UTC
robvv
QuoteWe are also patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language.

I've played through the EA release, though I haven't yet fired up the completed game. Makes me wonder what the above statement refers to as I wasn't aware of any particularly insensitive language within the game?

Problem is, if you take that route the devs now seem to have taken, someone will always be offended of something. It could be anything. No matter how small of a thing it would seem to me and you.

There are also those pretty much pretending to be offended on this and that and ruin the atmosphere where ever it takes place ...
McMarius11 23 August 2019 at 12:40 pm UTC
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@robvv
a girl on twitter put the puzzle pieces together "https://twitter.com/SophNar0747/status/1164306204102995969"
then you will understand more.

i love the game very much but it's sad to see that 3DRealms are forcing the devs to not express their opinion about anything not game related.
and censoring some stuff to not offend anyone and this is very sad.
sub 23 August 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
heidi.wenger
robvv
QuoteWe are also patching Ion Fury ASAP to remove all unacceptable language.

I've played through the EA release, though I haven't yet fired up the completed game. Makes me wonder what the above statement refers to as I wasn't aware of any particularly insensitive language within the game?

Problem is, if you take that route the devs now seem to have taken, someone will always be offended of something. It could be anything. No matter how small of a thing it would seem to me and you.

There are also those pretty much pretending to be offended on this and that and ruin the atmosphere where ever it takes place ...

If I got it right, the current review bombing is from people that do not accept that VoidPoint appologized and donated money to The Trevor project and not (at least not many) that felt offended by the content. (?)
DaiKaiser93 23 August 2019 at 12:42 pm UTC
Crap, we can't have nothing nice because of a couple of oversensitive twitter fks. As someone who bought it as soon as the EA released on GOG this breaks my heart.
Liam Dawe 23 August 2019 at 12:56 pm UTC
Since this will be quite a hot topic, please keep our rules in mind about respecting others. I don't wish to have to remove any or lock the comments if people go over the top
Hamish 23 August 2019 at 1:02 pm UTC
subIf I got it right, the current review bombing is from people that do not accept that VoidPoint appologized and donated money to The Trevor project and not (at least not many) that felt offended by the content. (?)
A casual glance suggests it is mostly people upset that they apologized at all. If anyone seems quick to take offence at the expense of the developers, it is them.

May cooler heads prevail in this.


Last edited by Hamish on 23 August 2019 at 1:02 pm UTC
scaine 23 August 2019 at 1:05 pm UTC
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DaiKaiser93Crap, we can't have nothing nice because of a couple of oversensitive twitter fks. As someone who bought it as soon as the EA released on GOG this breaks my heart.

First of all, no-one is taking the game off the market as a result of a single dev's transphobic remarks. Jesus. Where you getting that line from? Are you enjoying the game less now, or something? Do you regret your purchase in light of the fact that one of the dev's attack trans people? Doesn't sound like it.

If you don't care about this, fine. No need to comment. Move on. Enjoy the game. Honestly, I'd like you to care somewhat, but there it is. You don't, and I only have so much energy to engage.

On the flip side, if you feel outraged about this - also fine. But please go research the remarks Terminx made. In my opinion, they're not great remarks, but they're also not quite "burn at the stake" remarks either. Trans people might feel otherwise, because those remarks are yet another example of a (reasonably) public figure making public remarks which demean their very existence. But it's one persons uninformed, poorly worded view on discord - a forum which itself encourages quick fire, throw away views, due to the fact that it's instant-messaging. Maybe there's room for this guy to develop a little bit of empathy. Maybe.

Sadly, I feel that 3D Realms' apology is meaningless. It reads as simple damage limitation around an ignorant dev incapable of acting like an adult on their own discord. Terminx hasn't apologised to my knowledge, so buying this game now, armed with the knowledge that one of the contributors made transphobic remarks? You make your own statement.

But make it your own. Don't just buy into the headlines. As a side note, as someone who has seen this behaviour many times on Twitter, IRC and various forums, I'll be clear - anyone who calls this a lame "SJW" issue instantly pigeon-holes themselves, in my mind, as someone with such a juvenile worldview, such people aren't even worth debating with. I love a debate, me. But sometimes it's not a debate at all.
adamhm 23 August 2019 at 1:21 pm UTC
Know Your Meme also has a page up about the controversy and has screenshots of the allegedly "transphobic"/"homophobic" comments and ingame text that a few people started the shitstorm over: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/ion-fury

Anyway, drama aside it's a good game from what I've played so far. Also worth noting that this isn't merely a case of using low-res/pixellated graphics; it actually uses a retro game engine - the same engine used by Duke Nukem 3D, albeit a heavily updated version... you can even use eDuke32 with it
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