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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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scaine 23 August 2019 at 1:27 pm UTC
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There's a big difference between censorship and basic respect for fellow human beings. This issue is about the latter.
Solitary 23 August 2019 at 1:48 pm UTC
scaineThere's a big difference between censorship and basic respect for fellow human beings. This issue is about the latter.
Respect goes both ways. Bullying others, because they have different opinions is also problem. Those negative reviews are because of the censorship. Is that really solution you advocate?
Nezchan 23 August 2019 at 1:53 pm UTC
It does seem that fans of the game, outraged that trans people and others weren't pleased at the Discord comments have been dogpiling them with some pretty nasty stuff on social media. I did some looking around after this broke, and even people with mild "Oh, this nonsense again, I wish I didn't have to deal with this" reactions were getting accusations of censorship (and worse) and insults from scores of people.

Looking at Twitter right now, there seems to be far greater vitriol against the devs for apologizing, 3D Realms for not putting up with it, and especially trans people for not just shutting up and taking it in the first place. It's pretty nasty stuff, and honestly I don't recommend looking at it.

As to the game itself, I've only seen it played on Samsai's stream for a couple hours thus far, but it looks well crafted and a lot of fun if you're an FPS player. I especially like how colourful and varied the level designs are, a far cry from the brown, dull green, and gunmetal grey of a lot of shooters. The addition of things like fans to traverse areas adds even more dimension to the spaces, which is welcome.


Last edited by Nezchan on 23 August 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
rustybroomhandle 23 August 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
It is correct to be upset about bigots doing and saying bigoted things and about such things making it into the game. Changing it and apologizing is the correct move. It's not "censorship", it's the right thing to do.

That aside, the game is really good and gets a double thumbs up from me.
scaine 23 August 2019 at 2:23 pm UTC
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Solitary
scaineThere's a big difference between censorship and basic respect for fellow human beings. This issue is about the latter.
Respect goes both ways. Bullying others, because they have different opinions is also problem. Those negative reviews are because of the censorship. Is that really solution you advocate?

Both ways?? Their response isn't about respect at that point. That's consequences for a lack of respect for basic human rights. If I'm trans and you say I'm scum for being trans, you don't get to say "that trans scum doesn't respect me". Well, you can, but it won't carry any weight.

Review bombs have happened for lesser transgressions. But I don't support that, much less advocate for it. It's a problem Valve need to deal with.

Again, this isn't "censorship". This is simple empathy. An insulting, childish piece of shit has been removed from a game after a perfectly understandable outcry surfaced. Censorship? Jeez. Attacking trans people isn't a political statement anyone should defend under the banner of "censorship".
Comandante Ñoñardo 23 August 2019 at 2:28 pm UTC
I played the DEMO and I didn't see anything controversial in the game...
Is the typical retro FPS game....
ageres 23 August 2019 at 2:37 pm UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoI played the DEMO and I didn't see anything controversial in the game...
SJWs can find controversy in a brick wall.
Comandante Ñoñardo 23 August 2019 at 2:39 pm UTC
ageres
Comandante ÑoñardoI played the DEMO and I didn't see anything controversial in the game...
SJWs can find controversy in a brick wall.

I'm from Argentina, I don't know the meaning of the word SJW.
adamhm 23 August 2019 at 2:41 pm UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoI played the DEMO and I didn't see anything controversial in the game...
Is the typical retro FPS game....

The controversy is covered on Know Your Meme along with screenshots of the offending content/comments: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/ion-fury - personally I think people are way overreacting to it
officernice 23 August 2019 at 2:44 pm UTC
I refunded Ion Fury. This debacle was just the last drop because I really don't get the hype about the game. I was really excited about the game, I really was but what a disappointment it was. It came down to a couple of things that I first saw in reviews, which wanted to doubt but was so glaring when I got my hands on the game. Found myself running out of ammo pretty quick and having to look around for it so often it broke the flow which I have never experienced in any old school shooter. Big open spaces with hitscan enemies, having to reload all the time, oops I'm out of ammo. And throughout the entire game there won't really be any cool toys or gadgets like the old games of that engine had...
And the game runs like shit at times. I saw multiple people have the same problem where in some areas the game would stutter a bit and then hop back to 60 fps. It pales in comparison, not only, to the "holy trinity" of the Build engine games but also to DUSK which was an absolute schooling in how to do an old school FPS.

In terms of the controversy, I have no problem with the initial comment that "sparked" the so called outrage. Seems quite sensible to me. I am talking about the "yeah if you're trying to decide your child is trans at birth you have mental problems and probably shouldn't be a parent imo". And going through the forum of ResetEra doesn't change that for me. Branding people as "Nazis" and "Alt-Righters" because of course, that's naturally what people are if they disagree with you... This is about capitulating to a bunch of cry-bullies who feign victimhood who got their way. Again.

Now that we have seen this play out, I am kind of glad 3D Realms does not have the license to Duke Nukem. Imagine how that'd go...
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