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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."

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73 comments
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Samsai 23 August 2019 at 10:56 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP
SamsaiNo, those two things are not necessarily anti-trans ("fagbag" probably still isn't nice though), but the whole anti-trans stuff happened on the Discord chat, not in in-game textures.
So what?
If people don't like what a developer has to say in their free time or don't agree with their opinion, they are free to not support this developer. I sure don't buy games from developers who I do not want to support.

But what happened here was the typical Twitter hatemob forming, demanding blood. And - even worse - the publisher/developer actually listened to that mob instead of listening to the people who bought their game and supported them.
It's quite a miracle no dev got fired over this as a pawn sacrifice - yet.

I mean, yeah, people can decide they don't want to support a developer because of their views. That's what happened, people decided they didn't want to support the game because of the comments some of the developers made, they just also happened to share with other people why they decided not to support the developers. All the things you've said here can easily be applied to the hatemob that formed when VoidPoint decided to apologize.

Also, you seem to be operating under the assumption that the people who expressed disappointment in the devs were some kind of outsiders who should be totally ignored when it comes to any complaints they might have. I was disappointed in how they handled things and I've owned a copy of Ion Fury pretty much since they released a Linux version in Early Access. Plenty of the people participating in the so-called hatemob had bought copies or at least had been considering buying it.
Purple Library Guy 23 August 2019 at 10:57 pm UTC
BenYou can cut that "sexism" bullshit out of the article. The devs were set up and 3DR went fully bonkers about it!
More informations about this topic can be found here: https://twitter.com/SophNar0747/status/1164306204102995969

That said: Ion Fury is the perfect retro shooter! Love it to death and can't wait for workshop/mod support
Technically, if the claims in what you link are true, that doesn't make it a "set up". Nasty behaviour to be sure, but straight up what that describes is:
--A dev or devs from Ion Fury said some fucked up things in public
--Someone who wanted to mess with them went and dug up those things and publicized them
--People reacted to what they saw in the publicity, which was not particularly inaccurate
--A corporation reacted to the publicity in ways that reflect corporate priorities around reducing bad publicity and liability; these ways are on the heavy-handed side and probably counterproductive with respect to a certain segment of the US market.

A set up is where you arrange a situation; so like for something like this a set up would be if someone led the conversation around to prompt someone to say something that would look bad out of context, and then publicized the result. But nobody did, they just found and pushed the things somebody said all by themselves that looked bad because they were bad. And, well, that was malicious and brings us to the general problem of "Just how much should someone be vulnerable to the stupid shit they put on their Facebook or whatever?"
But for the moment, that's life in the big city. Don't say stupid obnoxious shit in public or it will be held against you.

The ironic part here is that, again, if your link is true this is a story of anti-SJW types screwing over other anti-SJW types (the developer/s) by exposing them, and still other anti-SJW types screwing over the anti-SJW developers by boycotting them for, um, doing the bidding of their corporate bosses like any sane person in this society would. And they're all blaming people who aren't transphobic for it. Hey, looks like y'all did this to yourselves.
Nezchan 24 August 2019 at 1:18 am UTC
Samsai
TheSHEEEP
SamsaiNo, those two things are not necessarily anti-trans ("fagbag" probably still isn't nice though), but the whole anti-trans stuff happened on the Discord chat, not in in-game textures.
So what?
If people don't like what a developer has to say in their free time or don't agree with their opinion, they are free to not support this developer. I sure don't buy games from developers who I do not want to support.

But what happened here was the typical Twitter hatemob forming, demanding blood. And - even worse - the publisher/developer actually listened to that mob instead of listening to the people who bought their game and supported them.
It's quite a miracle no dev got fired over this as a pawn sacrifice - yet.

I mean, yeah, people can decide they don't want to support a developer because of their views. That's what happened, people decided they didn't want to support the game because of the comments some of the developers made, they just also happened to share with other people why they decided not to support the developers. All the things you've said here can easily be applied to the hatemob that formed when VoidPoint decided to apologize.

Also, you seem to be operating under the assumption that the people who expressed disappointment in the devs were some kind of outsiders who should be totally ignored when it comes to any complaints they might have. I was disappointed in how they handled things and I've owned a copy of Ion Fury pretty much since they released a Linux version in Early Access. Plenty of the people participating in the so-called hatemob had bought copies or at least had been considering buying it.

Indeed, a lot of the people criticizing the dev also bought the game the day it became available in Early Access, and have been streaming and promoting it the same way you have. That actually played a role in many of the posts I saw on the subject prior to the statements from the dev and publisher -- regret that they had been so excited about the game and then found a turd in the punchbowl again *heavy sigh* and comemnts about not having nice things.

These are gamers just as much as the (misguided in my opinion) defenders of the game's honour are gamers. There aren't two groups in that sense, most of the people involved have either been fans of the game for a while, or people who had been eagerly awaiting the full release. To claim this is some non-gaming "SJW" group versus "true" gamers is misprepresenting the situation quite badly.


Last edited by Nezchan at 24 August 2019 at 1:19 am UTC
Cestarian 24 August 2019 at 6:16 am UTC
Wtf is with that last shit? Why are they apologizing for doing nothing wrong? The crybabies complaining about this kind of shit are best left ignored, and every professional should know that.
TheSHEEEP 24 August 2019 at 7:01 am UTC
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Samsai
TheSHEEEP
SamsaiNo, those two things are not necessarily anti-trans ("fagbag" probably still isn't nice though), but the whole anti-trans stuff happened on the Discord chat, not in in-game textures.
So what?
If people don't like what a developer has to say in their free time or don't agree with their opinion, they are free to not support this developer. I sure don't buy games from developers who I do not want to support.

But what happened here was the typical Twitter hatemob forming, demanding blood. And - even worse - the publisher/developer actually listened to that mob instead of listening to the people who bought their game and supported them.
It's quite a miracle no dev got fired over this as a pawn sacrifice - yet.

I mean, yeah, people can decide they don't want to support a developer because of their views. That's what happened, people decided they didn't want to support the game because of the comments some of the developers made, they just also happened to share with other people why they decided not to support the developers. All the things you've said here can easily be applied to the hatemob that formed when VoidPoint decided to apologize.
That is a completely twisted recap of what really happened.
Go to the forums on ResetEra, see how many people there (maybe somewhat less so on Twitter?) want people to be fired over disagreeing with their political views (and humor, obviously).
That's way more than just not buying something. And that's something that happens every single time something like this happens - and more than just a few people have lost their jobs because they dared to have an opinion.

SamsaiAlso, you seem to be operating under the assumption that the people who expressed disappointment in the devs were some kind of outsiders who should be totally ignored when it comes to any complaints they might have.
Because that is the case.
The perpetually offended are offended by absolutely everything, always.
Nothing they say should be taken serious. Ever. They are the very embodiment of the boy that cried wolf.
I mean, sure, even a broken clock is right twice a day, but that can usually be seen by more than just the typical outlets of the "I-am-offended" culture (Polygon, Kotaku, ResetEra, etc.) making a fuss.
They are about as creditable as an article from OneAngryGamer claiming some dev tries to make people gay or some other homophobic nonsense.

Which, as I stated, was not the case - the game sat at a comfortable 94%+ (and very high even on metacritic) after the "controvery" appeared and nobody outside the usual suspects even mentioned this, because most people knew it was nothing to be upset about.

SamsaiI was disappointed in how they handled things and I've owned a copy of Ion Fury pretty much since they released a Linux version in Early Access. Plenty of the people participating in the so-called hatemob had bought copies or at least had been considering buying it.
Definitely a false statement, see above. Yeah, you could see a handful of reviews saying they won't support the developer any more as they are homophobes or other similar nonsense. But those were so few as to be irrelevant, most people who were "offended" never planned to buy the game or never heard of it.
And I do not believe a single "I was thinking about buying this" statement when put in connection with "but now that I know these people are X", from either side. It is an easily told lie.

And, besides, just because you offended someone - even if legitimately so -, doesn't mean you have to take anything back or apologize. Someone being offended doesn't mean you did anything wrong. People need to learn to deal with things they do not agree with in ways that are not calling for censorship or firing squads (as in "getting fired", not literal death squads, though if you look at places like ResetEra or OneAngryGamer, we are not far away from that, either...).
Standing by your own work, opinions and team members is a virtue, giving in to a handful of people complaining (especially when it's the boy crying wolf) just a show of no backbone.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 24 August 2019 at 7:14 am UTC
TheSHEEEP 24 August 2019 at 7:12 am UTC
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Purple Library GuyThe ironic part here is that, again, if your link is true this is a story of anti-SJW types screwing over other anti-SJW types (the developer/s) by exposing them, and still other anti-SJW types screwing over the anti-SJW developers by boycotting them for, um, doing the bidding of their corporate bosses like any sane person in this society would. And they're all blaming people who aren't transphobic for it. Hey, looks like y'all did this to yourselves.
No. Just no.
This is a - often repeated - story of SJWs causing a tempest in a teapot (stirred by a troll in this case, but that just puts even more blame on them, as they let themselves be trolled, blindly, easily and willingly), and a publisher and a developer caving in to them without any good reason whatsoever* and actual fans and supporters reacting to that with the only at least somewhat effective method available to them.
What "anti-SJWs" did was not screwing someone over after getting trolled, but screwing a publisher and developer over who caved in to the demands of a few people who aren't even their core fanbase. Quite justified.

I am not convinced the developer is innocent in this.
Did they really have to do everything the publisher told them, including mandatory brainwashings sensitivity trainings? I do hope some more light will be shed on what really happened behind the scenes there.
At the moment, them happily censoring themselves is just as likely as being forced to - which still begs the question wtf kind of contract they signed to force them to this level of obedience.

If anything good came from this whole debacle, it is that some charity received money. Can't see any downside in that.

*The situation here isn't new. These constantly offended people and their little media circle is factually irrelevant - again, as seen by review scores whenever something like this happens. They don't make a dent in sales or ratings (or a minimal one, at best). There are endless examples of this.
There's a reason these magazines die like flies (just very recently, GameInformer, a very "outspoken" and politically driven site), ad revenues and reader numbers dropping like crazy.
More and more gamers have moved on from these outlets in favor of YouTubers with less of an obviously driven agenda and more specialized outlets (like this one) that do not annoy their audience with a never-ending barrage of political propaganda and offended culture.

However, the people in power, often PR people that are closely connected to that circle, have not realized or do not care about this. Which is why we continue to see cases like this happening.
I do hope that publishers and developers at some point realize this and stop caving in to demands that don't even come from their core audience.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 24 August 2019 at 7:16 am UTC
Liam Dawe 24 August 2019 at 11:24 am UTC
BenYou can cut that "sexism" bullshit out of the article.
That is a quote from Voidpoint's statement.
mirv 24 August 2019 at 12:26 pm UTC
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The only real complaint I have about this whole affair, is that I've not yet had time to play through what looks to be an absolutely brilliant game. Thoroughly enjoyed the "demo" (or whatever you want to call it).

Between this, Doom (2016, which I managed to play this year), and the upcoming Prodeus, 2019 is an excellent gaming year for me. Not to mention Space Mercs and Three Kingdoms. So much to play, so many other hobbies...and work.
Purple Library Guy 24 August 2019 at 4:52 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPThe perpetually offended are offended by absolutely everything, always.
You seem pretty perpetually offended. So I guess you'd know.
commodore256 24 August 2019 at 4:58 pm UTC
It's mostly privileged white people that live in expensive cities offended on the the behalf of the "pour unfortunate souls" that they worship.

Those people need to grow the fuck up. In the Discord I go to, it's full of gays and they say F****t all the time and I heard my sister call a guy a P***y. The review bombs is the free market speaking.
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