Ion Fury Xbox One X Review

Ion Fury is a nostalgic trip back into the 90s that shows that retro FPS titles can stand against modern titles within the same genre.

By Grayshadow, Posted 13 May 2020

Ion Fury is a love letter to classic FPS titles. Everything from the retro graphics, zany one-liners, to the protagonist's name mirrors that of Duke Nukem's atmosphere. Ion Fury doesn't rely on these nostalgic elements though, instead, providing a unique experience while using the same foundation of 90s FPS games. Due to this reliance on creating a classic FPS title Ion Fury does include issues that modern titles have resolved to maintain this creative direction. Ion Fury is a retro-style FPS title that doesn't attempt to be more than what it is and benefits from this clear direction.

Ion Fury,NoobFeed,

Ion Fury has players in control of a bomb disposal expert name Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison. This elite soldier is part of the Global Defense Force and must stop the transhumanist cult leader Dr. Jadus Heskel and his army of cybernetically-enhanced soldiers. Set in the dystopian city of Neo D.C. Shelly will travel through the streets of the destroyed city and into underground facilities to stop Heskel.

Ion Fury has 7 chapters to run through and 3 bonus missions that range between 30 to 1 hour depending on difficulty and skill. There's no mid-checkpoint system but the autosave feature is forgiving and fast, once killed you're instantly put back into the action. Some stages suffer from frame rate issues and the game will slow down in specific situations, not because of the number of enemies on screen but in specific parts of a stage you're in which is strange. It isn't common enough to be an issue but apparent enough that players will take notice.

The title is an authentic throwback to classic FPS titles as everything from the retro-style visuals to the cringe-worthy 90s style one-liners and joking advertisements resemble that of Duke Nukem 3D. The story remains simple throughout and doesn't go beyond stopping the monstrous Heskel. However, Ion Fury goes beyond the nostalgic pandering and provides an excellent FPS experience for both modern and older gamers. Allowing Ion Fury to stand out from the characters and games her adventure takes references from.

Ion Fury,NoobFeed,

Much of the title has you looking for keycards and unlocking the next area while killing hordes of cyber mutants along the way. Much of the common enemies are recycled but offer enough variety that they'll test the player's mobility and aim. The biggest challenge or concern comes with managing your supplies as you never have enough to take on the massive amount of enemies that flood the areas. You'll constantly hope for an ammo or health pickup as Shelly is a glass cannon. You can earn extra supplies by killing enemies with a headshot but even then you'll be stretching your stocks, making running a more alluring option than fighting everything. It's also strange that you cannot aim straight up which can be annoying when a flying enemy is above you. 

The game does keep track of your progression from enemies killed to secret locations found and you're rated based on your performance. You're encouraged to find the many hidden areas around the game as they're plentiful but well-hidden and offer much-needed items. One major decision that I personally hated was the inclusion of fall damage. Shelly cannot fall more than a few feet without taking damage and in a game where supplies, especially health and armor, are limited and Shelly moves are high speeds this was just painfully irritating.

Navigation could be problematic for newcomers as opposed to veterans who grew up with titles such as DOOM, Quake, or Duke Nukem. The map isn't that helpful in providing direction and getting lost will become a common annoyance during the second half of the game since there are no waypoints. There are security cameras that give a general idea of where to go next but be prepared to circle back plenty of times looking for that specific key card, a grate to shoot, or flipping a switch needed to unlock the next area.

Ion Fury,NoobFeed,

Shelly's weapons are varied and extensive such as a shotgun, minigun, magnum, and more. Some of these have alternate firing options such as the magnum able to lock onto enemy weak points when the targeting reticle is above the target or the shotgun having a grenade launcher option. I did wish there was a weapon wheel similar to Resistance 3 where you could quickly select weapons instead of cycling through them. A major annoyance was the lack of an inverted aim option, which made playing more difficult since I've become accustomed to this option but switching to a mouse and keyboard did resolve this problem.

There are certain sections where the player will have to platform and these can be hit or miss. Some are easy enough like traveling through air ducts while fans propel Shelly forward and others are annoying like jumping across platforms. This is because Shelly's jumping isn't the best and lacks the grounded feel or response, it just feels floaty. With fall damage and lack of supplies being a factor missing a jump can mean taking avoidable damage.

Unfortunately, there's no multiplayer option for those hoping for some retro FPS matches. Despite this, the campaign is strong enough that the lack of a multiplayer option isn't much of an annoyance. With enough reasons to return to the campaign to locate all the hidden rooms and take on the challenging harder difficulties.

Ion Fury captures the authentic gameplay and atmosphere of a 90s FPS title. The strong combat and simple story make for a rich and dynamic adventure full of gory pixelated explosions. To maintain the retro atmosphere certain conveniences had to be removed that will annoy some players but the overall presentation is so strong that it benefits from these missteps. Ion Fury is a nostalgic trip back into the 90s that shows that retro FPS titles can stand against modern titles within the same genre.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Ion Fury


Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): 3D Realms, 1C Company
Developer(s): Voidpoint, LLC
Genres: First-person shooter
Themes: Retro
Release Date: 2020-05-06

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