Work Hard. Play Hard.

Recently with work I’ve been on a lot of customer maintenance jobs: patching our cloud systems, upgrading Making Tax Digital add-ons and also tidying up with a few ongoing projects that are about to go live. It’s strange because I’m used to being booked by clients for a full day and now I’m often working a couple of hours a day per client. The (electronic) paperwork is good fun.

I was eager to play a certain title from a certain Polish studio that has certainly been the most anticipated game release of the year and also probably the reason there’s not been much going on in IT this week. I decided I would order a physical copy and it’s still progressing through the Royal Mail’s network which is very overstretched right now.

No matter because that gave me enough time to finish another game I had recently started:Ion Fury developed by Void Point and published by 3D Realms.

Ion Fury is a First Person Shooter (FPS) built on Build Engine that powered Duke Nukem 3D. As such don’t expect photorealistic 3d graphics. Sprites and old fashioned 3d levels are in here. It’s a very nostalgic and overall very fun shooter. You play as protagonist Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison who’s on a mission to destroy Dr Heskel’s laboratory after his goons interrupt her night on the town and spill her watered down and overpriced beer.

The game is pretty much a back-to-basics shoot ’em up. As such there is no regenerating health or shields so health and armour must be replenished by fighting through the level. I know a lot of modern FPS games favour a regenerating health system however I feel this sacrifices tactical gameplay where the player must plan their attack out accordingly. Fortunately with Ion Fury I found this was a really fun and refreshing game to play.

The sound and visuals for the game are also fantastic. Shelly drops the occasional Duke Nukem-esque one liner (although nowhere near as sexist) and Dr Heskel (voiced by John St John who is the voice of Duke Nukem) periodically contacts Shelly through monitors at various points in each level to offer put downs and threats of annihilation. The enemies are a mix of cyborgs, cultists, spider-like heads things and augmented rats each with their own unique sound effects. The world of Ion Fury really comes alive through the headphones.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing through Ion Fury. The end-game boss posed a significant challenge and I had an approximately 11 hour play through which feels just about right for an FPS. I’d recommend it to any old-school FPS fan for Christmas.