A blast from the past is bringing us this bombastic badass shooter
Ion Maiden will be the first game that 3D Realms have developed for the Xbox One console
“It has its sights aimed at fans of the developers’ previous games”
Well this is a pleasant surprise. We’re getting increasingly accustomed to seeing remakes of older games and reboots of franchises, but what we’re not used to seeing are brand new games being developed using old-school engines, but that’s exactly what developers 3D Realms and Voidpoint are bringing to the table.
The developers have gone traipsing around in their attic and pulled out their classic Build engine, blown off the dust and put it back into commission for their latest game, Ion
Maiden. This is the same engine that was used back in the day to develop the studio’s previous games, most notably Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow
Warrior and Blood, and will mark the first time in 19 years that the engine has been used commercially. They’ve even used the same old-school tools and methodologies to bring it to life. Of course this will be a modified version of the engine, to make it compatible with modern systems and to take advantage of advancements in game technology, but the game will look and feel like a game from the ‘90s because of it.
Ion Maiden is a first-person shooter and prequel to the PC-only top-down action role playing game
Bombshell, and takes its name from the cybernetic arm that the protagonist sports in that game. You’ll be playing as bomb disposal expert Shelly ‘Bombshell’ Harrison, who works for the Global Defence Force. You’ll be tasked with taking down the evil Dr Jadus Heskel. Heskel was once a leading mind in the field of technological augmentation, but has now amassed a huge cybernetic army and unleashed it on the city of Neo DC. An obvious detail to note is that as this is a prequel Shelly has yet to obtain her cybernetic arm, and we’ll most likely witness that significant moment at some point during play.
World of secrets
There will be seven zones for you to explore, each of which will span across multiple maps, and of course in fitting with the games to which it pays homages, it will have secrets for you to find around every corner. You’ll also have a huge range of weaponry at your disposal to play around with where every weapon has an alternate firing mode.
The game may be built upon the foundations of an old engine but the developers have made use of modern processing power, technology and upto-date game design to bring a bigger and better game than would have been available 20 years ago. That also means that the game will offer players more of a challenge. For example, the movement of your character is performed in exactly the same way as modern first-person shooters, so your aiming will need to be more accurate. Before, in those types of games, you would only need to shoot in the general direction of an enemy and they’d go down.
Accompanying all of the bombastic action is a fitting synth-laced retro soundtrack to hype you up while you’re blasting away. The developers have confirmed that the game will feature a multiplayer mode so you’ll be able to tear it up with friends online once the product is released.
The game has its sights aimed squarely at fans of the developers’ previous games and it looks like they’re doing a good job of hitting the mark. It looks and feels like everything you would expect: fast-paced action, cheesy one-liners and vast open levels with copious amounts of enemies to blast into oblivion.