ion maiden

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.

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