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Torn Frames Review: Ion Fury (Switch)


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[Information]

 

Title: Ion Fury

Release Date: May 14th, 2020 (Switch, PS4, Xbox One) August 15th, 2019 (PC)

Price: 24.99

Review Code Provided By: 3D Realms

 

Disappointing. It's a word that kept coming up during my time with Ion Fury on Nintendo Switch. While the game is a fantastic, fast and frenetic shooter on PC the Switch port is a mess with multiple problems including bugs, glitches and a less than stable framerate bringing any enjoyment this title has to an almost complete stop.

 

This Bombshell is a Dud
 

Ion Fury is a classic 90's shooter inspired by games like Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior and Blood. It runs on the Build Engine which actually powered the three previous titles mentioned. It's a throwback in a similar vein to Doom (2016). That means a focus on fast combat with a heavy emphasis on strafing, keycards to find, and large explorable levels full of secrets and of course no regenerating health or weapon limit.

Ion Fury has a story putting you in control of Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison a foul-mouthed, Duke Nukem-esque female badass as she attempts to the stop the evil Dr. Heskel (played by Duke himself John St. John) from taking over the city of Neo D.C. but it's a story so insubstantial that you're better off just ignoring it. The voice acting from John St. John and Valerie Arem as Shelly are excellent and it's clear that each actor is having a blast. Shelly delivers quips (which can be turned off) during certain actions and while they do repeat a bit it's still entertaining due to the delivery. The music is also a highlight as it fits the cyberpunk aesthetic and each tracks fits in perfectly with the action.

 

Ion Fury consists of 7 zone comprising about 30 levels (including some secret levels) through the campaign you will explore buildings, discover secret hideouts, explore sewers (because every 90's shooter had to have sewer levels) and more. Each zone will probably take most people about an 1-2 hours to complete especially if you are looking for secrets. The levels themselves are extremely enjoyable even if a few of them do feel a bit too big and maze like. Each zone is then capped off with an epic boss fight that will definitely test some skills even on the default normal difficulty.

 

A Broken Switch

 

The port of Ion Fury was handled by General Arcade and to say it has issues is an understatement. Ion Fury targets 30 Frames Per Second and it rarely holds it. The game chugs anytime there are multiple enemies on screen and even worse when explosions are involved. There is one boss fight that has so many explosions it brings the framerate down to almost single digits and that was after the game received an alleged performance patch. The game also crashed during said boss fight no less than 5 times forcing a restart of the level. I also encountered a bug in a level where a switch didn't activate properly forcing a restart as well. The game also suffers from textures glitching out and for some unexplained reason the game randomly faced me in a different direction during combat leading to a lot of unnecessary deaths. The game also has no way to customize controls and while you can get used to the controls fairly quickly it is still a bit unfortunate.

 

Verdict

 

Ion Fury on Switch is a poor version of an excellent game. The excellent level design, great weapons and fantastic music is sadly tarnished by the numerous technical problems. If you are wanting to play Ion Fury check either the other console versions out or go for the original PC version.

Score: 2 Out Of 5 (Rough)

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Edited by TornFrames
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