|Platform(s)||Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch|
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Ion Fury (formerly Ion Maiden) is a 2019 cyberpunk first-person shooter video game developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms. It is a prequel to the 2016 video game Bombshell. Ion Fury runs on a modified version of Ken Silverman's Build engine and is the first original commercial game to utilize the engine in 20 years, the previous being World War II GI.
In Ion Fury, the player assumes the role of Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison, a bomb disposal expert aligned to the Global Defense Force. Dr. Jadus Heskel, a transhumanist cult leader, unleashes an army of cybernetically-enhanced soldiers on the futuristic dystopian city of Neo D.C., which Shelly is tasked with fighting through.
Ion Fury is built on EDuke32, a fork of Build engine which supports modern operating systems while also implementing a broader range of features. The source code of Ion Fury is part of the EDuke32 source port.
In May 2019, it was announced that the band Iron Maiden would be suing 3D Realms for $2 million for "[the] misappropriation and use of a virtually identical imitation of the Iron Maiden trademark". 3D Realms quickly responded on Twitter, stating that these are "frivolous claims anyone who has played Ion Maiden would find more over the top than Shelly’s “Loverboy”, her signature 18-round triple-barreled revolver".
The lawsuit claims that Ion Maiden "has the same look and feel" to the Android/iOS game Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast previously released in July 5, 2016. It also lists several alleged similarities, including the name "Ion Maiden", the font used for the game title, the main character Shelly 'Bombshell' Harrison and Steve Harris, the skull symbol, and the Eddie character. However, several of the allegedly similar elements cited in the lawsuit were present in a previous 3D Realms game, Bombshell, released in January 29, 2016, including the main character name and the skull symbol. According to Scott Miller, founder of 3D Realms, "The name Ion Maiden comes from the basic weapon used by the same female hero in her first game, Bombshell."
On July 11, 2019, 3D Realms announced that the title of Ion Maiden was changed to Ion Fury. Also announced was that voice actor Jon St. John, best known for the character Duke Nukem, was confirmed to be voicing the game's main villain.
IGN gave the game a score of 7.5/10, saying it "authentic throwback to Duke Nukem 3D that certainly hails to the king but can't quite dethrone him."  PCGamesN's Chris Capel called it "probably the best Build engine game ever" and "challenging, funny, cleverly designed, and shockingly attractive." GameRevolution's Alex Santa Maria called it "an updated take on Duke Nukem 3D that goes above and beyond nostalgic pandering to become one of the better first-person shooters in recent memory." Game Informer's Javy Gwaltney called it "everything that I've wanted from a modernized take on the arcadey shooters of the 90s. The pitch-perfect movement, the enemy variety, creative weaponry, and fantastic level design all add up to a superb shooter campaign."
On August 16, 2019, less than a week after the official release, Discord chat logs from members of Voidpoint were shared, displaying purportedly transphobic remarks by the developers. Additionally, two text messages were found in the game that some called homophobic; one a parody of Olay soap, another a hidden text string from a disgruntled anonymous developer insulting his coworkers. Following multiple requests for a comment on the situation by gaming news sites and retro gaming-focused YouTube personalities, Voidpoint and 3D Realms apologized and pledged to institute a zero-tolerance policy on "disparaging language." They also pledged to remove two lines of in-game text. Additionally, $10,000 of Ion Fury's initial sales were donated to the Trevor Project. The developer response yielded mixed reactions, including a considerable increase in negative reviews on the game's Steam page, many of which accused the developers of censorship. On August 26, 2019, the developers reversed their stance and stated that they would only remove one of the messages, containing a slur, but no other content. Polygon cited the increase in negative reviews as basis for the reversal. Voidpoint and 3D Realms issued a joint statement that they would not remove further content from Ion Fury or any future games, stating their opposition to the censorship of creative works of any kind.
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- "EDuke32 source code, revision 6913 "Rename KXDWN macro and GAMEFLAG_KXDWN to IONMAIDEN and GAMEFLAG_IONMAIDEN"". June 9, 2018. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
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- "Steam review bomb stops game from cutting homophobic content". Polygon. Polygon. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (August 27, 2019). "Ion Fury dev U-turns on promise to pull in-game homophobic slur". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
- Gobeille, Richard. "Ion Fury Game Content Will Not Be Censored". Steam. Valve. Retrieved August 27, 2019.