Ion Maiden: Taking Shooters Back to the Nineties
Ion Maiden, developed by Voidpoint and published by industry veteran 3DRealms, is the genre- and time-jumping FPS prequel to 2016's top-down action RPG Bombshell. Players once more find themselves in the role of Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison, a smart-mouthed firebrand and the titular character of the original, though this time playing from her point-of-view.
Ion Maiden takes a step back in time, being the first game to utilize the Build engine in nearly two decades. This is the same engine that brought to life Witchaven, Shadow Warrior, Blood, and of course, mostly famously, Duke Nukem 3D.
The team at Voidpoint has created some truly beautiful sprites that look sharp in HD without losing the feeling of the classic Build engine games. And when hitting enemies with bombs, they give a satisfying -- and gory -- explosion very reminiscent of Duke Nukem 3D. Shelly will lob plenty of verbal harassment at enemies as she kills them, and she's certainly not above playing soccer with their dismembered heads.
For fans of classics such as Blood or Duke Nukem 3D who are looking for something with a taste of nostalgia but with a new experience, this is definitely a game to keep on your radar.
Though an official release date has not yet been announced, you don't have to wait to give it a try. A preview campaign is currently available via Steam's Early Access, giving the player a mission just long enough to get into the rhythm of the game but short enough to leave you immediately wanting more.
The preview campaign gives access to multiple weapons, including the bowling-bombs, revolver (Loverboy), and shotgun. The mini-gun will, sadly, have to wait for the full release.