Remember how much fun it was to track down keycards in first-person shooters back in the day? How you felt, discovering secret after secret, one easter egg after another, as your ammunition and health supplies ran dangerously low? Even if you don’t, that’s something Ion Maiden aims to bring back this year – while looking pretty darn groovy, I might add!
So, the story here, for those who care, can be summarized rather briefly: some evil jerk decided to unleash an army of cybernetics on Neo DC, giving Shelly Harrison the push she needed to make a career change; from bomb defusal expert to bomb chucker. No really. It’s time to kick ass and, well, blow you-know-what up, courtesy of… Bowling Bombs! Yup.
In one corner: Dr. Heskel, the other: Shelly Harrison. Who’s going to win? Yes, that is obviously a rhetorical question. Unless you suck at shooters that have you chasing health kits in favor of magical regeneration – because you’ll find none of that fancy modern nonsense in this one. Same goes for checkpoints and ‘realistic’ weaponry. I mean, Bowling Bombs, ya know? On top of that, our lovely protagonist will also be wielding fun stuff like this ol’ thing called Loverboy (get your mind out of the gutter – it’s a six-shooter).
Oh, and in case the screenshot at the top of this article didn’t give it away, yes, Ion Maiden will be a bloody affair. Really bloody. Everyone-blows-up-in-a-gory-mess bloody. The best kind, really, and you’re probably not gonna believe this, but… it’s all powered by the Build engine. Remember Duke Nukem 3D? Shadow Warrior? Blood? Oh, c’mon! They’re not THAT old. Actually, they kinda are.
They’ve spent a lot of time tinkering under the hood to take advantage of new technology and techniques. Bigger levels, hundreds of new colors, and morphing maps that transform mid-level are all just a few of the advancements made to the engine.
Even so, the engine itself holds up surprisingly well, and while Voidpoint will be adding a few new features to the mix, you better believe the experience will still be old-school. Big time, pixels and all. Shut up and take my money. Or, you know, once Q3 2018 comes around, which is when the game is expected to leave Early Access. Early adopters will get to experience “a complete and polished exclusive multi-hour preview campaign”, though. So there’s that. Lock and load!