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Ack
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Re: What single player FPS campaign are you playing?

by Ack Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:07 pm

In that respect, yes, though it's nowhere near the open space of Freespace. You're still hugging planet surfaces when you do venture outside.

But yes, go play Descent 2 sometime.
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Ack
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Re: What single player FPS campaign are you playing?

by Ack Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:13 pm

Since I picked it up in the Autumn sale on Steam, I decided to check out Ion Fury.

Yep, it's a Build engine game all right. Since I played through both Shadow Warrior as well as Blood and their expansions earlier this year, as well as finally knocking out the multiplayer stuff in Duke Nukem 3D's pulled Megaton Edition, I figured it would make for an interesting comparison to go over a few aspects.

I'm only a few levels in so far, but already I'm seeing the full reference treatment that all of these games used. The first level has a major secret based on Blade Runner, and the quotes during killing range from Army of Darkness to a weird throwaway quote from Die Hard. This fits the rest of the Big Three of Build's sense of humor and style.

I find it's also important to focus on the available firearms, because while all three of the major Build engine games have the usual FPS workhorses (your "pistol", your shotgun, your rapid-fire weapon, etc.) they all offered up some variety that sometimes helped with the theme.

For instance, Duke's weapons in Duke Nukem 3D involved a lot of tools that would give you a sense of control and dominance: remote controlled pipe bombs, a shrink ray so you could literally step on your enemies and grind them under your heel, and even a pair of rocket launchers to devastate your enemies while giving you a massive erection at how alpha you felt.

By contrast, Caleb's weapons in Blood have both a sadistic and masochistic quality to them: a flare pistol that lights enemies on fire, a bevy of explosives, and even a voodoo doll. You were just as likely to inflict self-harm through his weapons, yet you could always project far more cruelty on your enemies.

And again, Lo Wang in Shadow Warrior offered up a mixture of the mystical and the martial arts along with the ridiculous. Shurikens replaced your basic pistol, you could wield an enemy's head as a weapon, and you had your usual staples, but they were often so over the top as to become impractical. While Shadow Warrior is the weakest of the three in my opinion for a variety of reasons, one of the most prominent (after, you know, racism) was just how bad the weapons felt when compared to the rest of the trio.

So, how do the guns of Ion Fury compare? Well, the first hint is that the game is actually a prequel to the game Bombshell, and that happens to be your nickname. If you immediately thought "I'll get lots of explosives," yes. You're right. Sure, the revolver has some interesting mechanics, and your machine guns shoot flaming bullets, but your shotgun is a repurposed grenade launcher, and once you get the right kind of ammo, it also becomes your grenade launcher. You've also got bowling bombs and exploding discs, and I'm not even to the first boss, so the idea that you're a cop on the edge who likes things to go boom in a cyberpunk world is heavily represented by your choice of guns.

The other interesting quirk: your firearms point to a Neo Western. For instance, your base pistol is not only a revolver, but it has an alternate fire which features a lock on mechanic similar to something found in a recent Red Dead or Call of Juarez game. Shotguns are pretty standard fare for FPS regardless of time period, but your precision weapon is a sort of crossbow, while your bowling bombs have the classic fuse bomb design that hasn't actually been practically used since cannon went out of fashion for more modern artillery around the end of the 19th century. I wonder if the idea of a Western was a source of inspiration for the previous game, Bombshell, that carried over.

Either way...I'm enjoying it so far, despite only being a few levels in.
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