Parents' Guide to

Ion Fury

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Homage to shooter heyday has dated gameplay and humor.

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Back in the '90s, when the first-person shooter (FPS) genre was huge, many games featured the formula of big guns, bigger explosions, politically incorrect humor, and snarky one-liners. Well, for good or ill, Ion Fury is a faithful throwback to this FPS heyday, ticking off the same boxes in terms of gameplay and presentation. In fact, until you start to dig a little deeper into the experience, you'd be forgiven for thinking the game is just some lost release from a bygone era. Instead, the game's a new twist on a classic template that awkwardly tries to revive a "cool factor" that's been on ice for more than two decades.

Built on the foundation of a twenty-five-year-old game engine, Ion Fury isn't exactly pushing any visual boundaries. The game looks dated, with lots of sharp angles and pixelated textures. There are some modern tweaks though, such as fine-tuned location-based damage and more believable physics behavior. Player movement is smooth and fluid, though enemy movement is anything but. But the thing that's most dated has to be its attempts at tongue-in-cheek humor, which often fails to deliver anything more than a groan. Bombshell's barrage of unenthusiastic banter falls flat more often than not. Meanwhile, the game makes frequent use of sophomoric jokes, like a "Washington 4 Skins" sports billboard and a Starbucks parody prominently featuring a marijuana leaf in its logo. While that might have been commonplace in the time Ion Fury pays homage to, it just comes across as just crass and crude today.

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