Ion Maiden - 3D Realms Build Engine retro shooter

K, I just spent 90 minutes playing the game, and Ho. Lee. Shit. That was so fucking fun. Seriously explodey shootey awesome level designey fun. This is the PRE-CAMPAIGN? The level design is AMAZING, and bad guys go squish real good with grenades and shotguns.

That’s awesome to hear you’re really enjoying it! The team have been making maps for 3D Realms games for years, and the tech guys have been incredible at documenting and creating source ports to maintain and preserve the original technology for modern setups. The project director estimates the final game will be roughly eight times longer than the mini-campaign.

If you feel so inclined, maybe leave a review. It would mean a lot to the team, and helps push the game to a wider audience when certain review milestones are passed.

Here’s an impressions video from an old-school shooter fan:

So damn good. I’m really impressed with the level geometry these folks were able to squeeze out of Build.

I totally did! Are you on the team, or do you know them?

So if you’re already an owner of Bombshell Deluxe Edition on GOG, the prequel is already in your download area. I just picked up the whole Deluxe Edition last week during GOG’s last sale for $4, so I lucked out. Don’t bother looking if you don’t already own it though. It’s back up to $40 now.

Yeah… true that… realllllllllllll badly.

That’s awesome of you, thank you Brian! No, I’m just a member of the Duke community (lol) who knows a few of the 15 person team, and the limited means they had to work with.

Jesus. So many secrets.

There is no EASY setting!

I think as FPS games have evolved over the past 20 years, they have gotten much easier. Playing this game, I am really having to double-down on my focus. No more auto-heal to rely on, and I am loving it.

Maybe I’m just having a retro-gasm, but this is the best time I’ve had playing an FPS in years. And coming out into the city for the first time? Who says old graphics can’t look glorious?

I built many a level with the old Build engine back in the day, but none of them could hold a candle to this.
I’m very impressed with what they’ve done here.
And I’m off…back to it.

I thought this was just announced today? It’s already out?

Edit: Oh I see, it’s out as an Early Access title. Kind of like how DiRT Rally was announced and released as Early Access the same day, I guess.

I appreciate how a missed secrets warning pops up just before you exit the level.

One of the level designers posted a nice map meme over at Duke4:

I think that bottom one is actually from Marathon.

In their early access statement, they specify isn’t really early access, more like you get what’d be the free portion of a shareware fps, or something. Excepting you pay up front, of course.

Since it’s Build Engine, I have to ask, do you have to use the keyboard to look up and down like in Duke 3D? Or does it support mouselook?

No, you don’t have to use a keyboard to look around. Since Ion Maiden is based off Eduke32 (a community-developed source port), mouselook’s supported, and playing on a controller isn’t too bad either.

It’s full on mouselook. It’s like they took Build, kept the aesthetic, but modernized everything else.

Strafe actually ended up being pretty decent in the end, but yeah, when it launched it was SO boring.

The end screen is shareware perfection!

Such a tease from the devs to give you a badass chaingun and then immediately fade to black!

I’m pretty sure the bottom map is the Early Access “campaign” I just played. The big circular area is the boss arena, and the other chunk is the city street section. The tunnel connecting the two is the subway.

It’s a bit of a cheat in regards to the point of the illustration though. That’s actually three Build levels smashed together. When you play them it’s pretty seamless, but there’s definitely level breaks.

Anyway, I can’t wait to see more.

Also, I noticed that headshots count! That’s an unexpected plus!

Yeah, I learned the headshot thing later in my run. While I’m enjoying all the weapons, I find that the revolver – the name of which I forget – is the one I keep returning to.