The husk of 3D Realms has published a new BUILD-engine game, Ion Maiden, developed by Voidpoint. In Steam’s Early Access program, It has the atrocious Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison character from 3D Realms’ twin-stick shooter, Bombshell. I completely forgot about that game before it was even released.
It’s a game about screaming around at outrageous speeds, hammering the Use button on any object or wall that looks out of place just in case, and of course spreading enemy gibs about the walls and floor. It feels so fluid, so natural, and such a blessed respite from the bum-following misery-trudge that is so much of modern first-person shooting. It’s ludicrous in every way, enemies aiming with ridiculous skill, and you tasked to work out how to deal with that.
Ion Maiden’s Early Access preview campaign is $20 on Steam for Windows and Linux. As good as it is, I’d be unlikely to get it without seeing the finished game, which is scheduled for late this year.
Originally, I had written some lengthy article on the passing of 3D Realms, but it wouldn’t really mean anything if you need to be informed of their accomplishments. Suffice it to say, they were at the top of the game with Duke 3D’s 2.5D features that I had never seen in anything prior. Even today, the only game that is really comparable to Duke 3D is Serious Sam, and it cannot hold a candle to the personality in Duke.
Two of the most prominent developers to work on the open-source code released by 3D Realms (Duke 3D and Shadow Warrior, mainly) are Jonothan Jonof and Ryan “icculus” Gordon. I’ve gotten their comments on this (all links are added by myself):
I was shocked to hear they were shutting down. George has always been really good to me personally, and I’ve had a lot of fun working with their games…Duke, Prey, Shadow, and even Kroz. It’s the end of an era.