Ion Fury

Posted:  Nov 08, 2023
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Ion Fury: Aftershock was provided by 3D Realms for review. Thank you!

3D Realms is one of the few names that I feel can consistently bring fantastic shooter experiences out into the wild. Rise of the Triad, Duke Nukem, and publishing games like Graven and Wrath: Aeon of Run, 3D Realms has solidied themselves as one of the top publishers to watch out for when it comes to boomer shooters. Ion Fury is one of their published games that released in 2019. And it is one of the best classic FPS games I have played in recent years.

Something Ion Fury does exceptionally well is recreate that familiar feeling from the older games in the genre. The feeling comes from its fantastic level design, retro art-style, and how challenging the game is overall. The levels are filled with complicated environments that require some amount of exploration and trial and error to figure out how to progress. It can stump at times, but that's part of the charm (and I was able to get past it without too much difficulty).


The game itself is very challenging, but makes up for it with the addicting gameplay loop and variety. There are a solid amount of enemies, weapons, and powerups you will be able to use to aid yourself, and they will definitely feel necessary. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I went through each level and finally made it through after 150 tries. It was fantastic. It all comes together with a decent story that has our hero, Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison go through the streets of Neo DC to stop a cult and take down Dr. Jadus Heskel.

Then, we have the newest expansion, Aftershock.

Ion Fury: Aftershock Expansion

If you are looking for more Ion Fury, but expanded into new levels, weapons,, and more variety, this is perfect. Ion Fury: Aftershock is a fantastic extension to the base game, providing more ways to experience what made the original so worthwhile to play and making it better. The new 15-level campaign is filled with insane moments and awesome fast-paced vehicular combat, all mixed with a kick-ass soundtrack that keeps the adrenaline flowing.

The expansion also comes with Arrange mode, which is a rehashed version of the original 28-level campaign with new areas, enemy layouts, new guns, and more. This can give a whole new way to replay the campaign, which adds so much more to play around with and enjoy. The story from the base game also continues with Dr. Heskel wanting to take revenge and annihilate Neo DC. For the $14.99 pricetag, this is an essential purchase to the base game, and it is all fantastic to play on the Steam Deck.

Ion Fury - Steam Deck Performance

Ion Fury feels fantastic on the Steam Deck when it's working, but it isn't as flawless as I would like. Around 95% of the time, it will stick to 60 FPS and feel phenomenal. But, in some situations where there's a lot of activity or a ton of people, the framerate could periodically dip. I have seen it quickly go as low as 44 FPS, but it doesn't happen for enough time to break up the flow of the game. Without changing graphical settings, having a TDP limit of 8 with a GPU Clock Speed Frequency of 1200 is a good balance otherwise.

While playing, I did notice the camera would automatically center itself or help auto aim when running around. While some may like this, I didn't. So, I would recommend turning off Auto Aim in Control Setup, then go into "Controller Setup" and into "Advanced" to turn the "View Centering" option all the way to the left. This fixed the camera automatically moving on its own.


On top of the auto aim and view centering options, there are toggles to always run, auto equip pickups, invert aiming, change sensitivity, and toggle rumble. You can also turn on Gyro "As Mouse" and use gyro controls easily while moving around with the gamepad.

Ion Fury does support 16:10 resolutions, which is great, and it has both cloud saves and controller support!


Ion Fury is a fantastic love-letter to the classic boomer shooters 3D Realms has popularized in the past. The complex levels, filled with well-hidden secrets, mixed with the fast-paced combat creates an insane experience you won't want to stop. The Aftershock expansion keeps the party going and enhances it with new elements and much more replayability. For the most part, it runs wonderfully on the Steam Deck, with some slowdowns in crowded areas. Overall, this is not a game you will want to skip on.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Ion Fury is a glorious boomer shooter that feels amazing on the Steam Deck almost through the entire game!

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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