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Ion Fury: Aftershock launches today with bike combat, bouncier bullets and remixed enemies

Shelly you jest

The new Cluster Shot gun in action in Ion Fury's Aftermath DLC - an enemy is vaporised with a dark city in the background.
Image credit: 3D Realms

Ion Fury: Aftershock, an expansion pack for Voidpoint's retro FPS featuring new weapons, enemies and game modes, launches today 2nd October 2023, and there's a trailer below awaiting your fervent appreciation.

Well, assuming you're not Matt Cox - in our review of the main game, he deemed it an experience in which "old-school decisions too often trump good ones" and "a blast from a past I never lived through", concluding that "Ion's tongue might be in its cheek, but I've got little interest in what it's saying." Ouch. Still, Steam user verdicts are markedly more enthusiastic, and what kind of jaded soul would turn his nose up at a Cluster Shot launcher with bouncing bullets? Bouncing bullets, Matt.

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The Aftershock story begins shortly after the original game's conclusion, with protagonist Shelly Harrison kicking back in her local boozer only to be rudely interrupted by a nuclear explosion and a monstrous aerial contraption piloted by a returning nemesis. So what's a Duchess Nukem to do but draw her Loverboy revolver, jump aboard a hoverbike armed with "drunken homing plasma missiles", and zip off to various new locations, including a volcano level.

The aforesaid Cluster Shot lets you perform ricochet kills around corners, while the Roadripper hoverbike seems handy both for running people over and jumping off ramps to reach secrets. New enemies and areas aside, there's a new harder difficulty setting and an Arrange Mode, which remixes enemy placements in the base game. Here's the Steam link if all that gets your motor running. The press release doesn't detail whether there will be shitty jokes about gay people this time.

I missed the original Ion Fury so am ill-equipped to agree or disagree with Master Cox about its quality. I'm a touch more, aha, vintage than Matt, so do have some fondness for the gaming era Ion Fury evokes, but I'm also weary of self-mocking 90s-style shooters, so I guess I fall somewhere in the middle here. What do you make of this? Does it belong on our list of the best FPS games or is it an absolute shambles or some secret third thing?

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