Ion Maiden may look like a 90s shooter throwback, but it’s actually a new game built on old tech.
It’s a bit unusual for modern games to utilise old tech, but that’s exactly what Ion Maiden is doing. The idea is to insert modern design sensibilities and features into a game made with the Build engine from the 90s.
This is the engine that famously powers Duke Nukem 3D, classic Shadow Warrior, Blood and others. As a result, Ion Maiden looks like a game out of an alternate universe, something that would never have been made in the 90s, but somehow looks the part.
At least that’s 3D Realms'(yep!) pitch, which published the game this week through Steam Early Access. A perfect example of this intended dichotomy is that Ion Maiden features modern weapons, physics, auto saves and other modern features but looks decidedly old-school.
Instead of Duke Nukem, you’ll be playing as Bombshell, pretty much Duke’s female counterpart, which was probably created because 3D Realms no longer owns the Duke Nukem IP. Bombshell starred in her own game with the same name, a top-down shooter released in 2016.
You can see it running in the trailer below:
Ion Maiden is developed by Voidpoint. It was a launch price of $18/£14, a 10% discount. The Early Access version includes what 3D Realms calls a “mini campaign”, with more to come. 3D Realms says that this is a fairly polished release, despite the Early Access label.