We’ve seen plenty of modern games designed to look like titles from yesteryear, but 3D Realms is releasing a new shooter that uses the same 22-year-old Build Engine that powered 90s classics Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior.
3D Realms was, of course, the company behind the Duke Nukem franchise until the rights were acquired by Gearbox Software in 2010. Now owned by Danish entrepreneurs, the firm is returning to its roots with an “old-school first-person shooter” called Ion Maiden.
With the Build Engine, we get pixelated graphics and retro animations that will likely bring a nostalgia-induced warmth to those of a certain age. But the game isn’t restricted to the limitations of nineties’ gaming. It boasts more modern features such as headshots, auto saves, and mod support, and although there’s no multiplayer option right now, Gearbox hints that it will eventually be implemented.
Ion Maiden is a prequel to 2016’s Bombshell; a game that started out as Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction but had all references to the antihero removed following a lawsuit from Gearbox Software.
Ion Maiden is currently available in Early Access. Unlike other titles in Steam’s program, it consists of a preview campaign that’s “a fully finalized and polished product.” New stages and features will be periodically added during the Early Access period, which is expected to last six months. A completely new campaign with a range of extra additions will appear in the final release.
For those craving an authentic 90’s shooter experience, Ion Maiden could be the answer to your prayers.