3D Realms is back with Ion Maiden, a new FPS created in the old-school Build engine
February 28, 20182 min read
If you’re as old as me, hearing the name 3D Realms probably works like a harp in film, activating a flashback sequence that returns you to the days of your youth spent in front of a computer screen, playing one of the most parental pearl clutching games of all time: Duke Nukem 3D. Maybe you remember them for Shadow Warrior or even earlier than that when they, as Apogee, ignited the unstoppable fire that is the FPS genre in 1992 by publishing Wolfenstein 3D. I’ve always associated 3D Realms with games I know my mother wouldn’t want me to play but would anyway.
Despite creating the most '90s game imaginable in Duke Nukem 3D, 3D Realms squandered its goodwill and quickly fell from prominence at the turn of the millennium. Most of the titles it’s known for were co-developed and published by other companies. It eventually stopped making games altogether with long-in-development titles like Prey and Duke Nukem Forever finding release at the hands of other developers and publishers. By 2010, 3D Realms was all but dead.
But as its heart stopped beating, an AED was applied with the arrival of Interceptor Entertainment, now called Slipgate Studios. First, the developer produced Rise of the Triad, a remake of the Apogee 1995 original which we liked. Then, in 2016, the studio developed Bombshell, which nobody liked. Speaking as a fan, a top-down shooter isn’t what people want when they play a 3D Realms game. They want that distinctively '90s, fast-paced, run-and-gun action that made Duke Nukem 3D such a monumental title. And that’s exactly what they’re going to get with Ion Maiden.