HomeReviews2.5/5 ReviewPhantom Fury Review

Phantom Fury Review

-

There seems to be a bit of a resurgence at the moment for 90’s style FPS games, and another has hoved into view over the horizon. 

Going by the name of Phantom Fury, from Slipgate Ironworks and 3D Realms, it follows on from that of Ion Fury. But has it been worth waiting for, or should we play something, anything else? Well, I’m not going to give the verdict away in the first paragraph, am I?

Phantom Fury review 1
Join Shelly in Phantom Fury

Phantom Fury apparently follows on from that of Ion Fury, which, in the interests of full disclosure, I’ve never played.

The heroine of that game is back in this one, a lady called Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, as they awaken from a coma after an old colleague decides that she is needed for a new mission. Set a number of years after the first game, Shelly has now got a new bionic arm with which she can punch things (no, really!), left to embark on a trip across the USA, hoping to recover an artefact called the Demon Core. Along the way she will face stacks of enemies, both human and non human, required to shoot all of them in the face. So far, so 90’s, right? Well, you’d be right that the story isn’t the star here. So is it the presentation?

Well, in a word, no. In slightly more words – no, the presentation is pretty disappointing to be fair. Phantom Fury comes with a period look, and while it isn’t awfully inspiring, it does work, by and large. However, there are issues with the routing through the levels, and similar problems with getting held up on little bits of scenery. An old favourite, invisible walls, are also present and correct. Yet, by and large, Phantom Fury isn’t dreadful. Faint praise, maybe, but it has earned every bit of it…

Shelly has a good line in quips and one liners, like any good action hero, and these would add a certain something to the game if she didn’t sound so bored while she was doing it! The guns sound limp, the enemies are dull and look like refugees from the original Doom, all sharp angles close up and all very generic looking – soldier one looks the same as soldier twenty-six, and so the identikit shooting gets dull after a while. 

Phantom Fury review 2
About as 90s as you could get

The camera also has a weird effect where aiming vertically is much faster than aiming horizontally. You know when you run down stairs and want to turn as you run, so the gun is always pointing forward? Well, you can’t do that here, as the turning feels like she has glue on her boots. All in all, not a good start, really. 

So, can the gameplay pull Shelly out of the hole the developers have dumped her in? Well, again, a short answer would be no, not really. There are a lot of guns to find, and while they largely fall into the regular archetypes (shotgun, small pistol, large pistol, shock baton and so on) the way they feel just doesn’t, well, feel right. The shotgun has the same range as a sniper rifle, for instance, while the small pistol seems to fire nothing but hopes and dreams, struggling to hit anything with any force. It is actually much more efficient to run around smacking foes with the baton, saving the ammo, to be honest. However, things are about to get worse, so hold on tight. 

Maps? Nah mate, maps are for the weak. Why would you need to know where to go or where you’ve been? The levels are incredibly complicated to navigate, and once you have killed all the enemies in the area, it isn’t unusual to then spend the next fifteen minutes trying to work out where you are supposed to go. An example from early in the game – we are charged with getting into a pub, exploring, and then getting out again after the pub is invaded by mutants. As you explore, you get the manager’s key, which you would think would come in handy. There is only one door that looks like it leads the right way, but no matter how many times I interacted with it, it would not open. It turns out you have to ignore the door and interact instead with the lock on the door – which isn’t easily seen, and I only noticed it after punching the door in frustration. 

Phantom Fury review 3
Phantom Fury is disappointing.

Phantom Fury is not helped by the fact that the flow of the levels is truly poor, with sparse stages interrupted by a few gangs of enemies who can not only shoot the arse hairs off a gnat at twenty paces, but can also see you through solid rock and are ready when you walk around the corner. 

So, gunplay is poor, the levels are confusing, and the way Phantom Fury looks is not the best. But are there any good things? Well, yes, and that is in the arcade games that you can interact with as you go through the levels. There are pinball machines, arcade games and even a claw machine to play with, along with darts; these are actually good fun. However it most certainly says something when the best part of the game is found in the mini games, doesn’t it?

I have to roll out the worst word I can use in the context of a review – Phantom Fury is disappointing. The gunplay is weak, levels are confusing and the lack of a map is criminal. Thankfully, the mini games add a touch of class to an otherwise poor package. There are much better games in the genre, and I suggest that you go and play those instead. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Mini games are fun
Cons:
  • Disappointing gunplay
  • Confusing maps
  • Feels rushed in its creation
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, 3D Realms
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 30 May 2024 | £20.99
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,860SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2812 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1281 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1044 POSTS46 COMMENTS
919 POSTS0 COMMENTS
409 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
82 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Mini games are fun</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Disappointing gunplay</li> <li>Confusing maps</li> <li>Feels rushed in its creation</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, 3D Realms</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 30 May 2024 | £20.99</li> </ul>Phantom Fury Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x