Phantom Fury, the upcoming game from 3D Realms brings back some classic shooter vibes. I was able to see an off-hands preview during Gamescom 2022 and this one is shaping up to become a fun classic shooter. Want to learn more? Let’s jump in!
Back in the nineties, 3D Realms was one of the most important developers, creating classic games such as DOOM and Hexen, conquering the hearts of many fans worldwide. Nowadays they are a bit lesser know but that doesn’t mean they don’t make games. Phantom Fury is their upcoming 2023 project and brings back the classic nineties feeling. During my hands-off presentation, the team explained that it’s a rather demanding game to create since they want to perfectly resemble those classic oversized pixels of the nineties. It looks and feels like you’re playing a 4K remake of classic DOOM and it definitely works pretty well. Combining those pixel-heavy graphics with modern lighting techniques results in a great-looking game that finds the right balance between classic and modern graphics. It’s clear that the team put in a lot of time and effort on those unique graphics and it’s showing. I was a huge fan of classic DOOM as a kid so seeing a modern engine mimicking the graphics of one of my favorite games ever created is just pure magic.
Bringing back a shooter to the nineties era isn’t new, 3D Realms did the same with Iron Fury, a game that used the same principle. Phantom Fury is set in the same universe but can’t be considered as a true sequel. Of course, if you played Iron Fury, the developers promised there will be tons of hidden secrets and Easter Eggs for the fans. Shelly ‘Bombshell’ Harrison does make a return but her story will bring you to different locations and you’ll learn more about her than you ever did before. As far as comparing both games goes, Phantom Fury is a lot closer to the Half-Life era than the classic DOOM era when it comes to the visual department. If you compare both games, you’ll notice the significant differences and improvements in graphics and gameplay.
It’s always a bit harder to judge gameplay in a hands-off session but as far as I could tell, this game really plays fluently. In my demo, we were on a train full of enemies and even a deadly helicopter we had to deal with. It’s not only just run and gun gameplay, the developers made the environment as interactive as possible. This goes from destructible crates and environments, giving you some extra ammo or gear to fully playable mini-arcades. It’s easy to get distracted during a mission and there’s nothing wrong with that. Phantom Fury wants to deliver classic fun and the way the levels are packed with entertaining content, I’m sure it will be extremely fun to play. To make things a bit more interesting, the game offers different paths in levels. While on the train, we could go left or right at a certain point. The developers explained that the left would offer an easier option while going right would mean you’re bumping into more heavy-armed enemies. You don’t know those types of things in advance so if you die, it’s worth looking for alternative routes. It’s those small innovations that make this game feel modern and overall more fun.
Besides the regular enemies, the game will also offer some more intense boss battles like the helicopter in our level. What’s fun here is the fact that you can just ignore the helicopter and advance on the train. Although it’s possible to do, the helicopter will chase you down during the entire level so you’re never really safe. Taking it down will demand some well-aimed shots and enough armor but once you got the hang out of it, it’s a fun and thrilling battle for sure.
Phantom Fury is shaping up to become a fun blast to the past with a modern touch. If you’re a fan of the nineties shooters, this one will definitely need to be added on your list.