Shelly 'Bombshell' Harrison is back, as 2000s-inspired FPS Phantom Fury hits Steam soon

Remember when Boomer Shooters exploded onto the indie scene back in 2018? As relentlessly as a chainsaw through mutant flesh, as nostalgically as the "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, but I'm all outta gum" catchphrase, that year saw the release of several shooters that gloriously captured the grungy all-action spirit of the late 90s.

One of the games spearheading this retro revival was Ion Fury, a pixel-perfect homage to Duke Nukem 3D, built on a modernised fork of the legendary Build engine (which brought us games like Duke 3D and Blood back in the day). Now, Ion Fury's wisecracking heroine Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison is making a return in Phantom Fury, this time inspired by the early 2000s FPS era of low polygons, interactive environments, and storytelling in the vein of Half-Life or the cult classic SiN.

phantom fury brain enemies

(Image credit: 3D Realms)

Blast your way across a dystopian USA, filled with authoritarian soldiers patrolling the surface while squelchy mutant brains-on-stems and bulked-up behemoths lurk in the facilities and compounds below. It looks set to be a relentless road movie-inspired action adventure that'll take you from the soft-glowing streets of a cyberpunk Chicago, to crumbling hotels out in the New Mexico desert, to secret science facilities where a mysterious Demon Core is being harnessed for nefarious ends (though with a name like that, the Demon Core was never going to be a force for good, was it?).

This time, Shelly is armed with an even more outrageous arsenal of high-tech weaponry and lethal skills that you can use to charge, ground-slide through, and obliterate your foes. Rampaging through its artfully nostalgic levels, you'll get hints of Half-Life here, and even a dash of Deus Ex vibes there, as you'll get opportunities to ambush your enemies from vents and interact with the environments to turn them to your advantage. 

An immersive sim Phantom Fury most definitely ain't (it's wayyy too action-packed for that), but there are some cool homages for those veteran gamers who 'were there' in the Looking Glass Studios days). You'll be able to fiddle around at computer terminals to turn enemy defences on them, and play on retro arcade machines and Air Hockey tables, evolving on the famous interactivity that Duke Nukem 3D gave us back in '96. There are even a couple of high-octane sequences where you'll get to unleash hell from a helicopter. 

helicopter ride in Phantom Fury

(Image credit: 3D Realms)

Shelly's got plenty more hardware at her disposal too. Among the 20-plus main weapons are returning classics like Bowling Bombs, as well as devastating new offerings like armour-piercing shotguns and electrified foam launchers. Her bionic arm can be upgraded to, for instance, charge forward and decimate your attackers into piles of satisfyingly blocky giblets, or summon an electrified shield to stun nearby enemies and leave them open for a brutal coup de gras.

So strap on the “Bombshell” battle armour, brace the bionic arm, and dive into an experience that'll douse you with nostalgia for a golden era of gaming while endowing you with the blistering pace, mechanics, and polish that you've come to expect from a top modern FPS. Phantom Fury launches April 23, when you'll be able to buy the game on Steam. Or just head over now and wishlist it so you can jump into the action the second it becomes available. It's gonna be one hell of a ride.