Ion Maiden just got its second level

Ion Maiden is one of our most-anticipated shooters of 2019, due for completion in Q2. Today a surprise update added its long-awaited second chapter, "Heskel's House of Horrors," a sprawling mansion map.

No patch notes were paired with the announcement, but 3D Realms says it includes "tons of new features and additions." When I booted it up for a moment today, I almost immediately picked up one of the game's new weapons, a red energy crossbow. 

The trailer also reveals a minigun, and shows off the new, innovative alt-fire mode functionality. Make sure you go into Ion Maiden's mouse settings (not keyboard bindings) to assign an alt fire mode button. You'll want this for the new crossbow, which can be charged for a few seconds to fire off a huge stream of red bolts.

Last year Alex Wiltshire praised Ion Maiden's expansive Build Engine maps, which are dense with secrets and objects. "The key pleasure for me is its weapons' sense of connection. In conceptual terms, they're nothing special: a six-shooter, a shotgun, an SMG and the Bowling Bomb, a grenade that rolls along the ground," Alex wrote in April 2018. "It's the way they enact instantaneous cause and effect, with the shot hitting the enemy and sending blood flying without a pause. Enemies in early FPSes tended to have only two states, alive and dead. In contrast, today's rich animation and ragdoll physics allow a third state to exist in between as enemies clutch their wounds, flinch and fall. It enhances the realism but it also makes you constantly second-guess your shots."

Ion Maiden remains in Early Access on Steam at $20.