Phantom Fury – PC Review

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Published by 3D Realms and created at Slipgate Ironworks™ comes a new retro-shooter called Phantom Fury. The game was released for Steam on April 24th, for £20.49, with a Digital Artbook also available for purchase at £2.49. Some players might know the protagonist from the developer’s other work called Bombshell. Although that game was a top-down shooter, their new game changes to an FPS style.

This is one Phantom that doesn’t hide in the shadows

We take the role of Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison after she awakes in a lab thanks to a character called the Colonel. The area you are in is being attacked by the GDF, and your first task is to arm up and get out of there. This takes the player across various areas and wielding a large armoury or weapons. This may be Shelly’s second game, but this is my first time playing this game, so let’s check Phantom Fury out.

A shot of me just outside a bar in the desert called The Crater. Outside are two GDF vehicles, I also have my gun drawn as you can see my robotic hand.
Let’s grab a pint before the action, what do you say?


Like in any retro-shooter, you’ll start off with a simple weapon. For example, in Phantom Fury a Stun Baton, then as you progress through the game, you will get a larger selection of weapons ranging from pistols to rocket launchers. Each weapon will have an alternate firing mode that is unlockable via upgrade terminals the player will encounter. One of the best alt fires comes from Shelly’s Iconic Revolver called “Lover Boy”, which allows you to lock onto enemies and get easy head-shots.

A gif of my using a grenade called the Bowling Bomb and throwing it at enemies. Some of the enemies are up on scaffolding while others are on the ground and get killed by nearby barrels.
Hey, catch!

To unlock the upgrades you can find small violet vials containing Nanites. You can find these vials in hidden areas or sometimes out in the open as they advance through levels.

Different game segments.

Most of the time Phantom Fury sees you running-and-gunning as you fight your way to the end of the level. You won’t be running around all the time. The game does have a segment of you driving a Jeep through a valley, which breaks up the gameplay loop a little to keep things fresh.

a gif of my driving a jeep while looking to the right. The camera comes more from the turret rather than the jeep itself.
I enjoyed this part of the game.

There are some instances where you can relax and play some pinball or try the arcade machine to beat the high score. They aren’t the most riveting things, but sometimes it’s the little things that can break up the gameplay.

A gif of me playing the on-rail-shooter called Turbo Killer. The bottom left is me moving the light gun and then shooting the oncoming targets.
Need to relax, even in game.

Graphics & Audio

Phantom Fury‘s visuals are equally simple yet fun, colourful and detailed. While the game has a retro pixel aesthetic, items and environments are still detailed and look good. The lighting is superb, and the colours work well, from the sunny deserts to grungy factory areas. Overall, level designs were great and never felt too empty, boring or difficult to navigate. I enjoyed many of the references to notable video games, such as the nods to Doom on the soda machines or a reference to Portal on some porta-potties.

Additionally, seeing enemies explode into blood and erupt into piles of limbs made the combat even more enjoyable. The voice acting was suitably cheesy and well executed and never felt cringe or out of place. Some of the dialogue of NPCs also got a few chuckles out of me. The only gripe I had was the design of the Motherflakker shotgun seemed a bit lazy in comparison to the rest of the weapons. They all looked different but the Motherflakker didn’t look too different to the ordinary shotgun.

Final Thoughts

While Phantom Fury started as a charming, fun and easy-going game, issues began to crop up. The final parts of the game were too long, and some boss fights were tedious. The worst problem I encountered was a bug that made all my weapon and bionic arm upgrades disappear. I had to reload the game two levels back to fix it, which is worse, considering there is no manual saving.

While early-level designs were great, later levels lacked decent cover from the mass of enemies attacking you. A level that frustrated me was an underwater level. It was too dark to navigate well, and I couldn’t figure out where I was supposed to go, and the submersible was awful to control. Some of the weapon’s damage didn’t seem effective, even upgraded. I wish the bionic arm had more upgrades besides a shield and punching.

I award Phantom Fury the Thumb Culture Silver Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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