Fury 3 is an action simulation designed by Terminal Reality and became a poster child for Microsoft's new Windows '95 operating system. It's a fun, uncomplicated entry into the genre with graphics that wowed gamers at the time. It may seem dated now, but it still gives me a sense of nostalgic wonder every time I play it.
The story is pretty thin; a race of bionic warriors want to conquer the universe which gives us the excuse to annihilate them. In other words, shoot everything that moves and everything that doesn't. There's little strategy and no pesky allies to get in the way, just straight up explosive action.
I found this design philosophy quite refreshing when revisiting the game. Many modern shooters, both in the first-person and simulation varieties, seem to believe that adding complexity is a valid substitute for unique and fun game-play. In fact all it does in my opinion is bog down the experience with unnecessary frustrations that distract from the game as a whole. There is a place for these shooters, but the genre has become so ubiquitous that - barring a few notable exceptions - they all seem to meld into one.
That's not to say that Fury3 was unique at the time either. Just a few months before the game's August release, Terminal Reality gave us their first IP (and company namesake) Terminal Velocity. In all intents and purposes, they are identical, with only slight changes in the character models and display.
In both games you use your radar to fly to your next target which needs to be destroyed. There may be a fair few targets on each level, but they vary is size and defenses. You'll also encounter other flying ships whose attack patterns circle around you like an annoying wasp on a picnic. They're not particularly troublesome to begin with, but they can easily overwhelm as they grow in number in the later levels.
Some planets may require you to find some tunnels where the game style changes considerably. In the smaller tunnels, you can only travel one way down a gauntlet of malfunctioning doors while enemies stand guard. Later in the game, as well as the special missions, the tunnels will open up into large rooms where movement is free like the open-world areas. These can lead to some impressively tense moments which reminded me of scenes from Star Wars' death star battle.
As well as being ranked on your target kills, the end of level screen will also detail how many bonuses you've found. Each level is fully open world and there is a huge area to explore. They all have multiple tunnels which may or may not be necessary to complete the level. You'll also be marked down on how many enemies and buildings you've left standing as well as that staple in arcade leader-boards - speed. I found finding each of these little extras quite fun to find, but the graphical limitation do mean that you have to rely of your radar for direction rather that visual cues.
The planets you visit is thick with fog and pollution, hiding the lack of a draw distance. This was common at the time as even the most powerful graphics card didn't allow for much of a horizon. You can rise above the clouds to see the stars and sky and imagine you're on a passenger flight, but there's little reason to do so beyond the odd mechanical surprise. The textures are ugly and blocky by today's standards, and the terrain looks samey throughout the level, but this was cutting edge stuff in 1995.
It may not hold up visually today but it's overall very playable space jaunt. Perhaps I'm looking through thick nostalgia glasses, but I love this game just as much now as when we got it along with our very first PC. I think it looks slightly better running on Windows '95 than Windows 3.1 and the main game does run natively on Windows 7. Alas, I couldn't get the F!Zone special missions to work or the CD audio to play without the disc so have chosen to include the 3.1 version in the install. I hope you enjoy it.
To download the games, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Manual included. Tested on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Version 2 - Compressed audio. Changed auto-start from Fury3 to F!Zone.
Fury 3 is © Terminal Reality