Sunday, December 9

The Punisher Review

Available on: PS2, Xbox, PC
The price I paid: £3.99
I played on: PS2
Notes: Content Warning: This game contains strong violence and gore and includes interrogations controlled by the player.

The Punisher has always been an interesting character with him existing on the edge of any definition of the word ‘hero’. Indeed the way he ruthlessly kills and tortures the criminals he goes after is nothing like what we would see from Captain America or Spider-man. This brutally of the character is captured perfectly in the 2005 game and I love it.

As Frank Castle, you’re able to gun down waves of enemies while using basic cover, lots of guns and a rage mode that allows you to get up close and personal with your foes. The action feels amazing and I would dare say one of the best shooters on the PS2. Weapons feel powerful and dangerous with enemies losing body parts to the larger guns and it’s lots of gruesome fun. Of course, there is more here than just gunning down bad guys, if you need health or information you can interrogate enemies. This involves you hurting them just enough to open their mouths, too much and they will die and not enough and they won’t break so it’s a fine balance. These interrogations are brutal and remind me of the game Manhunt. I found them to be very enjoyable but I’ve always been into over-the-top violence and gore.

The presentation of this game is beautiful, in a really dark horrible way. Everything feels like it’s right out of a comic book with gore being plentiful but never realistic enough to be off-putting. The voice acting is good with every character sounding like their in an 80’s action flick meaning rough and badass. This game knows what it’s going for and it nails the gritty dark comic vibe perfectly. Dark but never dull which is something most games get wrong when they try to be dark. You will have plenty of variety in the environments you explore which include many Marvel hotspots such as Fisk Industries and Stark Tower.

This connection to the wider Marvel world is something I love about this game, you never feel like the only hero in the city. Through your path of destruction and mayhem, you will bump into Nick Fury, Black Widow and more. This is something Marvel has always been great at, creating a world that you never feel alone in and I’m very happy to see this in games.

I’ve been singing the Punisher’s praises and honestly, it’s because I kinda love this game but it’s not flawless. There are next to no women in the game besides 3 that only exist to be kidnapped and rescued and the Black Widow who although fighting alongside you will get captured twice. Compare this with the Nick Fury mission where he doesn’t get captured at all and although he gets knocked unconscious for the missions boss fight he is never held hostage. This is an issue I seem to talk about a lot when reviewing games and I wish I didn’t have to. You can hopefully tell from the rest of this review that I loved this game. I hate having to repeat myself but it’s so fucking horrible to see women being treated like this. We deserve more than to just be a trophy or a helpless victim and it’s about time games learned this.

Taking everything into account I would recommend this game to anyone after a solid third-person shooter. The gameplay is amazing, the graphics and art style are fantastic and the story although weak on plot makes up with it in world building. This is a game that understands it’s source material well and that makes me happy!

Recommendation Rating: 8 out of 10.

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