The Punisher


How do you prevent a nuke being launched? How do you halt a drugs shipment? More importantly though, how do you avenge your family’s murder?
The tough streets of New York are home to one of the most wanted men in the world, Frank Castle, a.k.a. ‘The Punisher’.
A violent comic book, transferred into a brilliantly violent third person shooter, The Punisher is everything you expect it to be, and more.
Frank Castle’s family has been taken out in a mob hit, and he wants revenge.
You go through the stages hunting down information as to why his family were killed, and where the next person with more info is.
There are also a variety of NPC’s you meet along the way who are useful in the hundreds of gun battles you encounter.
The game is a retelling of events after Frank has been caught by the police, and this provides a little insight into what you may encounter in the next level. I believe this is a great touch as it fills any holes in the storyline if you happen to miss them whilst slaying hundreds of grunts.
The best part is going around the levels grabbing people and interrogating them by pointing a gun at their head or in special cases using the environment to assist.
Whilst not the most polished graphics in the world, they give the game a certain realism without being too real. The interrogation scenes are of in-game quality adding to the flow of the game.
The cut-scenes are of really good quality and convey their message clearly, showing how The Punisher gets into and away from trouble.

As with most third person shooters, the two analogue sticks are for player movement, as well as R1 to shoot.
X is mainly used to grab and interrogate enemies, whilst square is used to quickly kill them.
R2 is allocated for diving, which, if you want to perform stylish jump-shoot kills is the best control.
The weirdest control is triangle. Upon filling a blue bar on screen, The Punisher goes into a Slaughter mode, which enables him to easily kill enemies and recover some health. It’s best used in moderation though, this enables it to fill the bar up.

Playing through the game, it feels like a standard third-person shooter, but with the added interrogation abilities and the ability to use some of the environment for some spectacular kills, it stands out from the crowd.
The levels do feel a little linear, whilst there are a number of passages, there seems to only be one defined route through a level.
There is also little variation between the objectives of the levels; they tend to follow the ‘go in, kill people, kill boss, level over’ pattern. However due to the range of things to do within these levels, its less noticeable than I expected.
Deffinately a game I’ll be playing after this review.

Platform: PS2
Developer: Volition
Publisher: THQ
RRP: £29.99


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