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The Punisher
(hx) 03:16 AM CET - Feb,09 2005

The Punisher is third person shooter based on Marvel's comic book of the same name. As antihero Frank Castle, a vigilante who's declared a one-man war on crime, you'll be pursuing criminals and super-villains across New York City and beyond. Frank Castle had a run in with the mob when he was younger. They killed his entire family and he has been haunted by it ever since. Castle took on his role as "The Punisher" so he could pass judgment on all of those involved with crime. The story unfolds a few years after he takes on the chilling moniker and follows Frank through a series of adventures. The story is told in flashbacks, as The Punisher (voiced by the film's Tom Jane) is being questioned while incarcerated in Ryker's Island by Detective Soap and his partner Molly.

The Punisher includes 20 levels that that take place in New York City. You will explore explore an automobile chop shop, the pristine grounds of a pricey mansion, the decks of a cargo ship, etc. The gameplay aspect is straight forward. Point the gun, preferably at the head, and squeeze the trigger. For the most part the gameplay is run and gun with very few exceptions like the 5 or so boss fights in the game. The game takes place in a third person perspective, giving you full view of action while you shoot, dive, duck, and interrogate your way through hordes or enemies. In addition to your collection of shotguns, pistols, assault rifles, sub-machineguns, and grenades, various objects such as baseball bats, bottles, and crowbars can be wielded and thrown as weapons. Every so often you will need to interrogate enemies to gain access to areas or to find weapon stashes. There are four choices of interrogation type: Face Smash, Choke, Punch, and Gun Tension. Whether it be a gun pressed to the temple or punches to the gut; everyone has a weakness that can be exploited. All of these are great but the real treat lies in the using of the special interrogation methods which can be employed using items such as piranha filled water or leaf shredding machines. Of course, the action of these brutal killings can be controlled using the keys. You grab your target and, using your mouse/keys, torture the helpless criminal until he brakes and sells out to you. Another notable feature is is "slaughter mode," which is similar to Max Payne's "bullet time." While in slaughter mode the environment around Frank Castle slows to a sluggish pace, and your health slowly refills while enemies can effortlessly be dispatched. The game is as linear as it gets considering there's only one path through the levels and only one way to kill the bosses. To boost the replay value there have been plenty of extras installed in the game. Each level will unlock new guns, newspaper clippings, and comic book storyboards for your enjoyment.

Overall, this is a good game, but it could have much better. Anyone bored with their current game library might want to give this try, or at least rent it on console.

related links: homepage, demo (210MB), trainer +8 , trainer +11, cheats.

System requirements:
Minimum: 1 GHz Pentium III or AMD Athlon XP processor, 128 MB RAM, 64MB DirectX 8.1 compatible AGP card with hardware T&L, 2G free hard drive space, DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card, keyboard/mouse

Recommended: 2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent, 256 MB system RAM, nVidia GeForce 4 or ATI Radeon 8500 or equivalent with 128MB of Video RAM

snd: 4/5 - pretty decent voice work by Thomas Jane, solid music, some bugs
gfx: 3/5 - pretty dated (looks several years old), some nice death animations, low-res textures, lame physics, clipping errors
playability: 4/5 - pretty straightforward, some intense firefights, great translation of the comic, 16 levels, brutal interrogation methods, plenty of extras, poor AI, no quick-save, too mediocre to leave any sort of lasting mark, no multiplayer
genre: 3rd-person shooter
platform: PC (also available on PS2, Xbox)
release: January 2005
developer: Volition
the game is similar to: Max Payne
publisher: THQ
Overall: 70%

last 10 comments:

xxxx(04:23 AM CET - Feb,09 2005 )
Hmm, I'm pretty hard to please guy..I like Punisher.. I think it kinda reminds me of Max Payne.. you know sometimes the gfx dont make a game but this game has a good story, it's worth the buy..

Skippy(04:41 AM CET - Feb,09 2005 )
I agree with you x. I enjoyed Punisher a lot. I suggest this game to anyone that enjoys fast paced shooters. If you don't want to shell out the 50 bucks for it, atleast give it a try from Blockbuster or for a week.

xxxx(09:39 PM CET - Feb,09 2005 )
just to add to my previous comments. Not trashing HX, just saying I think he plays down the graphics in his review a wee bit much. I don't find the graphics seriously lacking at all. The game does look good, environments look good and the characters too.. The physics is based on HAVOK. Correct my if I am wrong, but havok is in Max Payne, is in HL2.. Sure not to same degree maybe, but there is good physics.. The AI..well it's not bad either.. I like when they run behind boxes and shoot. I don't know.. I just find this review doesn't justify the game as much as it should and it's discredited in areas I believe were pretty good. But anyhow.. I think its a great and addictive game.. story good, voices great and gfx are pretty damn good. I wouldn't go so far as dated.. Not every game is going to take advantage of all the whistles and bells, especially a game there will likely be followups too. Anyhow..I like it, gonna play it some more tonite.

roller81(06:24 PM CET - Feb,11 2005 )
the game got pretty much crap reviews everywhere, so I really wasnt expecting much when i downloaded it.. Always liked the punisher story, movie, etc.. I was pretty impressed with the game though, dual weilding shotguns..awesome heh. been playing it for a few days now, even going back over the missions i've completed to do the extra missions and get upgrades to weapons and stuff.. this game has kept my interest more than hl2

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