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The Punisher (Windows)

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67
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Twilightseer (252)
Written on  :  Jan 25, 2006
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars

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Summary

An innovative game that introduces new ways to kill....

The Good

The graphics were excellent as well as the game play, but once it's linear and doesn't offer free-form. Though there many ways to kill a person. One new feature it adds to the gameplay is interrogating the enemy using a variety of environmental hazards, like a drill, or a car crusher. Either way, it's those things that will get your buddy talking fast depending on how far you go before he submits. I like the comic references, almost common like the Max Payne series, as you collect nostalgia bits from the original and newspaper headlines as you make your rounds killing the bad guys. The plot thickens after a few levels and is able to keep my attention span high. Their are a few puzzles in the game that require knowledge and a bit of luck to pass, since some enemies can't be killed by brute force or bullets. So the Punisher allows you to use your imagination a bit to get the job done.

The voice acting is professional quality and done by the actor Thomas Jane, who was the Punisher in the movie edition.So there are a several good credentials to take note.

The Bad

The controls, are a bit awkward, especially when you run and try to do a clothesline. But you pretty much move like Max Payne, almost to say its a Max Payne clone. The torture scenes are done in old-fashioned black and white nostalgia, but becomes an eyesore in the game and it'll cause headaches. There is a now a patch to remove it and it does help.

The AI in the game is pretty easy, even for the boss, and there are some enemies that are pretty hard to kill, but with AI, there's little to do with them since they're repetitive, shoot and kill, scripting commands. There is a difficulty slider, but it really don't do much in terms of AI. Not the AI you would see in Half-Life 2 or F.E.A.R. except harder makes you even more vulnerable to bullets.

The music score stinks and doesn't match up to par with the voice acting. For a drama game you expect something more like an opera, but all you get is some freaky guitar riffs when things get complicated. Doesn't really set the atmosphere at all.

There's no replayability whatsoever, once you beat the game, you get the ending movie and several cheats unlocked, you can always up the difficulty a bit, but still the AI is the same, except bullets will hurt you 2X. And there's no free-roaming allowed, just simple linear gameplay.

The Bottom Line

I could say its another Max Payne clone, but it does serve it's intentions like in the movie. It's a run and gun type of game that follows its root and storyline. So if you're a fan of those types of games, you could add this to your collection. Otherwise there are better games out there in the bargain bin..to look for.