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The Punisher Review - PS2

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The Punisher isn’t exactly your average Cinderella story. His whole family was wiped out by a mob - Parents, Cousins, Aunties, Uncles, Nephews, Neices, Everybody, even his wife and son. Frank Castle is on a revenge mission to rid the world of mafia and the like. Destroying any business that he considers illegitimate, and causing a lot of chaos and life-loss on the way. His undercover cop jobs were doomed to cause havoc for him sooner or later, but wiping out his entire family may have been a bit too far considering he had retired from the force. Nevertheless, it makes for an exciting and incredibly violent video game, so let’s check it out.

Gameplay

Throughout the game, you are confronted with loads of different ways to kill your enemies. You can do just the standard routine of gunning them down with your Shotgun, Uzi, Assault Rifle, and so forth, or you can be more constructive and torture them to death. In order to do this, you need to get close to your enemies and grab them, like you do for almost every bad guy in the Splinter Cell series. When you grab them you can perform a quick kill which is often in the worst execution style known to man, a bullet to the head face on, or you can choose to “interrogate” them. If they have nothing useful to tell you, then the interrogation is basically torture. You can choose different ways to torture them once you have selected the interrogation option, and the options come up on the screen with an analog-stick to tell you which direction for which form of torture. They’re all pretty brutal, and you’ll be wanting to try them all out!

If a character has something useful to tell you, then they have a Punisher logo over their head (the white skull on his t-shirt, you idiot). Sometimes it takes a while for them to surrender, and often you’ll actually have to run against their bullet-fire in order to capture them. Once you have them in your grasp, there is often a unique location to torture them. This can range from holding them off the edge of a balcony to putting them in an electric woodchopper, or under a drill. There are dozens of unique ways to torture the bad guys which is what separates The Punisher from other non-banned games in Australia.

The camera follows Castle from behind in a 3rd person view for most of the game, apart from of course cut scenes, and when you zoom in with a weapon. Occasionally the camera can get a little disorientating as you try to turn around quickly to shoot enemies coming at you from every possible angle, and this can become frustrating to gamers looking for a solid action game. The Punisher is basically about trying to focus on what he would actually do throughout his days as a mass murderer of thugs. It’s not about how flashy the physics engine is, or how swell ... (continued next page)