Frank Castle is a vigilante who kidnaps, extorts, tortures, kills, maims, and blows up bad guys instead of just capturing them. Frank is the judge, the jury and the executioner, on a war against the criminal underbelly that killed his family. A veteran, a special ops master of martial arts, and a master of weaponry; Frank Castle is the Punisher.
THE PUNISHER: NO MERCY is a first-person shooter set in the Marvel Universe, available exclusively for the PlayStation®Network on the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. Powered by the latest version of the Unreal Engine, it offers frantic, arcade-style shooting action with a heavy focus on multi-player modes, supporting up to 8 players online.
There are several modes of game play, with a strong emphasis on multi-player game play. You can do a single player or a co-op story mode, there is a skirmish mode, and unlockable tournaments. Since The Punisher: No Mercy is based upon the Unreal Engine, it plays very similarly to many other FPS type games based on those same forms of game play mechanics and physics.
When you play through the story more, you unlock new characters, weapons and modifications. There are a total of 8 playable characters, starting with the Punisher himself. You have one main weapon and a close combat sidearm. You also unlock active and passive character modifications to give you different advantages during gameplay.
The levels are a little scattered, with no logical layout. Some areas seem to be higher traffic than others; with shield, health, speed and weapon power ups scattered throughout. Instead of getting better guns, you upgrade the gun that you start the level with. If you die, you have the option to change your gear before re-spawning.
I had a significant problem with the speed of game play, and the options for adjusting player controls. Playing multi-player mode I found game play to be sluggish and slow, and the option to accelerate the look function of the right analogue stick didn't help.
There is an ability to jump, but Castle can't jump more than a few centimeters, so it really isn't any help to jump through most of the terrain.
While there is some realism in the jump height, that's about where realism ends. Standard FPS rules apply, including headshots and the ability to be shot 50 times and heal instantly by touching a glowing medical supply. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but this game relies too heavily on FPS cliche. Barrels explode when you shoot them, there is annoying techno type music in the background, and a man with a deep voice narrates your kill count and game status. This should have been called Unreal: The Punisher. It feels like a badly modded version of Unreal Tournament.
The Story and the Graphics
The story in this game is a surprising disappointment. Story sequences are told with over the top voice-over acting and still frames drawn by a marvel comic book artist. This would have been a good concept if animated, but with still frames telling the story, and acting that sounds like a community theater troop... I was underwhelmed. This game relies too much on over dramatization and verbose language in an attempt to seem hardcore. It comes off as childish, and annoying.
The actual game play graphics aren't that great either. Aside from abysmal story modes, cut sequences and load screens are reminiscent of the 64bit era of gaming. Judging by copyright information at the beginning of the game, I think its likely that this game was originally programmed for an earlier platform and released for PSN after missing a ship date.
I do give credence that this game is only a $10 download, so I won't hold mediocre story telling and dated graphic hold it's score too far back. What did knock the final score down was a complete lack of any redeeming qualities.
I wish I could tell you more about it, but this game lacks substance. If you're a hardcore FPS fan, you'll likely be disappointed by the gameplay of this title. If your a fan of the Punisher, you'll likely be disappointed by the poor implementation of the franchise into a low quality, buggy game. Normally I'd recommend this game to some niche group but this time I hate to say... my only recommendation is that you pass this one up.