The recent Hollywood cinema revival of comic book super heroes, has also led to the release of a film based on the Marvel Comics anti-hero Frank Castle aka The Punisher in 2004. A game surrounding the character was released a year later in 2005 for PS2, Xbox and PC, but it is this month that sees a further release of an exclusive PSN title based upon the same character - Punisher: No Mercy.
The game itself utilises the latest version of the Unreal Engine, and consists of a short Story mode alongside its core frantic arcade-style multiplayer element. The story as such is presented through comic style cut-scenes, with voice work by actors, and the levels themselves are essentially multiplayer battles against bots rather than following any form of progressive game narrative.
Unfortunately, this will take the player around half an hour to complete, consisting of only 4 levels, and effectively acts as a bit of preparation to allow you to get used to how the gameplay mechanics work before entering the multiplayer arena. The bots themselves seem to lack any form of good AI, willingly running at you over and over again – making no effort to get out of the line of fire. However it does also allow you to unlock some new character skins, weapons and mods.
The four levels divide into traditional Team Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch with a single boss character (who once he notices you, you'll die in about 2 seconds – so required constant respawn rushes!), Vigilante (essentially a free-for-all mode) and finally Survival where you must defend against waves of enemies. The last was probably the most difficult, but the player is provided with 20 lives which seemed to me to defeat the object of 'surviving!'