|System: PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: ZEN Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: ZEN Studios||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 2, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Playing online is more of the same, except now you're playing with other people that you can only assume are gluttons for punishment much as you are - or game reviewers. Anyway, one nice feature is the Call of Duty 4-esque perk system. In-between spawns you are able to swap out weapons and perks to customize your character and abilities. It's a nice system that adds some welcome depth.
Rounding out the multiplayer experience is the expected variety of game modes from standard deathmatches to last man standing. While noticeable in single-player, while playing online the lack of in-game feedback on shots fired is frustrating. You may be damaging the other player from across the map or entirely missing him, it's nearly impossible to tell if you're hitting him until he goes down.
In what is not likely to be a surprise, there is little lasting appeal. If you are a poor soul cursed with the need to unlock everything in a game, there are several unlockables attainable by playing the game online using the various characters. Getting these allows more appearance options and perk customizations. For those of us blessed to not have the obsessive-compulsive gene, The Punisher: No Mercy should have a shelf life of no more than four hours, if that.
Let me make this clear before I wrap this up. I am not the kind of guy who likes to berate games for kicks and giggles or an inflation of my ego. If anything, I like to look for the positive. But this game was about as close to "painful" as I've seen in recent memory. Between the tedious hour-long campaign mode and flighty game mechanics to the forgettable levels and repetitive dialogue, I am hard-pressed to find any reason to recommend this. There's always the caveat in these types of games that "if you are a big fan of The Punisher, you may enjoy it," but sadly I can't even give that recommendation unless you are the hardest of core diehards and must see the single-player story. Beyond that there is no reason to load this game up over any of the plethora of other first-person titles on the market.
CCC Freelance Writer