The Punisher PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: THQ
  • Release Date: Jan 17, 2005
  • Also On: PC

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 44
  2. Negative: 3 out of 44
Buy On
  1. 70
    If you want pure, unadulterated violence, you came to the right place. Still, I can't help but be a little disappointed in this title -- especially coming from Volition, of Red Faction fame. It's a little too by-the-book.
  2. If you are squeamish at all steer clear of this game completely, otherwise you may find yourself smiling with glee as you lower a drill bit into some unlucky sap’s temple.
  3. The game doesn't do anything to go above and beyond what is already out on the market today. If you are a fan of the comic book then this is going to be a great game for you, if not this is a perfect rental.
  4. When the smoke clears, it's just another third-person action game.
  5. A decent game but isn’t going to be on a top ten list. The graphics and audio follow suit with the gameplay by not distracting but not giving an impressive showing either.
  6. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Surprisingly good. [March 2005, p.100]
  7. This game probably won’t win any awards for originality. But even as it is, comic fans will be especially pleased, and it’s more than capable of providing the desired bang you’d expect for your buck.
  8. 69
    A poor man’s "Max Payne." Hardcore Castle fanatics will still get this game regardless, and they may as well should as it is a modest representation of the comic series, it just could have been so much better. To everyone else, you can probably romp right through The Punisher and complete everything it has to offer with a rental.
  9. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Derivative or not, Punisher suffers from the same crippling problem: The extreme gunplay gets old after you've capped your first 50 felons. [March 2005, p.118]
  10. While it attempts to put its own spin on the third-person shooter genre by adding sometimes-gruesome interrogation sequences, this game is, more or less, "Max Payne" without the bullet time.
  11. 65
    On the surface it looks like a really good game, but after about half an hour it becomes repetitive and a little dull.
  12. 60
    Fun at first, but soon becomes repetitive-both in terms of the Punisher's actions and the criminals' voice responses. Add to that weak graphics and animation, as well as not enough opportunities to "enjoy" Punisher's originality, and you end up with an adventure that turns a bit stale too quickly.
  13. I did like playing the game for the extra modes outside of the normal story mode, since they actually offered up some killer objectives and nice gameplay.
  14. 60
    The perfect game for obsessive fans of the comic franchise, those who never tire of senseless violence, and activists looking for scapegoats, but it simply doesn't have enough to offer anyone else.
  15. 60
    Any of the game’s flaws are somewhat balanced by the ability to stab someone in the face, or burn them alive in an incinerator. Well, if you’re into that sort of thing, anyway.
  16. 60
    No, the Punisher believes in planning ahead and has come prepared with an infinite supply of ammo—his clips might run out, but you never need to find more.
  17. games(TM)
    The Punisher does exactly what it sets out to do. Picking up the controller gives immediate access to a theatre of death and destruction, and while originality is gunned down at some point during the first few levels, there’s plenty of fun to be had, especially for fans of the comic. [March 2005, p.106]
  18. Dark, violent and derivative, but nowhere near as flawed as the movie.
  19. The steady mechanics and sheer brutality of The Punisher save it from the slaughterhouse and lead to a decent rental, but repetitive gameplay and some stupid design errors make it hard to commit to Frank Castle's crusade.
  20. AceGamez
    Unless you love poorly done, "edgy" scenes of death, or you really, really like shooting things, The Punisher is a let down in almost every aspect and is easily buried by the quality of similar titles like "Red Dead Revolver."
  21. Edge Magazine
    Once you’ve wiped away the layer of gore, you’re left with an experience that, expectedly, offers limited entertainment. [March 2005, p.85]
  22. But the trouble is, as soon as you remove the novelty death sequences it's actually the dictionary definition of the average third-person shooter.

Awards & Rankings

#71 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. FrankS.
    Apr 9, 2005
  2. SherlockH.
    Apr 9, 2005
  3. BrentE.
    Apr 7, 2005
    This game is like crack so addictive.