The Punisher is a 2005 action game which stars the Marvel Comics antihero, The Punisher. After his family was murdered by the mafia, Frank Castle devoted his life to the punishment of criminals. Players take control of the vigilante hero to track down criminals and kill them. The game's story is a loose mixture of the 2004 film, as well as the 2000 mini-series, Welcome Back, Frank.
The Punisher is voiced by actor Thomas Jane; the same actor who portrayed him in the 2004 film.
Gameplay in The Punisher offers a combination of exploration, stealth and combat. When encountering an enemy, the Punisher can attack, or sneak up to perform a one-button "quick kill". Depending on the villain, the current location, and a player-determined level of aggression, one of numerous fatal assaults will be performed. The game's environments also feature interrogation "hot spots", where the vigilante can essentially torture his enemies, coercing them to share information that may help him in his quest.
The game features many cameo appearances from Marvel Comics characters, such as Iron Man, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Matt Murdock (the alter ego of Daredevil), Bushwacker, The Kingpin and Bullseye. Also present are several characters from the Welcome Back, Frank storyline, such as detectives Martin Soap and Molly Van Richtofen, the Punisher's neighbors Joan and Spacker Dave, Ma Gnucci, The Russian and General Kreigkopf.
The game begins with the Punisher being captured by police officers after killing several criminals. He is then transferred to Ryker's Island and interrogated by Detectives Molly Van Richtofen and Martin Soap. The remainder of the game occurs in moments of flashback during this interrogation.
First, the Punisher invades a crack house and kills its owner (dubbed Damage) by dropping him from several stories above the ground. After almost getting hit by a car upon his exit, the Punisher traces the vehicle to a chop shop. After killing every criminal there, he learns that it is owned by the Gnucci mafia family (led by Ma Gnucci) because Carlo Duka (the individual owner of the shop) is a Gnucci lieutenant. The Punisher kills Duka by dropping him in a car compactor where Duka is subsequently crushed. In a subsequent mission, the Punisher kills Bobby Gnucci (one of the sons of Ma Gnucci) at Lucky's Bar by shooting him several times.
Ma Gnucci hires Bushwacker to capture Joan, a neighbor of the Punisher. The Punisher traces her to the Central Park Zoo, where he rescues her. The next mission occurs in Grey's Funeral Home, at the mob funeral of Bobby Gnucci. The Punisher kills Eddie Gnucci (the other Gnucci son) by throwing Eddie out a window and Eddie is impaled on a gate spike. The Punisher then travels to the Gnucci estate to kill Bushwacker and Ma Gnucci herself. After fighting his way through Ma's remaining men, Punisher then fights Bushwacker who he defeats in a gunfight. To finish off Bushwacker, Punisher rips his weapon arm off and shoots him in the chest followed by Punisher dropping Bushwacker several stories above the ground. Castle then throws Ma through her mansion's top floor window.
During the Punisher's assault at the Gnucci residence, he learns that the Gnuccis are getting drug money from Russian mercenaries on New York City's waterfront. At the docks, he hears that General Kreigkopf plans to smuggle nuclear weapons into New York City. After attacking men on a cargo ship supposedly carrying the weapon (it was not on board) and being assaulted in his apartment by a huge man called the Russian, the Punisher attacks Grand Nixon Island, his next lead on the weapon's location. On the island, the Punisher meets Nick Fury, who helps him to defeat Kreigkopf and the Russian as well as prevent the launch of the nuclear device. Both escape before the missile detonates, destroying Grand Nixon Island.
Returning home, the Punisher discovers that the Kingpin has been taking over former Gnucci rackets. He raids the headquarters of the Kingpin's Fisk Industries, where he fights and defeats Bullseye by throwing him out a window from the top floor of the skyscraper. The Kingpin tells the Punisher that his real enemy is the Japanese Yakuza. The Punisher learns that this group of Yakuza are called the Eternal Sun, and they are trying to control remaining Gnucci and Russian crime operations.
The Punisher then visits Stark Towers, a facility owned by Tony Stark (Iron Man), after learning that the Eternal Sun are attempting to steal some high tech weapons and armor. The Punisher decides to assault the Takagi building, the home of the Eternal Sun leader, Takagi. He discovers that Jigsaw has infiltrated the gang, and is gaining followers. While Jigsaw is being imprisoned in Ryker's Island, the Eternal Sun is already planning to bust him out. After escaping the Takagi building, the Punisher allows himself to be captured by the police and taken to Rykers Island, to confront Jigsaw there, at which time, the flashbacks catch up to the story, and the remainder of the game takes place in the present.
During the interrogation, the prison erupts into a riot. The Punisher escapes from his cell, and starts fighting his way through the inmates and remaining Eternal Sun members the Punisher left alive. He reaches the rooftop and meets Jigsaw face to face, ultimately defeating him despite the stolen Iron Man armor Jigsaw was wearing. As the Punisher leaves in a helicopter, he throws Jigsaw out, killing him.
In the post-credits scene, the Kingpin is plotting his revenge against the Punisher for the embarrassment he caused him as a medical worker is loading Bullseye onto the stretcher.
- The Punisher - The main character of the game, an extremely violent and jaded vigilante. Actor Thomas Jane returned to voice the character.
- Jigsaw - Archenemy of the Punisher. The Jigsaw character is different from his comic book incarnation. He is presented as John Saint, the disfigured son of the movie villain, Howard Saint.
- Detective Martin Soap - A police detective & friend of the Punisher, helped him escape from custody at Ryker's Island prison.
- Lieutenant Molly Von Richtofen - A police investigator interrogating the Punisher.
- Spacker Dave - The Punisher's neighbor, and technical genius who helps him during the raid on Stark Towers.
- Joan - The Punisher's next door neighbor. She is kidnapped by Bushwacker in the Central Park Zoo as bait for The Punisher.
- General Kreigkopf - A disgraced ex-US Army General. Kreigkopf is planning to launch a nuclear missile at New York City because of his hatred of America.
- Takagi - The original leader of the "Eternal Sun" yakuza gang before Jigsaw took it over.
- Bushwacker - A former CIA agent. One of his arms is a gun.
- The Russian - A hitman hired by General Kreigkopf.
- Ma Gnucci - The matriarch of a mob syndicate. Her sons serve as her lieutenants in her operations.
- Black Widow - Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., helps the Punisher take down the Russian mercenaries.
- Nick Fury - Leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., aids the Punisher on Kreigkopf's island.
- Matt Murdock - The appointed lawyer for the Punisher, he is the secret identity of Daredevil, but does not appear as the superhero.
- Iron Man - Owner and CEO of Stark Industries. He appears in the Stark Tower level fighting the Yakuza forces trying to take over the building.
- Bullseye - Attacks the Punisher during the raid on the Kingpin's headquarters.
- The Kingpin - Runs most of the illegal activities in New York. The Kingpin does not appear to have a vendetta against the Punisher until the end of the game.