Tormenter X Punisher is one of the most hectic, brutal, vulgar and bad ass games I have played so far this year. You might not know what the game is, and truth be told I didn’t know about it either until I randomly saw it pop up on my Twitter feed, but Tormenter X Punisher is a treat, one that you can nibble little bits and pieces off of throughout the week. Fans of arcade shooters, demons, cursing and bad ass chicks will feel right at home.
To talk about Tormenter X Punisher I have to talk about
publisher Raw Fury’s marketing and the press assets. There’s a link within the email I received for a guide to give us reviewers a run down of the game. The first thing we’re greeted with is this:
Then it’s followed by
this sentence: “So you’ve decided to play Tormenter X Punisher. This is surely not the first questionable life decision you’ve made but since you’re going down this path we might as well help you out a bit.”
The game is
unabashedly aware of itself inside and outside of your time with it, and it’s a wonderful and beautiful thing to see and experience. I love when a project is confident in itself and doesn’t have to or need to apologize for anything it does.
Tormenter X Punisher is a twin-stick arcade shooter. You are bound to one arena the entire game, which is par for the course, but in TxP the arena gradually changes over time. It’s simple, but effective. It’s hard, but fun. The game walks a fine line between being just a bit too
difficult but also very forgiving in many aspects. The experience in the game is entirely dependent on how you, the player, approach it. You will die a lot and will probably want to quit — which is fine, I understand that. And you know what? You will miss the majority of the content of the game if you do so. For example, after you beat a boss the arena you’re in will permanently change. Oh you killed a dude that shoots saws? Okay so the walls are covered in buzz saws now, and also that fat demon you killed that was throwing stones at you? Yeah he left some stones in the arena, good luck getting around those. The underlying message in the game is simple: just keep kicking ass. And honestly, if you look at the gameplay you will probably think to yourself, “wowee, this looks a lot like, I don’t know, geometry wars and whatever else twin-stick shooter there is out there.” Technically you aren’t wrong.
What makes Tormenter X Punisher really stick out is its two very unique and different mechanics.
First, everything in Tormenter X Punisher is killed with one shot, including you and every boss in the game. Yeah, that’s right, you can kill a boss with one shot. But good luck actually shooting him since he might surround himself with a bunch of fodder demons and maybe even a shield. While his meat shields and real shields start to dance around he’s also probably shooting you with some type of laser gun. Speaking of guns, the second mechanism focuses on the limited ammo you have at your disposal.
You can only shoot a certain amount until you need to reload your main gun, but to do so you need to shoot your secondary weapon, your shotgun. Then you can continue and use your machine gun to rip and tear every demon in sight. These mechanics are very important to master. There is no surviving or having fun with Tormenter X Punisher if you don’t get the basics down, period.
Tormenter X Punisher is a super solid, quick and fun game. If you can’t handle being mad, stay away. If you can’t handle hardcore metal riffs while demons explode and the main character is yelling expletives, go play Barbie’s Sparkle Blast. This rip roaring, demon tearing, bitch-slapping, blood and guts spewing, machine gun shooting heavy metal game is worth a pick up if you’re into torturing yourself. I mean, c’mon, it’s only $7.99 for Pete’s sake. You pay $7.99 and you get two things, a bad ass time and a ticket to kick-ass town.
This review is based on a Steam code sent to SideQuesting by the publisher.