Above the Law - The Punisher

Frank Castle isn't a household name like Peter Parker, but he may have the most true and authentic video game depiction of them all. Castle became the Punisher when his family was taken out by a random act of mob violence, and ever since he takes a no-nonsense approach to fighting back. Everybody dies. Always.

The Punisher, on the surface, is just another third-person shoot-'em-up. But spend a few minutes playing it and you'll be knee-deep in junkie gore. There's a one-button kill move that, obviously, dispatches any thug in one swipe, and in the most grotesque of ways - knife in the mouth, pistol in the face, flamethrower through the head... if you can think of it, Castle does it without remorse.

Then there are the interrogations - grabbing criminals and dragging them to certain areas enables you to put them through absolute hell, like pushing their face into a piranha tank or breaking their skull with a window frame. It's violent as can be, but that's Castle's world, and the game revels in it. He shouldn't have any trouble with everyday goons, and here, he doesn't.

Requisite cameos and solid voice work flesh out the dark, dreary world, but it's the over-the-top, almost comical deaths that make this game stand out as a faithful recreation of an established character.

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