Does the Punisher from comic books deserve a video game?

Elliot Tritto

Staff Writer

Nolan Bushnell once said, “Video games foster the mindset that allow creativity to grow.”

This quote has echoed in my head for the past couple of years. Every time I play a new video game with breathtaking visuals and engaging gameplay, this quote comes to mind. Specifically, the new PS4 exclusive open world video game, “Spider-Man.”

This new critically acclaimed superhero game gave us a fresh outlook on how we see the web head go through his day-to-day life. 

Whether it’s swinging through Times Square in NYC, preventing a drug deal, fighting supervillains or making sure to not miss Aunt May’s call for the 45th time, we are instantly immersed into the Spider-Verse. 

After beating the game, I’ve looked back on popular superhero video game titles like DC comic’s fighting game, Injustice 1 and 2, the open world Batman Arkham series, Marvel vs Capcom series and X-Men origins: Wolverine.

One question did pop into my head, why isn’t there more stand-alone superhero games.

Superheroes, across all entertainment mediums, have remained financially successful and have fans emotionally invested in them for the past several decades. Many people would love to interact with many iconic characters, so they can develop a proper kinship on screen rather than on a comic book page. 

In the next several Broward College Observer issues, I will be bringing up several comic book characters that deserve a video game. And what better way to divulge into this argument than to bring up one of the most menacing anti-heroes of all time, Frank Castle aka THE PUNISHER!

To begin with, Frank Castle has been putting criminals down and continues to be admired by comic book fans since 1974. 

According to MarvelWiki.com, The Wall Crawler.” Pursuant to the noble Punisher graphic novel, At first, the Punisher was conceived by his creator, Gerry Conway, as a potential recurring antagonist for Spider-Man; however, his 1974 debut was critically acclaimed, and he became an anti-hero in the Marvel universe and an uneasy ally. 

InPunisher Invades the ‘Nam,” the readers are introduced to Castle’s internal troubles with him fighting America’s most controversial war. We then discover from “Punisher: Year One” the tragic murder of his wife and children by the mafia. Both tragic aspects have transformed a wholesome, military and family man into a merciless and cutthroat hitman sworn to punish criminals. 

Above and beyond the comic book pages, Punisher has made several appearances on the small and the big screen. Recently, the character’s relevance came back through the critically acclaimed Netflix show, the Punisher. 

Exploring the themes of PTSD, family loss and terrorism, the show brilliantly executes what we love about the Punisher. Especially, Jon Bernthal’s flawless performance of a fierce yet deadly Frank Castle with his heavy artillery, lethal kills and of course the classic pale white skull embedded on his black bullet-proof vest. 

So, does the Punisher deserve a video game? This is an easy yes. I envisioned the Punisher video game to be a hybrid of an open world game like Red Dead Redemption, a first-person shooter like Black Ops and a role-playing game like Mass Effect. 

To begin with, having the Punisher ride around on a motorcycle with a couple of firearms around Queens, NY makes the audience feel we are Frank Castle. 

To move on, to have the game mechanics of Call of Duty: Black Ops, and to show scenes of key battles taking place in the jungle vested and worn-torn, Vietnam. 

To go behind Castle’s eyes in his past of Vietnam allows the player to understand a better insight. 

Finally, to have a role-playing aspect like in Mass Effect makes the player have choices to pick different dialogue with other character and interact unalike situations. 

Overall, the 2010’s are a decade of the golden age of video games and superheroes. If we can still have refreshing products of both, it shows that we can have the Punisher video come soon. 

Now, for those of you who would like to see me write another comic book, anime, superhero, or sci-fi character who should star in a video game, email me some characters at trite1@mail.broward.edu. 

Keep a lookout for the next article and see you next issue.

trite1@mail.broward.edu

Photo courtesy of Inverse.com