EDITOR WARNING: Article may contain profanity/vulgarities, and may not be suited for small children. Read at your own expense.
Tormentor X Punisher is one hell of a thrill ride. When I sit down to play, I feel like I’ve just injected caffeine into my bloodstream and strapped speakers blasting metal music to my skull. The game oozes violence and spews vulgarities like an edgy teen trying to impress his ‘cool’ friends. Even the title screen is a treat. Scrolling through the menu invokes unearthly screams from the titular female character. The bold title font pulses like a beating heart, and in the background, the face of a demon stares into your very soul. This game exposes us for the violent, crass animals we all are, and it makes us love every second of it.
Welcome to Planet Fuck You! It’s a real planet, between the giant sun of I don’t Give a Shit, and a moon shaped in a middle finger. Look it up.
Demons populate the planet, and it’s the perfect place for the pink haired demon slayer to unleash her fury. She hates demons with a burning passion of a thousand pyres. It comes across not only through her words, harshly screamed obscenities spat with enough distaste to make toes curl, but also in how she takes them apart. By blasting them into tiny, meat sized chunks, leaving them as bloody smears on the ground.
The game throws you into an enclosed arena, where you have to survive unending waves of demons for as long as possible. The controls are simple enough. Shoot to kill, fire your shotgun to reload, and always keep moving. It sounds disarmingly easy when you realise everything in the game can be killed in one hit, including you. It isn’t. On my first run, I lasted less than thirty seconds before being reduced to fleshy pulp.
The starting waves are a cakewalk. But things become maniac as demons spawn relentlessly, swarming you with single-minded determination like flies on manure. Once you survive past a certain time, anywhere between forty to sixty seconds, a boss spawns in the centre of the arena. The bosses that spawn are entirely random, and successfully killing one depends on luck or skill (I rely on the former). This mechanic is infuriating, but it ensures replayability. No single run will be alike.
The game has me hooked. Playing once isn’t enough, because each time you sit down and blast through it, it feels like a kick in the nuts. An adrenaline booster made of demon tears, head banging music, and copious amounts of muttered expletives. The tight controls are crucial for a game like this, because no one likes artificial difficulty brought on by shitty mechanics. Tormentor X Punisher focuses on gameplay and does it extremely well.
The only downside is the lack of the story. It’s a great game, but I generally like my games with a bit of lore, or backstory. With a colourful name like ‘Planet Fuck You’ and the main character’s hatred of demons, it’s hard not to wonder how everything came to be. Regardless, the game is still ridiculously fun, even without a story. If you’re looking for a fast-paced top down shooter rivalling the likes of Hotline Miami and Devil Daggers, Tormentor X Punisher is definitely worth a spin.